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What is a Modern Data Stack?

by Ramesh Panuganty, Founder & CEO

What is a Modern Data Stack?

by Ramesh Panuganty, Founder & CEO

Exploring data to derive insights is not just limited to analysts and data scientists. Business users have also realized the importance of making insight-driven decisions. Organizations are now turning to modern data stacks that help simplify the entire data analytics process and give more access and control to users.

A modern data stack is a set of tools used to extract, store, process, analyze, and present data. These cloud-based SaaS tools are easy to set up and offer the benefits of scalability, flexibility, and agility.

A modern data stack comprises of the following components:

  1. Data Pipeline that connects and ingests data from different sources
  2. Data Warehouse that stores all collected data
  3. Data Transformation tool that makes data user-friendly and easy to query
  4. Data Visualization and BI to present extracted insights in an easily understandable way
  5. Data Governance policies to manage data security and access

Transformation from ETL to self-service data platforms

In the traditional data world, the first alphabets anyone would ever learn were ETL – Extract, Transform, Load. It was the first step in the data analytics process. It was also an excruciatingly long and tedious process. But with the emergence of the modern data stack, ETL has become more of a service than a standalone process.

The modern data stack operates on the core principle of self-service. Self-service data platforms enable business users to execute analytical tasks without requiring help from IT. This allows them to do more with their own data and to make decisions for themselves. These modern platforms also free up analysts from mundane reporting tasks to focus on innovation. Simply put, a modern data stack delivers a modern data experience to every user.

What are the benefits of choosing a modern data stack?

A modern data stack can effectively handle the ever-increasing volume of data, as the world becomes more and more digitized. The following are some benefits of choosing a modern data stack:

  • Provides flexibility and cost savings: Since a modern data stack is primarily cloud-based, it saves considerable hardware costs and other maintenance. Also, its plug-and-play deployment ensures faster setups and provides flexibility to scale as business needs change.
  • Encourages the culture of self-service: A modern data stack is a data infrastructure that can be easily accessed and managed by all the stakeholders in the organization. With a focus on self-service, it acts as an enabler for all types of users, thus reducing dependencies on analysts.
  • Enables better understanding through data visualization: Data visualization is an important part of any modern data stack. It enables everyone to see and understand their data better. This helps them to make smarter decisions and make better use of their time.
  • Ensures data privacy and security: A modern data stack helps to manage access to sensitive data and implement data governance policies while allowing users across the organization to use data for analytical tasks

Things to look for in a modern data stack

Since every organization is different, it is important to find the right partners who provide a modern data stack that fits your needs. When you are looking for a modern data stack, you have to ensure that the components are able to scale horizontally and elastically depending on your business requirements.

The following are some points to be considered while selecting a modern data stack.

Ease of Setting Up

Setting up a modern data stack is much easier today. Most tools in a modern data stack are SaaS tools with plug-and-play features that makes deployments faster, without requiring a lot of technical expertise. With the right tools and services, you can set up a data pipeline in minutes that will collect, process, and analyze your data. Choosing tools that offer prebuilt connectors makes data integration quick and effortless.

Powerful Insights with Less Efforts

Data is often scattered and siloed in different systems, making it difficult for decision makers to get a complete view. With a modern data stack, it becomes easy to break these silos, index data from multiple sources, and offer a single touch point from where users can query their data. A modern data stack leverages the benefits of natural language search, artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning models. This helps users interact with data quickly and effortlessly to extract insights, without any dependencies or delays.

Robust Data Governance and Security

A modern data stack ensures data privacy and security at every component level, from storing and encrypting data to preventing unauthorized access. Data governance policies ensure that the right user has access to the right data. Modern technologies provide protection from data breaches and attacks and ensure compliance with government and organization security policies. Choosing tools that provide total control over data and enable granular access can help organizations open up access to more users and at the same time protect sensitive data.

Interactive Data Visualizations

Effective data visualization enables decision makers to identify trends and patterns that might be hidden in text-based data. Data presented in a graphical form helps clarify and highlight patterns and relationships within different entities. Common data visualizations include line, bar, and pie charts, stacked charts, scatter plots, tree maps, and so on. Tools that offer interactive visualizations help users examine data through different viewpoints and provide controls to drill further and explore.

Clear Data Observability

Data observability refers to monitoring, tracking, and triaging of incidents to prevent downtime. Downtime occurs when data is inaccurate, partial, missing, or contains errors. It leads to wastage of time and efforts and results in inaccurate decisions. A modern data stack that focuses on data observability is a must-have today, especially when data comes through multiple sources and in varied formats. Choosing tools that evaluate data quality on multiple parameters and identify gaps and inconsistencies can help prevent expensive mistakes.

When should I upgrade to a modern data stack?

There are a few reasons why you should consider upgrading to a modern data stack.

  • Protecting sensitive data: The threat of cyber attacks is real and old systems can be vulnerable to such attacks. The sensitive data stored on your servers needs to be protected with the latest technology stack.
  • Preventing data breaches: Upgrading ensures that your organization has the latest protection policies in place to prevent data breaches and other security issues.
  • Empowering teams: Your employees should be able to take advantage of new tools that help them increase productivity and make smart decisions.

How MachEye ticks all the boxes for a modern data stack

MachEye is a modern data stack that helps businesses unlock growth by providing them with the right insights on their data. MachEye’s self-service platform lets business users explore, analyze, and visualize their data all by themselves, removing the dependency on analysts. It provides an end-to-end solution for data analysis, visualization, observability, and governance. MachEye’s interactive data visualizations turn data into audio-visual insight stories that help users to engage with data easily and to make better insight-driven decisions.

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