It is very difficult to not hear or read about data mesh these days. I have read plenty of articles, listened to dozens of podcasts and watched numerous Youtube videos. What I was looking for was some practical guidance on how to implement a data mesh in an organization.
Technology, Cultural & Organizational Change
First of all, I think it is important to understand the problem a data mesh is trying to solve. In my understanding it is a set of principles that targets to overcome the bottleneck of central data platforms. These principles are:
- domain-oriented decentralized data ownership and architecture
- data as a product
- self-serve data infrastructure as a platform
- federated computational governance
Visit Data Mesh Principles and Logical Architecture (martinfowler.com) to read more about the four principles.
If I think about it in a more practical way, these principles can’t be applied only by technology. It is clear to me that the harder part is to change the organization & culture in a way that we can overcome the scalability issues of the central data platforms.
Does an Agile organization help?
Personally, I find it difficult to envison a successful data mesh adoption in an organization that doesn’t have teams owning products e2e. In that sense, the data mesh adoption could be seen as a logical next step to empower teams to not only own the operational services, but also the data products.
Proof of Concept
When I think about the data mesh adoption, it is not enough to just do a technical PoC, we have to include the the cultural and organizational aspects from day one. For instance, do a PoC that spans three different teams: consumer, provider and data platform.