- The need to access data from complex systems distributed across multiple architectures and hosting environments
- The increasing pace of technical change leading to an ever larger number of potential data sources
- Demand for faster data to fuel real time systems in marketing and elsewhere
- Demand for more data (data scientists and advanced analytics use cases need to see data across an organization, not just in the traditional data warehouse)
In order to address this set of issues, we, at Cimpress, follow the emerging "data mesh" approach and have launched a new Data Portal at its centre. The data mesh approach is a way of organizing people and technology to allow organizations to extract value from their data at scale. The company thinks of their data mesh as a marketplace where data producers ("people that know something") and consumers ("people that want to know something") come together, supported by a set of powerful self-service tools, and without the centralized gate-keepers that have slowed innovation in traditional centralized BI setups.
This model has proven to be immensely helpful for us, as a technology organization and as a business. Within the data mesh, Cimpress created "data domains" to establish clear ownership of key facts within technology and analytics teams. These teams create data products, indexed in the company's Data Portal, that they can share with one another freely and securely using self-service tools. Data sharing is no longer limited by how quickly a central BI team can obtain and model the data. A "data product owners" group is thinking about how their data can deliver value to businesses, defining standards for interoperation and quality. The company provides toolkits for data transformation, visualization, and machine learning that enforce the minimal necessary governance and make it easier to create powerful data products.
Within the ever growing network of companies at Cimpress that need to share data with one another and central functions, the company's data mesh plays an essential role in allowing their businesses to coordinate effectively. Cimpress also has big opportunities in analytics, automation, and machine learning in diverse areas like procurement, product recommendation, and image processing. With the data mesh being a technology agnostic approach that allows for multiple tools and future flexibility, the company is very hopeful for its growth and excited about its potential to transform diverse areas of businesses. In the future, Cimpress is expanding their teams in India and elsewhere to build new capabilities like automated data quality checking and improvements to systems for ML model management.
On this, Mr. Christopher Bova, Senior Director, Technology, Cimpress, says, "Data is one of the most important assets of any business and has incredible potential to power growth within Cimpress. The creation of the Data Portal marks a new phase in our ongoing investments in this area and I'm really excited to see what we can accomplish when we stop thinking of data simply as a by-product of other activities and instead begin treating it as a valuable product in itself."