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HomeBig DataDr. Martens Drives Information Transparency and Transformation with Atlan

Dr. Martens Drives Information Transparency and Transformation with Atlan

Legendary Client Model Improves Information Discoverability, Affect Evaluation, and Enterprise Collaboration on Information

At a Look

  • Dr. Martens, an iconic international footwear model with a six-decade heritage, evaluated the info catalog area so as to drive self-service atop their shortly modernizing information stack.
  • Selecting Atlan, their information workforce shortly applied a self-service catalog to supply context round their most important information property.
  • Atlan’s implementation has accelerated time-to-insight for Dr. Martens’ inner information shoppers, and is lowering time spent on influence evaluation from 4 to 6 weeks, to below half-hour for information practitioners.

Dr. Martens is an iconic British model based in 1960 in Northamptonshire. Produced initially for staff in search of powerful, sturdy boots, the model was shortly adopted by various youth subcultures and related musical actions. Dr. Martens has since transcended its working-class roots whereas nonetheless celebrating its proud heritage and, six a long time later, “Docs” or “DM’s” are worn by individuals world wide who use them as a logo of empowerment and their very own particular person angle. The Firm is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index.

Of late, Dr. Martens has been steadily rising and evolving its enterprise, with 52% of their gross sales direct-to-consumer in FY’23. Essential to this progress, previous, current, and future, is a visionary information workforce that gives fashionable know-how and insights to their enterprise colleagues tasked with making one of the best selections doable.

Amongst these information visionaries is Karthik Ramani, International Head of Information Structure for Dr. Martens.

“I began off from a person’s perspective in a Enterprise Intelligence position, then Information Warehousing, then Information Engineering earlier than moving into Information Structure. I’ve had visibility into the end-to-end of information, and I’m captivated with guiding individuals to get essentially the most worth out of information, processes, individuals, and frameworks,” Karthik shared.

And accountable for guaranteeing Dr. Martens’ information is ruled, accessible, and contextualized is Lawrence Giordano, Information Governance & Technique.

“I discovered myself in Information Governance as a result of I’m captivated with it. I’m right here to show that it’s not pink tape, and it’s not about stopping individuals from doing stuff,” Lawrence shared. “We are able to supply curated information units whereas additionally taking care of our information the appropriate means. Information Governance truly allows different capabilities to do their jobs higher.

Delivering Sustainable and Worthwhile Development

Guiding and prioritizing Dr. Martens’ enterprise and know-how selections is the DOCS technique, representing 4 pillars of Direct-to-consumer First, Organizational and Operational Excellence, Client Connection, and Help Model Enlargement with B2B.

Latest examples of execution on this technique embrace opening new retail shops in present and new markets with omnichannel experiences, supported by know-how modernization and provide chain enhancements.

“Most initiatives at Dr. Martens will affiliate themselves to a type of core pillars, and we’re no totally different. On the info workforce, we are able to hyperlink ourselves to all 4, however particularly Organizational and Operational Excellence,” Lawrence defined.

Powering DOCS with the Trendy Information Stack

Among the many most vital methods the info workforce helps the DOCS technique is a brand new means of working, an agile, product-led supply methodology the place analysts and engineers are embedded inside product groups. Interacting with their enterprise colleagues every single day, and proudly owning the outcomes of their work, implies that Dr. Martens’ information workforce higher understands the enterprise drawback they’re serving to to resolve.

Prepared and capable of assist these enterprise capabilities is a workforce construction composed of 5 core capabilities, Information Engineering, Information Structure, Information Analytics, Reporting, and Information Governance, reporting into the Dr. Martens International Information Officer, Nick Sawyer.

“It’s a matter of how we get all these capabilities to work easily with one another to resolve a enterprise drawback, which could not match neatly into every of those pillars and requires us to return collectively,” Karthik shared. “Our focus has all the time been to align to enterprise goals, and on how we are able to drive worth from the info and ship to the enterprise.”

Persevering with by means of its speedy progress part, and remodeling into an organization that companies prospects throughout a number of channels, together with digital, information performs a extra vital position than ever in guiding Dr. Martens’ selections, driving their workforce to shortly modernize their information stack.

As a part of our transformation, we acknowledge that information is a basic and a vital pillar to understanding our prospects’ experiences and desires, and guides how we are able to enhance and optimize. There’s been important funding in modernizing our information platform to deal with challenges. We wanted to maneuver in direction of a single supply of reality, and improve the reliability and scalability for delivering insights for the assorted departments we serve. We’re basically eradicating know-how as a barrier to utilizing information and discovering insights.”

Karthik Ramani, International Head of Information Structure

Beginning with Microsoft Azure as their cloud supplier of selection, Dr. Martens’ new, best-of-breed information stack consists of dbt for transformation, Snowflake as their information warehouse, and PowerBI for reporting and visualization, offering a contemporary basis for additional progress.

Driving Information Transparency with a Trendy Information Catalog

With a brand new means of working that prioritized a better relationship between the info workforce and their enterprise counterparts, and with an array of latest information know-how, Dr. Martens’ information workforce wanted a method to make these new capabilities and property clear and comprehensible to a spectrum of inner information shoppers.

Making a “Restaurant Menu” for a Trendy Information Stack

Shifting from legacy know-how into a contemporary atmosphere, Karthik and Lawrence sought a platform that might function a “information menu”, presenting essential context about their information property in a simple to grasp method.

“Transparency of information possession, lineage and high quality was going to be an enormous driver for us if we have been actually going to demystify our information property,” Lawrence defined.

