How to get started with Data Mesh
In today's data-driven world, organizations are constantly seeking innovative ways to extract value from their data. One approach that has been gaining traction is Data Mesh. This innovative concept transforms the way we think about and manage data within an organization. But where do you start with Data Mesh, and how can you make this abstract theory more tangible?
Make it concrete for all stakeholders
Data Mesh is frequently perceived as highly abstract and theoretical, leaving stakeholders uncertain about its precise implications and potential solutions. Therefore, at ACA Group, we focus on making it as concrete as possible for business stakeholders, technical stakeholders, and other impacted stakeholders in the organization.
We recommend simultaneously addressing three key challenges:
- IDENTIFY BUSINESS VALUE – Define how Data Mesh exactly contributes to the business value by considering data as a product.
- ORGANIZE TEAMS – Specify the role of every team, team member and persona within the context of Data Mesh.
- BUILD PLATFORM – Show how data mesh influences the technical architecture.
Challenge 1: Identifying the Data Mesh Business Value
One of the first challenges in adopting Data Mesh is to explain and prove its business value. At ACA Group, we start by identifying potential data products, domains, and use cases. This process is grounded in business input and results in a data product landscape. An example of an e-commerce company is shown below (boxes are applications, hexagons are data products, colors are owning domains). This landscape serves as a navigation map, inspiring new innovative business ideas and showcasing the value that Data Mesh can bring to the organization. By demonstrating how Data Mesh can enable new possibilities, we clarify its relevance to business stakeholders.
Aligning Data Mesh Solutions with Organizational Goals
To get the most out of Data Mesh, alignment with the organization's overall goals and strategy is paramount. It's essential to ensure that the investment in technology and process aligns with the broader business objectives. This alignment helps maintain support and momentum, crucial for realizing the success of a Data Mesh initiative.
Identifying Data Mesh Opportunities through Game Storming
At ACA Group, we apply game storming techniques to discover domains and data products. This process begins with business capabilities and data use cases identified through workshops, such as impact mapping. By aligning Data Mesh with these aspects, we identify a data product landscape from two perspectives: an inventory of available data and potential data products inspires and generates new business ideas, while the desired business impact and goals helps to identify required data and data products.
Challenge 2: Organizing Teams and Empowering Individuals
Data Mesh is not just about technology; it's about transforming how teams and team members operate within the organization. ACA Group believes in organizing teams effectively to harness the power of Data Mesh. We interact with existing teams and team members, positioning their valuable roles and expertise within a Data Mesh team organization. This typically involves platform teams, domain teams, enabling teams, and a federated governance team. Additionally, we explore the various user journeys and experiences for each persona, ensuring that Data Mesh positively impacts the organization, its people, and their roles.
Challenge 3: Building the Technical Architecture as a First-Class Component
The technical architecture is a critical aspect of Data Mesh, and ACA Group is committed to making it a tangible reality. We demonstrate how Data Mesh can work in practice by developing a coded and working proof of concept. Leveraging our platform engineering expertise, we bring data products to life, showcasing how Data Mesh can leverage existing data technology while providing a future-proof and flexible architecture tailored to the client's unique context.
Adopting Data Mesh is a transformative journey for any organization. By breaking down the challenges into actionable steps, as ACA Group does, you can make Data Mesh more tangible, clarify its value, and align it with your organization's goals. These incremental actions serve to demystify Data Mesh, rendering it comprehensible to a wide array of stakeholders and facilitating well-informed decisions. Embracing Data Mesh represents an embrace of the future of data management, with its potential to unlock myriad possibilities for your organization. This journey is about making Data Mesh a practical reality while aligning it with your organizational objectives.
💡 Curious about what else Data Mesh has to offer you?