What’s information structure? | GoodData


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

Knowledge structure refers back to the mannequin, guidelines, and requirements that doc all of a company’s information belongings. It maps the information movement between these belongings and your entire enterprise system. These information belongings encompass information fashions, databases, paperwork, footage, and spreadsheets, which carry information that’s related to the group’s worth chain, or which comprise strategic or operational price.

Knowledge Structure Overview

A profitable information structure system ensures that information is accurately maintained and helps an organization’s enterprise wants. To attain this purpose, 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’ll give attention to fashionable information structure of cloud environments. Let’s check out its fundamental schema:

Modern data architecture overview
Picture inspiration: SDG Group

The databases, purposes, and instruments you could be conversant in all make up completely different parts of the bigger information 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.

Parts of Knowledge Structure

The primary parts of an information structure schema embrace:

  • Knowledge sources the place information is gathered and saved
  • An information warehouse platform the place information is transferred to by way of information pipelines
  • BI instruments which devour the information

Knowledge Sources

Knowledge sources are the varied assets and kinds through which firms retailer their information. These can embrace relational databases, spreadsheets, flat information, PDFs, and paperwork. This information may be collected from enterprise purposes (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 information sources are related for his or her use case earlier than changing and transferring their information to an information warehouse — a centralized information retailer. We’ll elaborate on this in a second.

Knowledge Pipelines

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

Knowledge Warehouse Platform

As beforehand talked about, information warehouses are the situation the place information is saved after being reworked and moved by information pipelines. As soon as the information has reached the warehouse, it undergoes a two-step course of:

  • Staging layer: The aim of this layer is to gather information from completely different information sources. It typically replaces information lakes containing uncooked or unprocessed information. Knowledge scientists and particular instruments will assist customers to grasp and translate this information to generate insights for varied enterprise functions.
  • Modeling layer: This layer incorporates information that has already been reworked and is saved in central information warehouses, the place separate information marts are created with related information for particular enterprise areas. This information is then analyzed utilizing varied BI instruments by each technical and non-technical customers.

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

BI and Analytics Instruments

Lastly, information is moved to the top consumer’s BI and analytics instruments as a way 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 by way of interactive information visualizations, but additionally by way of APIs and written code.

Knowledge Structure Rules

Thinking about studying how one can efficiently construct a contemporary information structure system? We’ve recognized some key ideas of profitable information structure techniques that will help you to grasp the necessities of making information structure. By conserving your information structure (and every particular person part) persistent, clear, and accountable, you possibly can enhance your group’s complete information technique.

Listed below are the principle ideas:

Data architecture main principles

Knowledge Sharing and Open Entry

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

Open entry ensures that customers have common entry to information with out restrictions, which may very well be extra necessities for granting entry or particular position possession. Offering builders with acceptable permissions and self-service capabilities to view and modify the information structure can assist your staff mitigate points as they arrive up and proceed working with out interruption, reasonably than ready for IT to resolve the problem.

Frequent Vocabulary

Everybody working together with your information and its structure should agree on the terminology that can be used to explain objects starting from the principle 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 information utilization.

Safety and Entry Management

Knowledge is a beneficial asset that requires excessive safety towards theft and abuse. Nevertheless, information supposed for various enterprise use circumstances require various ranges of safety.

Simply because it’s essential to make sure that customers have acceptable entry to information and the group’s information structure, it’s equally very important to ascertain enough safety measures in your group. This could embrace creating backups of knowledge and restoration plans, in addition to organising acceptable authentication components for customers working with delicate buyer information. Your safety staff ought to be geared up to rapidly scale and decide which information requires multilevel safety in addition to assign acceptable permissions to every consumer in order that your information stays protected.

Knowledge Consumption

Your information will have to be accessed and analyzed by each technical and non-technical customers for various use circumstances. These customers ought to be geared up to work together with information sources utilizing direct queries and instructions. Knowledge consumption strategies could embrace the usage of API for net providers, OLAP for enterprise intelligence, and SQL for information analysts.

Flexibility, Scalability and Agility

The perfect standards {that a} up to date information structure system should obtain are flexibility, scalability and agility. The structure ought to be adaptable sufficient to keep away from emergencies, permitting for fast reactions to exterior modifications or consumer base progress.

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

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


Knowledge structure aligns integration, high quality enchancment, and profitable information supply. Usually, it helps organizations to:

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

Knowledge structure combines requirements, ideas, tips, and processes that assist organizations to understand information belongings and create a framework for remodeling information into significant data.

Able to be taught extra?

If you happen to’d prefer to be taught extra about information structure, try our GoodData Structure Overview e-book. To see how GoodData can complement your group’s information structure, request a demo with considered one of our consultants at this time.


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