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What’s information structure? | GoodData

To ensure that information to be consumed in significant dashboards and visualizations, it should journey by numerous phases of a bigger system. What does this whole course of appear to be, begin to end? How is information in its uncooked type reworked into insights that result in enterprise choices? These questions may be answered by information structure.

Information structure refers back to the mannequin, guidelines, and requirements that doc all of a corporation’s information belongings. It maps the info stream between these belongings and your entire enterprise system. These information belongings consist of information fashions, databases, paperwork, footage, and spreadsheets, which carry information that’s related to the group’s worth chain, or which comprise strategic or operational price.

Information Structure Overview

A profitable information structure system ensures that information is appropriately maintained and helps an organization’s enterprise wants. To attain this purpose, we have to perceive how the elements of information structure work collectively in addition to implement sure rules or requirements to make sure success

On this article we are going to give attention to fashionable information structure of cloud environments. Let’s check out its primary schema:

Modern data architecture overview
Picture inspiration: SDG Group

The databases, functions, and instruments you could be accustomed to all make up completely different elements of the bigger information structure system. What’s the function of every particular person part and the way do they work together with each other? Let’s break it down piece by piece.

Parts of Information Structure

The principle elements of a knowledge structure schema embrace:

  • Information sources the place information is gathered and saved
  • A knowledge warehouse platform the place information is transferred to through information pipelines
  • BI instruments which devour the info

Information Sources

Information sources are the assorted sources and types wherein corporations retailer their information. These can embrace relational databases, spreadsheets, flat recordsdata, PDFs, and paperwork. This information may be collected from enterprise functions (e.g., CRM, ERP, LOB), separate databases, or third-party distributors that conduct analysis for a given firm. The corporate should decide which of those information sources are related for his or her use case earlier than changing and transferring their information to a knowledge warehouse — a centralized information retailer. We’ll elaborate on this in a second.

Information Pipelines

The info from the assorted information sources can now be moved by information pipelines right into a centralized information warehouse. This stage of the processes can embrace preliminary information loading, steady and extendable information processing, and information change seize, which allows the detection and replication of modifications within the underlying information supply to the info warehouse.

Information Warehouse Platform

As beforehand talked about, information warehouses are the situation the place information is saved after being reworked and moved by information pipelines. As soon as the info has reached the warehouse, it undergoes a two-step course of:

  • Staging layer: The aim of this layer is to gather information from completely different information sources. It typically replaces information lakes containing uncooked or unprocessed information. Information scientists and particular instruments will assist customers to grasp and translate this information to generate insights for numerous enterprise functions.
  • Modeling layer: This layer incorporates information that has already been reworked and is saved in central information warehouses, the place separate information marts are created with related information for particular enterprise areas. This information is then analyzed utilizing numerous BI instruments by each technical and non-technical customers.

In a contemporary information structure schema, transformation processes happen between the staging and modeling layer. These information integration processes are designed to gather information from supply programs, consolidate the info, and cargo it into information warehouses or information lakes.

BI and Analytics Instruments

Lastly, information is moved to the tip person’s BI and analytics instruments in an effort to analyze it and extract significant worth. Creating dashboards and insights in addition to including personalized metrics is feasible not solely by BI and analytics instruments through interactive information visualizations, but in addition by APIs and written code.

Information Structure Rules

Serious about studying methods to efficiently construct a contemporary information structure system? We’ve recognized some key rules of profitable information structure programs that will help you to grasp the necessities of making information structure. By holding your information structure (and every particular person part) persistent, clear, and accountable, you may enhance your group’s complete information technique.

Listed below are the primary rules:

Data architecture main principles

Information Sharing and Open Entry

Each inner and exterior customers should be capable of entry related information when wanted and share it amongst their associated crew members or departments.

Open entry ensures that customers have common entry to information with out restrictions, which could possibly be extra necessities for granting entry or particular position possession. Offering builders with acceptable permissions and self-service capabilities to view and modify the info structure may help your crew mitigate points as they arrive up and proceed working with out interruption, relatively than ready for IT to resolve the difficulty.

Widespread Vocabulary

Everybody working together with your information and its structure should agree on the terminology that shall be used to explain gadgets starting from the primary architectural elements to particular person metrics. Agreeing on a standard terminology will be sure that customers throughout groups and departments can talk successfully and forestall misunderstandings in information utilization.

Safety and Entry Management

Information is a useful asset that requires excessive safety towards theft and abuse. Nonetheless, information meant for various enterprise use circumstances require various ranges of safety.

Simply because it’s essential to make sure that customers have acceptable entry to information and the group’s information structure, it’s equally very important to determine sufficient safety measures in your group. This may embrace creating backups of information and restoration plans, in addition to organising acceptable authentication components for customers working with delicate buyer information. Your safety crew must be geared up to shortly scale and decide which information requires multilevel safety in addition to assign acceptable permissions to every person in order that your information stays protected.

Information Consumption

Your information will have to be accessed and analyzed by each technical and non-technical customers for various use circumstances. These customers must be geared up to work together with information sources utilizing direct queries and instructions. Information consumption methods could embrace using API for net companies, OLAP for enterprise intelligence, and SQL for information analysts.

Flexibility, Scalability and Agility

The perfect standards {that a} modern information structure system should obtain are flexibility, scalability and agility. The structure must be adaptable sufficient to keep away from emergencies, permitting for fast reactions to exterior modifications or person base progress.

A multi-tenant atmosphere can allow the efficient and environment friendly scaling of person base numbers and enterprise information sources with out creating duplicates of information sources.

Scalability and suppleness foster agility and permit organizations to shortly adapt to market modifications with out important limitations on enterprise efficiency.


Information structure aligns integration, high quality enchancment, and profitable information supply. Typically, it helps organizations to:

  • Perceive the method of information assortment and the way information flows inside a corporation
  • Align future enterprise choices with an underlying information technique
  • Information developments throughout your entire system — from report creation to software integration and information warehouse technique

Information structure combines requirements, rules, pointers, and processes that assist organizations to grasp information belongings and create a framework for remodeling information into significant info.

Able to be taught extra?

In the event you’d wish to be taught extra about information structure, try our GoodData Structure Overview e-book. To see how GoodData can complement your group’s information structure, request a demo with one among our specialists in the present day.



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