What is a data mesh and why is it important?

What is a data mesh and why is it important?

Data mesh is a concept that is growing in popularity with the rise of cloud based data virtualisation solutions.  And whether you’re tech savvy, or digitally illiterate, data is something you must get on top of if you’re running a business in the digital age. We know the world of technology can get confusing, so we’re going to break down what a data mesh is, and why it’s important for data driven businesses.

What is a data mesh?

Today, businesses produce and use lots of data. The problem with this is that it resides in many different sources, and often, it can be difficult to connect to, organise and make sense of.  Data can also live in a variety of data lakes, warehouses and datamarts, making it hard to access. This problem is solved by a data mesh.

In simple terms, a data mesh is a domain-driven platform and approach that connects data virtually and makes data readily available to businesses, employees and end users. This eliminates the process of having to leverage a centralised data team to connect, retrieve, transform that data therefore making data easier to ultimately analyse and interpret in the hands of domain experts. 

Data mesh net

Why is a data mesh important for businesses?

A data mesh can change how your business manages data, and help you improve your data processes. Here’s how:

Allows domain experts (eg. Finance people) to easily extract and analyse data themselves

Data warehouses can sometimes actually make data less accessible to businesses, employees and end users, as there is a process of extracting, transforming and loading data from hard to access source systems.  A data mesh frees data from these environments, packages it and delivers it in a way that makes it easier to access and interpret.

In many cases, you no longer have to be a Data Engineer or ETL Developer to access and extract data. With a data mesh, businesses can have greater control over their data, which is especially beneficial with data’s increasing importance. 

A data mesh makes data standardised, safer and easier to understand

In a data mesh, all data is standardised so that it can be shared across domains. This means that the data is quality controlled and well-formatted, allowing businesses to have better data. 

Data standardisation also makes data easier to understand and utilise, helping businesses gain better insights from their datasets. Additionally, the data mesh architecture is highly governed to ensure that data remains safe, reducing the threat of data leaks.

Gives businesses greater autonomy over their data

With a data mesh, businesses are able to receive well-formatted, high quality data, which they can use and analyse without the help of data specialists. This autonomy gives businesses greater creativity, as they can observe more data and extrapolate their own meaning from it.

Are you still confused? Let’s break this down further.

To simplify this further, imagine that your parents have been running your bank account from your childhood well into your adulthood. Yes, this sounds strange, but it will make sense soon.

Initially, when you knew less about money, parental control over your finances was appreciated and even encouraged. However, now that you’re an adult, it doesn’t make sense for your parents to be taking care of your bank account, because this inhibits you from being able to check your balance, put money in, and take money out at ease. 

So, you take control of your own money, download a banking app, and have control over your finances at your fingertips. The app helps organise and format your finances easily, and you no longer have to go through the lengthy system of going through your parents every time you need to sort out your finances.

This situation is similar to a data mesh. Rather than data being stored in data lakes and warehouses, and tended to by data engineers and scientists, businesses are now able to access, deal and sort through their own data, which has been formatted and standardised for them. 

In summary

A data mesh frees data from the grips of data engineers and data scientists, and allows business users to extrapolate and interpret it yourself.  As society is learning more about data, it becomes more and more important for businesses to access, manage and own their own data, with the help of experts when required. This is why a data mesh is a beneficial structure for modern day businesses. 

Data doesn’t have to be confusing, and with a data mesh, businesses are able to get the most out of their data.  

Do you want to see the full potential of your data? Find out more about accelerated data management.