Government agencies have more data at their disposal than ever before, but that information is, quite literally, all over the place, held in data lakes, data warehouses, and data marts—and probably also on a backup tape somewhere in Maryland. While the abundance of information in and of itself is a good thing, being unable to bring the data together to create a single view —or a single source of truth —from the data can hamper mission success.
As complex organizations like federal agencies know, the value of data doesn’t come from any one piece of data, or any single data source. What might seem like a good idea in isolation can quickly break down when other sources of information are brought to bear. In order to build this 360-degree view, data needs to be able to be shared quickly and effortlessly between storage and compute, between compute and application, and most importantly, between teams in order to fuel the activities that deliver critical information to military agencies and services to citizens.
To overcome these data challenges and build a single source of truth, agency leaders have tried many different data management platforms but are quickly turning to next-generation platforms that enable them not only to orchestrate multiple data sources, but also scale up and down according to workload. Many agency IT leaders have been burnt by what are now legacy solutions. These once-state-of-the-art platforms require moving data between storage and compute environments, creating multiple copies of data that are quickly outdated by the next compute iteration. This leaves data vulnerable to security and governance issues both at rest and in transit and, to no one’s surprise, leads to frustration at best and multiple opportunities for failure at worst.
With a next-generation cloud data platform, it is possible to shatter the barriers that have prevented federal agencies from putting their data to work for mission success. Below, we’ve outlined seven best practices based on a recent whitepaper from Snowflake that will enable your agency to step away from constantly managing data storage environments and instead focus on putting that data to work for mission success with a single source of truth.
Best Practice #1: Separate for Success
Check that the architecture separates storage and compute resources. In this way all workloads can simultaneously leverage only the compute power they need, when they need it, without contention.
Best Practice #2: Unify and Automate
While putting the data your agency has squirreled away to work is the most important outcome, what happens to data along the way is critical. Being able to unify security, governance, and metadata management helps to not only protect data, but also optimize workload performance, eliminate resource content, and ensure consistency.
Best Practice #3: Be Agnostic
Look for a cloud data platform that supports data loading and analytics on mixed data formats with complete transactional integrity. This guarantees the accuracy of all database transactions and ensures optimal performance for all types of queries.
Best Practice #4: Let’s Talk Security – Once More for the People in the Back
There will never be enough discussion about data security. Whether at rest or in transit your data needs to be protected. As well as being highly valuable in service of the mission, in the wrong hands data can be used to counter mission success. Make sure the data platform you choose emphasizes encryption, access control, and other targeted protocols within an overall cybersecurity protocol.
Best Practice #5: Be Flexible, Be Fresh
One of the very worst things that can happen to data besides being caught up in a data breach or ransomware attack is moving it. Those terabytes and petabytes are a heavy lift and will consume available storage and compute resources in a flash, shortly after the data have finally made it to where you want them to be. But, with the right data platform, it’s possible for your data to always be live, ready to use, and fresh.
Ready to find out about the last two best practices? You can do that here…