Like many small and mid-sized businesses, Denodo’s application and IT infrastructure had grown organically over several years. As the business grew, new applications were implemented, and new reports were needed. The applications were a mixture of home-grown applications created in the early days of the company, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS), and SaaS applications, and, more recently, external systems. As Denodo sold software subscriptions through the three major cloud service provider (CSP) marketplaces, i.e., Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), we also needed to get sales, customer, and usage data from these data marketplaces.
An Obstructed View of the Data Marketplace
Over time, it became increasingly difficult to get an overall view of the state of our business and to implement and manage the appropriate KPIs and controls. Data was trapped in different applications – Salesforce, NetSuite, SAP, SuccessFactors, etc. – and in numerous files – Excel spreadsheets, exported CSV files, and so on. It was typical to run a report in Salesforce, export the data to a spreadsheet, and then manually combine the Salesforce data with data exported from another application. So, getting visibility into the state of our company and its operations was turning into a lengthy, error-prone, manual process. Because Denodo is a U.S.-based company, we also had to comply with U.S. Government restrictions about dealings with people on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list managed by the Treasury Department.
In other words, Denodo’s data landscape was typical of many mid-sized enterprises – it was an eclectic mixture of systems that had grown organically to meet the needs of a rapidly growing organization. So we used our own data integration platform, the Denodo Platform, to create an internal data marketplace that would enable authorized users to quickly and easily access the data they needed. This data marketplace would solve another problem – data inconsistency. As users exported and combined data, they created inconsistencies as well as multiple versions of what was, ostensibly, the same report or KPI. This data marketplace would provide a single, consistent view of the data and key metrics, and it would remove the confusion and disagreements over who had the most correct, accurate data.
The Market is Open
Our data marketplace –connects to our various data sources, combining, and curating the data into “business-ready” views, and then it exposes these views through the Denodo Data Catalog and several BI tools, such as Power BI, for KPI dashboards.
The catalog is a key part of our data marketplace. It enables users to search and browse the available data to quickly find what they need. They can view the data schema – the structure and attributes of the data entity – to understand everything about the available data. Users can also query the data, if they have the appropriate access privileges and export the results to a CSV file or an Excel spreadsheet.
The Data in Action
So, how did our data marketplace help Denodo? As the curated, integrated data from our underlying systems became readily available, decision makers – whether departmental managers or company executives – found it much easier to use data to inform their decisions. For example, they can now easily compare quarter-by-quarter trends for new customer subscriptions across the various cloud marketplaces. In the past, the data for each cloud marketplace had to be requested from the Cloud Operations team, who would then gather the data for the AWS, Azure, and Google cloud accounts, export the data into CSV files, and email these to the requestor. Now, anyone who needs the data can just connect to the data marketplace, using the Data Catalog or a BI/reporting tool such as Power BI, and immediately get the data.
This ease of access encouraged further use of our marketplace. It has now become a critical component of Denodo’s data infrastructure and, whenever a new system is added to our portfolio of applications and tools, it is also added to the growing list of data sources for our data marketplace. Our data marketplace breaks down the data silos before they can even form!
Getting Started with Data Marketplace
Denodo offers several resources to help you to learn more about using the Denodo Platform to build a data marketplace, including:
- Webinar: The role of AI-powered recommendations engines in a data marketplace
- Webinar: Governing data marketplaces with a logical data fabric
- Webinar: Data virtualization: the smartest way to create a data marketplace
- Solution Brief: A data services marketplace, at your service
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