What is a DataOps framework?
DataOps is an approach for connecting DevOps principles with your data management and operations systems. A DataOps framework is about setting up an infrastructure for implementing this approach and integrating these practises into your workflows.
Why is a DataOps framework necessary?
A framework is necessary for ensuring you deploy a DataOps strategy successfully and that it continues to be followed long-term.
DataOps affects many areas of the business – from culture to operations to security. It aims to break down silos, improve data quality, communication and embed a new data mindset.
Therefore, switching to a DataOps mindset requires long-term investment and robust preparation. Just like any other business process, you need an established strategy and roadmap to help your teams transition into this way of working.
Otherwise, your team likely won’t adopt the process effectively or your desired strategy will get morphed over time. Poor implementation could actually result in more data management issues, not less.
What makes a good DataOps framework?
A good framework provides clear structure for your data analytics, business intelligence, operations and development teams to follow. It should be integrated, considering all these areas, to ensure all departmental workflows work together with synergy.
It should hand data over to the people that need it in a clear and structured way. In this process, teams that use data don’t need to invest any extra work or worry about where this data came from. They can trust the framework and workflows to have provided what’s relevant, letting the data speak for itself.
4 Steps for building a DataOps framework
DataOps introduces a fundamental shift to how your company works. That’s why it’s important to follow some best practices to ensure you optimise your DataOps approach.
Step 1. Consider your internal infrastructure
The best frameworks will integrate all elements of your digital environment. This means deeply understanding your system architecture, the tools you’re using, and your infrastructure, the platforms on which these tools run.
The DataOps approach aims to bring all these elements together and make sure they’re working with one another seamlessly. Your first step in building a framework should therefore be to audit your digital environment and map out how these elements currently connect.
Step 2. Tailor your framework
Your framework should be tailored to your organisation’s ecosystem and how you work. This will make it easier to adopt and ultimately make it more successful for your objectives.
This will be informed by the audit work you’ve done on your digital infrastructure and architecture. This stage also incorporates your processes. What are your departmental workflows? How does work get assigned, processed, reviewed, completed and so on.
Bear in mind that you want your framework to work with you and for you, not against you. Understanding how you work now ensures you can tailor your framework to support your processes and help increase their efficiency. But there are still some areas where drastic change may be needed.
You can use DataOps to identify flaws or areas of improvement in these workflows. Maybe the way data gets transferred from one stage of a workflow to the other creates siloes. Your framework should address these issues and provide a solution.
Step 3. Putting data at the centre
Aside from organising and structuring processes, the data operations approach brings data and its value into the heart of a business and all its intricacies. This requires several practises.
- Upskilling and training your teams in how to manage, store, and use data to maximise its value
- Clearly defining the role of data and the role of individuals within the company
- Integrating data into every role in the business
- Adopting new tools and platforms that support a data-centric way of working
- Embedding a culture of data appreciation
- Selling the c-suite and board-level members on the value of data and DataOps
Step 4. Communication integration
This is the core challenge of DataOps for many businesses. Bringing all your departmental processes, workflows, tools, and cultures together to create one integrated community.
Fundamentally, this approach needs to work across the board in order to be successful. One team creating silos or pushing data aside can create a chink in the armour that is data operations. The same data culture needs to be adopted by every department. Equally, workflows need to be designed to support data transfer or knowledge sharing between departments and teams.
Another element of this is collaboration.
Even if workflows provide a clear path from sales to marketing, or accounts to operations, the system can fall down if people are mentally siloed. It’s important to encourage and facilitate teams to work with one another and collaborate on projects.
For example, bringing the users closer to the developers can help with the creation of more intuitive data solutions and more efficient development processes.
How do you implement a DataOps framework?
Unfortunately, this isn’t an overnight process. There is a lot of preparation work that needs completed to get your company ready to implement DataOps.
Your system needs to be audited and realigned, with potentially long term training and deployment activities. Having the support of your staff will be a huge help to successfully deploying your new framework.
Our advice would be to make sure you have a detailed plan and timeline in place before making any moves. Also to take your time and make sure you do things right the first time – otherwise you’ll spend much more time weeding out the issues.
Having a partner to help you through this process can makes things exponentially easier. Not only do they have the expertise experience to do things in the most efficient way possible, but an outsider’s perspective can uncover problems and solutions you may not have seen yourself.
If you’re interested in adopting a DataOps approach in your business, call one of our consultants today to have a consultation.