Gartner Blog Network

Get Your Enterprise Architects Plugged Into Your Big Data Initiatives

by Mike Walker  |  July 30, 2014  |  7 Comments

This week I released some more research on enterprise architecture. But this time it’s a bit different than what you usually see. For this research I wanted to focus on how EA helps enable impactful initiatives. So to kick that off I chose to publish best practices on Big Data. See the link below:

Best Practices for Successfully Leveraging Enterprise Architecture in Big Data Initiatives
Mike J. Walker

Now this isn’t deep research just on Big Data, there are many others at Gartner that can do that far better than I can. Instead I wanted to communicate the value of having enterprise architects engaged in these initiatives. There are many reasons this is important but in my mind here are the core reasons you should particularly pay attention to this:

  1. Big data need a big strategy. This is a core component of an EA’s DNA. There is a significant value proposition here for EA’s to make big data not just a hobby or technology initiative but make it a true business outcome driven enabler for the company.
  2. Big data initiatives are kicked off by EA’s. Gartner research points out that the enterprise architect is highly likely of kicking off a big data initiatives. They are 3rd in terms of roles kicking this off. EA’s are behind CIO’s and Business Unit Heads.
  3. Information complexity is out of control. Enter in the enterprise information architects (part of EA) to help rationalize the information to drive out value for the company.

Svetlana Sicular highlighted some good points I cover in my research in a post she made on, “Big Botched Data”. While these are not as focused on the enterprise architect role as my research these are good general purpose ones that you will see in much more detail in my research. Here are some of the pitfalls listed:

  • Disagreement on the enterprise strategy.
  • Lacking the right skills.
  • Asking wrong questions.
  • Siloed big data negates the whole idea of having it.

There is a lot more to her post so definitely check it out for the extended details. What I really like about her post is that it is based on a real customer big data failure.

What you will find in this note is:

  1. A  series of crisp recommendations
  2. Challenges and inhibitors to Big Data success
  3. Lots of supporting materials and evidence for you to continue to explore

This research is vital to EA’s because it is in the language and context of an EA. So if you’re an enterprise architect that is planning or already engaged in a big data initiative then check this research out.


Additional Resources

View Free, Relevant Gartner Research

Gartner's research helps you cut through the complexity and deliver the knowledge you need to make the right decisions quickly, and with confidence.

Read Free Gartner Research


Tags: big-data  information-architecture  

Mike Walker
Research Director
1 year at Gartner
18 years IT Industry

Mike J. Walker leads, develops and establishes compelling enterprise architecture research that helps organizations understand how to improve or deploy an enterprise architecture program that will improve business outcomes, realize strategies and improve the quality of business and technology decisions. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Get Your Enterprise Architects Plugged Into Your Big Data Initiatives

  1. […] Source: Get Your Enterprise Architects Plugged Into Your Big Data Initiatives […]

  2. Gerald Gray says:

    Hi Mike, I have been telling our utility members the same thing; the EA team is usually the ones that have the view across silo’s and have the processes and tools required to get requirements from all the people that need to be at the table. For utilities this is typically both IT and operations. Many organizations still struggle with this cross-domain communication. EA can help.

    • Mike Walker says:

      @Gerald – You are on point on this! I see this quite a bit. I talked to a client just yesterday about this very similar topic surrounding information architecture generically. But if you have run across more great examples of creating that unity for cross-team collaboration it would be great to hear about how the EA’s you talk to do that work.Thanks again!

  3. John Nelson says:

    Excellent article, Mike! I am an EA myself and it would be my expectation that I would be “plugged in” to any Big Data initiatives within our organization.

    • Mike Walker says:

      @John – Thanks for continuing the conversation on this along with confirming our research in this area! If you have any other insights outside of the research that you would like to share please feel free.

  4. Mark Bodman says:

    Love the article and the focus on data, the underserved area of EA. Our future is all about data as the amount we are generating in this world is truly astronomical. Without an enterprise architecture perspective being applied, organizations lose track of what’s out there, how it’s managed and most important; getting value from it. Keep up the great work!

    • Mike Walker says:

      Thanks Mark. I’m glad you found the post useful! Keep the comments flowing and if there are areas you would like to learn more about do let me know. Good to hear from you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.