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Enterprise Data Management

Understanding DataOps Adoption and it's Best Practices

Chandan Gaur | 27 December 2022

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Introduction to DataOps

The first thing to understand before getting started with DataOps is to understand what it is. So let's talk about DataOps.

DataOps or data operation is referred to as practice, perfection, and quality, which brings agility, speed, and assurance to the end-to-end pipeline process from collecting data to delivery of data.

All you need to know to get started with DataOps will be covered in this article, from the definition of what it is to how we can get started with it and why dataOps.

What is DataOps?

DataOps is the orchestration of people, technology, and process to ensure and deliver the trusted and required data to data citizens, fast operation teams, and applications throughout the life cycle to get insight from that data.DataOps do not only deal with manipulating data. In today's automated environment where AI and other teams are involved and struggling to get data on time here, it's DataOps's responsibility to provide the data on time and in an automated way to analyze that in more real-time to gain insight from it.

Why do we need Dataops?

  • It tackles challenges that come while accessing, preparing, integrating, and making data available, also inefficiency while dealing with evolving data.
  • It provides better data management and directs better and more available data. More and better data direct better analysis, fostering better insights, business strategies, and higher productivity and profitability.
  • DataOps seeks to collaborate between data scientists, data analysts, engineers, and technologists so that every team is working in sync to get data more appropriately and in less time. 
  • Companies that succeed in taking an agile decision and intended approach to data science are four times more likely than their less data-driven peers to see growth that exceeds shareholder expectations.
  • Many of the services we think of today — Facebook, Netflix, and others — have already adopted these approaches that fall under the DataOps umbrella.

Click to learn Composable Data Processing with a Case study

What DataOps people do?

So, we know what DataOps is, right? Now, we will learn more about what these people do, their responsibility, their actions, and the effect of their actions on other teams.

DataOps (also known as modern data engineering and data operation engineering) is the way of rapid data delivery and improvement in the enterprise (just as DevOps is for the development of the software) by using best practices.

Aims of DataOps people mentioned below:

  • DataOps aims to streamline and align the process, including designing, developing, and maintaining applications based on data and data analytics.
  • It seeks to improve the way data should be managed and products to be created and coordinate these improvements with the business goals.
  • Like DevOps, DataOps follows agile methodology. This approach value includes continuous delivery of analytic insights to satisfy the customer at most.
  • To make the most of DataOps(data operation), enterprises must be mature enough in the process of data management strategies to deal with data at scale and in response to real-world events as they happen.
  • In effect to DataOps, everything starts with the data consumer and ends with the data consumer because that's who is going to turn data into business value. 
  • Data preparers, who provide the expository link between data suppliers and data consumers. Data preparers include Data Engineers and ETL professionals empowered with DataOps agile approach and interoperable, best-of-breed tools.
  • Data supplier, who is the source owner that provides data. Data suppliers can be any company, organization, individual who wants to make decisions over their data and get insightful information for their data-driven success. 

Example of Dataops

All these medley skilled, separately tasked, and individually motivated people must coordinate under a skilled conductor (DataOps/modern data engineering and the CDO) who will earn unified and mission-oriented data to the business at scale and accuracy.

Skills to get started with DataOps

Here we can talk about how you can start and skill that will help for your DataOps success. Understanding this skill set can speed up your journey with DataOps. These are basic and must for starting with DataOps.

  1. Basic architecture/data pipelines 

    From ingestion to storage to presentation layers/production processes/automation of analytics: Involves developing data pipelines and automation of pipeline executions.

  2. Database / SQL / Data Marts / Data Models / (also Hadoop / Spark / NoSQL - if those platforms are in the project)/ Data Management system

    It involves the storage of your data, accessing data, managing, and handling of data, data governance, and uses of data catalog find the data that they need.

  3. ETL / Data APIs / Data-movement / Kafka

    It involves moving and transforming data from your sources to your targets and accessing data through APIs for different applications.

