Empowering Users to Mine the Data Lake, Energize a Data Catalog and Return Big ROI

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Case Study
  3. Production and Business Value
  4. Retrospective
  5. About William McKnight

1. Summary

As the Internet of Things (IoT), online platforms, and digital tracking of customers, assets, and stock levels begin to proliferate, so does the data. The growth of data lakes, that is, highly scalable, centralized data repositories, is a response to this explosion of data. But a data lake is useless if the data within it is not accessible or usable. A data catalog is an ideal solution, but introducing these to a large organization can be challenging and is fraught with pitfalls.

In this Business Technology Impact report, we take a look at a large multi-national firm and its implementation of a data lake and data catalog. Within the company, a small team worked to transform the data lake from an underutilized, misunderstood ‘white elephant’ into a resource that drove the company’s growth and innovation.

By following clear goals, creating engagement, and building an enthusiastic community, the team found their business partners helped to develop the data lake into a dynamic, usable asset.

This approach allowed the company to achieve significant business goals. Their unique and inclusive roadmap to success built a community and a valuable resource, while guaranteeing a healthy Return on Investment (ROI).

Outcomes from this approach:

  • Illustrating to the users the desired results from working with data built interest in the project
  • The team built an enthused, engaged internal community by working with users, rather than leadership
  • Opening the tool selection process allowed the team to do widespread testing in real-world scenarios that ensured the correct toolset was chosen
  • The extensive use of the data lake and data catalog improved ROI and increased the visibility of the platform, expanding its adoption further – a positive feedback loop
  • Gamification was used to encourage more use of the Data Catalog and Data Lake
  • Facilitating self-service has freed up the IT function from many routine tasks, empowered users and created greater ROI
  • By continuing to evangelize about the data lake and data catalog, the team continues to build its community and ensure the widespread use and improvement of the data lake

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