3 Myths About Modern Data Architecture

After years of innovation in big data, there is now an overwhelming landscape of modern data platforms that companies can choose from to solve their big data needs. In addition, there continues to be aggressively optimistic marketing selling a bright future if only companies adopt this or that platform. The result is that, despite Gartner dropping big data off its annual Hype Cycle report back in 2015, misinformation and misconceptions about modern data architecture are still common. The following are 3 myths about modern data architecture.

  1. Modern Data Architecture Will Solve All of Your Problems — Talking about cybersecurity, noted cryptographer Bruce Schneier once said “If you think technology can solve your security problems, then you don’t understand the problems and you don’t understand the technology.” The same is true for modern data architecture. Extracting value from data isn’t about any one particular technology platform or computing paradigm. It’s about piecing together a well-architected ecosystem of technologies and business processes that work together seamlessly. If you think technology will solve all of your problems, chances are you need to dig deeper to understand the real issue.
  2. Everyone Else Is Doing It — Back in 2013, Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational, made the brilliant observation that “Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” While it’s been several years since Ariely made this comparison, many companies still have a feeling that they need to be moving to modern data architecture platforms just to keep up with the Joneses. The truth is, many companies are just now starting to explore modern data architecture use cases. Sure, many companies have moved some of their internal applications and products to the cloud, and many Silicon Valley companies are built on big data, but there is still relatively plenty of room for growth in modern data architecture for most companies. The important thing to keep in mind is that business is not a race to have the newest, sexiest technology. If you’re implementing technology you don’t need, just to keep up with the Joneses, you might want to rethink your strategy and ask how what you’re doing makes you money, reduces costs, or improves customer experience.
  3. Data Modelling is Dead — I’ve touched on this before, but understanding the structure, lineage, and usage of your data is what makes it an asset. With the power of modern data architecture technologies, we can often sweep issues caused by poorly designed data models under the rug with overwhelming computing power. But keep in mind, the technology isn’t worth anything without the data in it.
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