  4. Cloud Platforms (any of the popular ones) / Networks / Servers / Containers / Docker / Bash / CLI / Amazon Web Services/Redshift (for data warehousing)

    It's a lot of fun building models on our laptops, but to build real-world models, most companies are going to need cloud-like power for which one should have a good understanding of these skill sets.

  5. Data Manipulation and Preparation / Python, Java, and Scala programming languages

    Programming languages understanding must build the pipeline, manipulate, and prepare the data.

  6. Understanding the basics of distributed systems / Analytics tools

    Hadoop is one of the most used tools for distributed file storage. The Apache Hadoop software library is the framework that makes use of a distributed file system for large data processing across the cluster of computers using a simple programming model, on the other hand, the spark is a unified analytics engine for large-scale data processing. 

  7. Knowledge of algorithms and data structures

    Data engineers mainly focus on data filtering, data preparation, and data optimization. Having a basic knowledge of algorithms can boost your understanding to visualize the big picture of the organization's overall data function and define checkpoints and end goals for the business problem at hand.

  8. Versioning tools

    A git-like version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.

Other important core adroitness includes knowledge of logical and physical data models, data-loading best practices, orchestration of processes and containers.DataOps practices revolve around Python skills. But understanding R, scala,Lambdas, Git, Jenkins, IDE, and other containers would be "a big boost to standardizing and automating the pipeline."

Hence, now you know what DataOps, how they help and speedup data pipelines delivery, best practices that they follow to have better data management and deals with big data in a skillful way, save time and cost, and lead a better data analyst team by saving their time by managing and delivering data to their end.

Best Practices of DataOps

Best Practices of Dataops are mentioned below:

Democratize data

One of the most significant impediments to the adoption of intelligent technologies that have the potential to revolutionize your organization's decision-making capabilities is data access. For more significant insights related to dynamical factors and real-world scenarios, AI technologies require ongoing training with new data.

Go open source

Open-source solutions that meet industry standards and interact with existing (and legacy) technology without requiring extensive customization are encouraged by DataOps. Because of the flexibility and availability of open-source technologies, you can create your data processing pipeline, which has both advantages and disadvantages when done incorrectly.

Automate where possible

Data processing necessitates a great deal of automation, from infrastructure provisioning to data transformation and metadata capture. The proper application of automation in the repetitive data flow saves time on resource-intensive operations.

However, a word of warning about automatons is that automating everything, like DevOps, may not be ideal. Automating waste processes has the opposite effect of increasing production.

Communicate & collaborate

The premise of DataOps is that data assets do not belong to specific teams or individuals. IT, data engineers, operations teams, and teams from other business units should be able to work on data assets and insights within the confines of security and governance standards.DataOps considers data to be a joint asset that crosses corporate boundaries.

Two essential changes will occur in a genuine DataOps environment:

 

  1. Remove the instinct to control ownership of information assets systematically (data).
  2. Provide teams across organizational departments with the tools and training they need to use data.

End-to-end design thinking

Consider the end-to-end data processing pipeline in light of DevOps, Agile, and Lean manufacturing principles. This may necessitate a significant shift in your organization's operational routines and culture.

Any modifications should be based on:

  • End-users point of view
  • Impacts on the business as a whole

Use automation tools and advanced AI technologies to give DataOps teams the tools they need to optimize data's value potential.

Balanced governance

Strict governance mechanisms frequently stifle development and the flow of data. They also impede innovation by limiting users to only a few approved technology solutions, which may have a steep learning curve, limited functionality, and harm productivity. As a result, security flaws emerge, such as users embracing Shadow IT on a big scale.

DataOps enterprises can address this issue by maintaining a library of tools and governance policies that simplify the process of seeking, vetting, and providing new data solutions to end-users.

Conclusion

DataOps is a practice which has begun a few years ago as a set of best practices for dealing with big data and supporting evolving data in an organization and dealing with them skillfully. Still, it has now matured to become for leading organizations to a new data analyst.

Fortunately, getting started with DataOps doesn't require going back to school for a degree in data engineering or any other certification. In many ways, IT engineers already have the foundational skills for data operations and data management. They need to stretch their thinking and toolsets to support data operations.