ACA Group & DNB Bank

DNB Bank's Data Mesh Journey gained valuable insights from the platform engineering expertise of ACA Group

In the rapidly evolving landscape of data management, DNB Bank, one of Norway's largest financial institutions, faces complex challenges. Operating in a highly regulated environment and aiming for continuous innovation, DNB is looking into becoming even more data-driven using innovative, scalable and flexible data management solutions. DNB sought a robust and implementable technical vision for Data Mesh which complements existing solutions and remains flexible for future evolution. In response to these needs, ACA Group, played an expert role in guiding DNB towards an elevated understanding on how a self-service data mesh platform architecture can be designed and engineered.

About DNB Bank

DNB logo

DNB is Norway's largest financial services group and one of the largest in the Nordic region in terms of market capitalization. The Group offers a full range of financial services, including loans, savings, advisory services, insurance and pension products for retail and corporate customers.

DNB Bank's Data Challenges

DNB Bank operates in a complex ecosystem where data flows from myriad sources and departments, each with its unique data use cases and requirements. These data streams serve various purposes, from customer service and risk assessment to compliance and innovation. The need to efficiently share and reuse data from different corners of the organization is a challenge on which DNB is already innovating for a long time. DNB Bank recognized the importance of a scalable and flexible data management approach that aligns with its complex business context.

The Data Mesh Evolution

Data mesh, an innovative approach to data architecture and management, emphasizes a decentralized domain-oriented ownership by sharing and reusing data as a product. DNB has already made significant strides in adopting these principles as part of its data mesh journey. A crucial aspect is providing a self-service platform for domain teams, enhancing the overall experience for both data product producers and consumers. ACA Group's expertise in platform engineering for data mesh played an expert role in empowering DNB Bank to gain elevated understanding of these producer and consumer experiences supported by a robust architectural vision and direction.

We contacted ACA Group because their approach demonstrated something that was actually implemented. It has been very valuable for us to learn from their expertise in engineering data mesh platforms.

Morten Næss, Chief Architect - Data and Analytics Platform at DNB
Morten Næss - Chief Architect - Data and Analytics Platform

Collaborative Efforts with ACA Group

DNB Bank reached out to ACA in their quest for the optimal data mesh platform architecture, drawn to ACA's tangible technical methodology and their clear architectural vision.
Following that, DNB Bank engaged in a week-long collaboration with ACA Group, during which Tom De Wolf, ACA Group's data mesh expert, provided valuable insights into this innovative approach. 

The kickoff was a presentation by ACA Group on `Platform Engineering for Data Products’. Tom De Wolf explained how ACA utilizes platform engineering expertise for data mesh to establish a self-service platform to elevate the experiences of data product producers and consumers. In this framework, "data product" becomes a first-class component and abstraction, enabling organizations to decentralize ownership to share and reuse data as a product.

Tom De Wolf presenting Data Mesh to DNB in Oslo

The presentation garnered significant attention and positive feedback from the IT department of DNB Bank, with approximately 120 attendees, both in-person and online.

Deeper understanding of engineering data mesh platforms

A three-day workshop delved into technical solutions for a data mesh platform, with a primary focus on platform engineering expertise surrounding data products. Throughout this data mesh architecture workshop, DNB and ACA Group thoroughly examined the necessary components and delved into the data product producer and consumer experience.

While DNB is already making strides in this ongoing journey, workshop participants garnered valuable advice and insights into an innovative data mesh architecture, recognizing it as an essential part to support their data mesh journey.

Tom De Wolf presenting for the DNB team in Oslo

According to Elin Våge Lafton, DNB Bank has gained fresh perspectives and a deeper understanding of how to structure and implement its data mesh architecture.

This deep-dive together with Tom was very valuable for us in terms of gaining an elevated understanding of this architectural direction.

Elin Våge Lafton, Data Governance Lead - Data and Analytics Platform at DNB
Elin Våge Lafton - Data Governance Lead - Data and Analytics Platform

After the initial workshop, ACA Group received a follow-up assignment to write an advisory report for a potential Data Mesh architecture for DNB Bank. This report provided DNB Bank with additional vision and insights, empowering them to take further decisions in their roadmap towards Data Mesh. It summarizes the approach, why it is fit-for-purpose for DNB Bank, dives into the components that were discussed together with an overview of the jointly created data product producer and consumer experience, and ends with advice on how to get started with a proof of concept.


DNB Bank is heading on a Data Mesh journey for the years to come, showing they take innovation in terms of data management seriously. The collaborative efforts between DNB Bank and ACA Group proved to be valuable input for their roadmap, and this deep-dive elevated DNB Bank’s understanding of an architectural direction that was actually implemented. This foundation allows DNB to realistically engineer a platform that complements existing data investments, is inherently flexible in its design toward future evolution, and brings the ‘data product’ alive as a component that can be owned, shared and re-used in a data-driven organization.

➡️ Interested in a scalable and flexible data mesh architecture for your company?

Does your company need a scalable and flexible data mesh architecture? ACA Group can help you with the right solution for your data mesh challenges. From data mesh expert consultancy and architecture designs to platform engineering services to realize a full self-service data mesh platform. Interested in our data mesh solutions and services? Visit our data mesh page.

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