Anjana Data opens the melon: Data Mesh and Data Fabric

Uncategorized, 17 April 2023 |

At Anjana Data we were eager to present you the document ‘Quick Answer: How Are Organizations Overcoming Issues to Start Their Data Fabric or Mesh?’ by Gartner, as it covers two of the hottest topics currently among the communities of Data Management experts and which several of our anjanaeros have been talking about lately during their participation in round tables at events. Therefore, taking advantage of this article from Gartner, we want to put the focus on this topic and also tell you our vision about it.

According to their own definition, Data Mesh and Data Fabric are two concepts linked to data architecture and infrastructure that aim to improve the management and integration of data between different systems, applications and users. Most organisations think they have to choose between Data Fabric and Data Mesh; but according to Gartner (and we think so too), this is a false dichotomy and should be avoided: they work both separately and together, although it is true that the value they can bring together is much greater than separately: Data Fabric approaches the challenges from a point of view closer to the technology platform (technology as a medium) and Data Mesh is more oriented towards the vision of what our data architecture needs to look like in order to generate data products (the ultimate goal is the creation and management of data products to generate value for the organisation).

In this sense, both Data Fabric and Data Mesh benefit more from considerations of not only the data, but also the existing infrastructure in order to eliminate “rip and replace” thinking to “leverage and reuse” existing infrastructure components. Despite what many believe (mostly due to lack of knowledge) and what many transmit (obviously due to their own interests), today, in order for organizations to start obtaining value from data, it is not necessary to simply throw away everything that has been built for years at the infrastructure level and with different technological pieces, but rather to think that this was done at the time for a reason and the first thing to do is to evaluate whether it still makes sense within the new ecosystem that is to be built. And this is not only a matter of return on investment (it must have cost a lot of money to do this and it has not yet been fully profitable) but also a matter of efficiency and change management, as it will always be much easier to manage small incremental changes or additions to the current ecosystem than to face gigantic changes that involve a clean slate.

Gartner therefore proposes that each organization should make a holistic analysis of its current data ecosystem and choose the specific domains or areas in which the Data Fabric concept can best fit, identifying the potential risks for each case but above all the improvement points that are expected to be obtained in order to achieve the objectives set and thus be able to achieve the benefits derived. In parallel, the same should be done with the Data Mesh concept and then both analyses should be combined to decide in which cases a joint approach will be implemented and in which cases separate approaches will be implemented.

At the end of the day, as Anjana Data professionals have defended on different occasions, it is about creating a ‘tailor-made suit‘ that meets the needs of each organization and for this it is first necessary to carry out a good analysis of the current situation we have and the future situation we want to reach, because as they say “one size never fits all”. Here the recommendation is always to have a clear strategy and go little by little (think big, start small) and not try to make a gigantic Big-Bang, as with the implementation of any Data Governance initiative. And since we are talking about Data Governance, this also has a lot to say in the Data Fabric and Data Mesh approaches as these will always have to be aligned with the Data Strategy and with everything defined at the Governance level (Operating Model, Policies, Procedures, Standards, …). That is why it is important that when we want to tackle Data Fabric and/or Data Mesh initiatives, we review everything defined in terms of governance and analyse its impact because we will not only have to follow what is marked but we will probably need to review existing policies, evolve our operating model (especially with Data Mesh, which proposes a federated model) and design new procedures and standards for our ecosystem.

Talking about the impact this may have on Data Governance and how relevant it should be for an organization, we realise how important it is not only to have an established Data Office, with the different mechanisms necessary to ensure proper data governance and the involvement of the different areas and stakeholders involved in data management, but also how important it is to have a flexible technological platform that allows you to face all these challenges with guarantees from a business-oriented vision and with a technology-agnostic approach to data processing.

Therefore, although the concepts of Data Fabric and Data Mesh have become fashionable now, Anjana Data was already conceived with this type of approach and its philosophy in mind, and this is something that makes it truly different from other types of existing solutions on the market. We all know that when we talk about “Data Governance”, buying technology does not solve the problem by far and having a specific tool is not enough (it is not even necessary to start with the initiative), but having the right technological pieces in our architecture stack can be a very decisive factor when we really want to scale our governance initiative and grow in maturity in data management (let’s not forget that concepts such as Data Fabric and Data Mesh require a minimum of maturity in data management to be implemented successfully).

With Anjana Data we can have all the guarantees of having a totally flexible and business-oriented Data Governance & Analytics Platform, which allows us to integrate both concepts of data architecture in our ecosystem in a totally agnostic way to the rest of the technological pieces and aligned with a proactive and preventive governance model suitable for any organization regardless of its degree of maturity in terms of data management. We can say that Anjana Data is the perfect technological ally for organizations that really want to succeed with their Data Fabric and Data Mesh initiatives from a business point of view.

As mentioned above, Gartner presents Data Mesh as the goal and Data Fabric as the means, both being complementary and necessary. Find out all the details about these two concepts in the document ‘Quick Answer: How Are Organizations Overcoming Issues to Start Their Data Fabric or Mesh?’

About the Author: Angela Miñana Francés