What’s knowledge structure? | GoodData

To ensure that knowledge to be consumed in significant dashboards and visualizations, it should journey by way of numerous phases of a bigger system. What does this complete course of seem like, begin to end? How is knowledge in its uncooked kind reworked into insights that result in enterprise choices? These questions could be answered by way of knowledge structure.

Information structure refers back to the mannequin, guidelines, and requirements that doc all of a company’s knowledge belongings. It maps the info circulate between these belongings and your complete enterprise system. These knowledge belongings include knowledge fashions, databases, paperwork, footage, and spreadsheets, which carry knowledge that’s related to the group’s worth chain, or which comprise strategic or operational value.

Information Structure Overview

A profitable knowledge structure system ensures that knowledge is appropriately maintained and helps an organization’s enterprise wants. To realize this objective, we have to perceive how the parts of knowledge structure work collectively in addition to implement sure ideas or requirements to make sure success

On this article we are going to give attention to trendy knowledge structure of cloud environments. Let’s check out its fundamental schema:

Modern data architecture overview
Picture inspiration: SDG Group

The databases, functions, and instruments you might be acquainted with all make up totally different parts of the bigger knowledge structure system. What’s the goal of every particular person part and the way do they work together with each other? Let’s break it down piece by piece.

Elements of Information Structure

The primary parts of a knowledge structure schema embrace:

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

Information Sources

Information sources are the varied sources and kinds through which corporations retailer their knowledge. These can embrace relational databases, spreadsheets, flat recordsdata, PDFs, and paperwork. This knowledge could 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 knowledge sources are related for his or her use case earlier than changing and transferring their knowledge to a knowledge warehouse — a centralized knowledge retailer. We’ll elaborate on this in a second.

Information Pipelines

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

Information Warehouse Platform

As beforehand talked about, knowledge warehouses are the placement the place knowledge is saved after being reworked and moved by knowledge 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 knowledge from totally different knowledge sources. It usually replaces knowledge lakes containing uncooked or unprocessed knowledge. Information scientists and particular instruments will assist customers to grasp and translate this knowledge to generate insights for numerous enterprise functions.
  • Modeling layer: This layer comprises knowledge that has already been reworked and is saved in central knowledge warehouses, the place separate knowledge marts are created with related knowledge for particular enterprise areas. This knowledge is then analyzed utilizing numerous BI instruments by each technical and non-technical customers.

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

BI and Analytics Instruments

Lastly, knowledge is moved to the tip consumer’s BI and analytics instruments to be able to analyze it and extract significant worth. Creating dashboards and insights in addition to including custom-made metrics is feasible not solely by way of BI and analytics instruments through interactive knowledge visualizations, but additionally by way of APIs and written code.

Information Structure Rules

Fascinated with studying find out how to efficiently construct a contemporary knowledge structure system? We’ve recognized some key ideas of profitable knowledge structure techniques that will help you to grasp the necessities of making knowledge structure. By maintaining your knowledge structure (and every particular person part) persistent, clear, and accountable, you may enhance your group’s complete knowledge technique.

Listed here are the primary ideas:

Data architecture main principles

Information Sharing and Open Entry

Each inner and exterior customers should have the ability to entry related knowledge when wanted and share it amongst their associated group members or departments.

Open entry ensures that customers have common entry to knowledge with out restrictions, which may very well be extra necessities for granting entry or particular position possession. Offering builders with applicable permissions and self-service capabilities to view and modify the info structure may help your group 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 knowledge and its structure should agree on the terminology that shall be used to explain objects starting from the primary architectural parts to particular person metrics. Agreeing on a standard terminology will make sure that customers throughout groups and departments can talk successfully and forestall misunderstandings in knowledge utilization.

Safety and Entry Management

Information is a useful asset that requires excessive safety towards theft and abuse. Nevertheless, knowledge meant for various enterprise use instances require various ranges of safety.

Simply because it’s essential to make sure that customers have applicable entry to knowledge and the group’s knowledge structure, it’s equally important to ascertain sufficient safety measures in your group. This may embrace creating backups of knowledge and restoration plans, in addition to organising applicable authentication components for customers working with delicate buyer knowledge. Your safety group needs to be outfitted to shortly scale and decide which knowledge requires multilevel safety in addition to assign applicable permissions to every consumer in order that your knowledge stays protected.

Information Consumption

Your knowledge will should be accessed and analyzed by each technical and non-technical customers for various use instances. These customers needs to be outfitted to work together with knowledge sources utilizing direct queries and instructions. Information consumption strategies could embrace the usage of API for net providers, OLAP for enterprise intelligence, and SQL for knowledge analysts.

Flexibility, Scalability and Agility

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

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

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


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

  • Perceive the method of knowledge assortment and the way knowledge flows inside a company
  • Align future enterprise choices with an underlying knowledge technique
  • Information developments throughout your complete system — from report creation to utility integration and knowledge warehouse technique

Information structure combines requirements, ideas, tips, and processes that assist organizations to understand knowledge belongings and create a framework for remodeling knowledge into significant info.

Able to study extra?

Should you’d wish to study extra about knowledge structure, take a look at our GoodData Structure Overview e-book. To see how GoodData can complement your group’s knowledge structure, request a demo with one among our specialists immediately.

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