Within the absence of a contemporary information catalog, questions on information would proceed to drive a pricey back-and-forth, the place information shoppers wanted to achieve out to the info workforce every time they’d easy questions on definitions, freshness, and calculations.

“There was an enormous period of time that was spent by our information workforce on info questions like ‘The place do I discover this metric?’, ‘How is that this metric calculated?’, or ‘The place does this discipline come from?’,” Lawrence shared.

Introducing self-service functionality would imply not solely important time financial savings for technical groups usually tasked with answering these questions, however considerably accelerated time-to-insight for his or her enterprise counterparts that have been desirous to profit from Dr. Martens’ information.

Furthermore, working throughout dozens of markets and areas meant the info workforce was delicately balancing the wants of the worldwide Dr. Martens entity with the distinctive, localized wants of assorted working models. Metrics and KPIs in a single market is likely to be outlined in a different way in one other, making it troublesome to talk a standard language, and ship frequent capabilities.

“It’s important to work to convey this collectively in an information layer, however there’s additionally the metadata layer, the place it’s a must to outline data and possession for these property,” Karthik shared. “That was one other robust purpose for creating not solely a single information layer in Snowflake, however complementing it with a single metadata layer in Atlan.”

A Enterprise-focused Analysis Course of

Slightly than operating their analysis with information workforce members solely, Lawrence insisted on enterprise involvement from the very starting of their course of. Dr. Martens’ information catalog would fail with out strong enterprise adoption, and the inclusion of those stakeholders within the analysis would be sure that they understood the issue being solved, have been champions for information transparency and velocity of supply, and that they offered worthwhile suggestions on the person expertise.

“How does a person contact and really feel the product? How actively can they have interaction with out a number of route, and the way will we flatten the educational curve? How will we make it possible for if we’re going to onboard 100 customers after we launch the product, that it’s going to be a seamless course of? Will they want hand holding throughout days, weeks, or months of coaching, or is it one thing they will naturally choose up?,” Lawrence shared.

Most vital to Lawrence, nonetheless, was a sandbox atmosphere of Atlan supplied through the proof of idea that consumed Dr. Martens’ precise metadata, slightly than well-curated samples, and ensured that after they performed person testing with the enterprise, that the outcomes would carefully mirror their future expertise.

In a proof of idea, until you have a look at it, really feel it, and use it with your personal group’s information ecosystem, which may be messy and brings its personal challenges, you’ll be able to’t see how the instrument adapts to that. It is advisable finally give your sponsors and customers, who can be utilizing this instrument, the power to get hands-on and say what they do and don’t like. It will get them extra engaged within the course of.”

Lawrence Giordano, Information Governance & Technique

Lastly, Lawrence and Karthik began constructing their analysis standards by contemplating what they didn’t need in a contemporary information catalog, slightly than what they desired, guaranteeing they solely evaluated platforms with out “dealbreakers”.

Starting by avoiding options that imposed pricey integrations to their fashionable information instruments, their final focus was on usability, guaranteeing that their enterprise colleagues might simply undertake the platform.

“We have been clear that this was not a tech resolution, and it wasn’t being constructed for technical groups. It’s for the enterprise, and by the enterprise,” Karthik defined.

A Collaborative Implementation of Atlan

Having chosen Atlan as their fashionable information catalog, Karthik and Lawrence fastidiously deliberate its implementation. To make sure Atlan was not perceived as “simply one other instrument”, they adopted a philosophy of deep engagement with their enterprise colleagues, opted for experiential studying the place information shoppers might uncover capabilities of their new catalog, and punctiliously thought-about their first use instances to make sure the utmost doable early influence.

Guaranteeing Sturdy Enterprise Engagement

Persevering with the partnership they constructed with enterprise colleagues through the analysis part, Dr. Martens’ information workforce started rollout with a collection of workshops to raised perceive potential use instances, and to construct champions for Atlan.

“We’re bringing in fashionable information instruments to reinforce our information journey, however Atlan could possibly be seen as simply one other instrument, in a type of fatigue for finish customers. We wished Atlan to be on the forefront of individuals’s minds so if they’d a query on information, they went to Atlan,” Lawrence defined. “We wished to convey them on board in a fashion the place it’s not seen as simply one other job they should do, however that we engaged them in a means that they have been a part of the journey, and so they need to get to the ‘promised land’, too.

These workshops, supported by Dr. Martens’ senior management, ensured that the long run customers of Atlan felt empowered to contribute to, and eat the property made accessible on the catalog, and understood the worth of participating additional.

Lastly, the early use instances constructed by the Dr. Martens information workforce have been decided by means of worth mapping classes, figuring out which enterprise groups would yield essentially the most profit from the platform, which capabilities of Atlan might ship these options, and that even the earliest customers would obtain worth, then evangelize for additional use.

Treasure Hunts for Context

With Atlan built-in into their vital information tooling, Lawrence started one other collection of workshops, energizing their enterprise colleagues to additional take part within the rollout. 

Starting with a showcase of the work they’d accomplished on Dr. Martens’ analytics fashions, they performed an Indiana Jones themed treasure hunt, the place customers have been tasked with discovering 5 items of data hidden in Atlan to retrieve a stolen gem. Providing Atlan swag like t-shirts, their enterprise colleagues shortly started working discovering the knowledge, meaningfully participating with the platform and constructing a deeper appreciation for a way they could use it of their day-to-day lives.

That was actually our energizing second. It confirmed how shortly you’ll be able to reply questions, however the large takeaway from the workshop was that regardless that Atlan wasn’t in its ‘excellent state’, we have been coming into a part the place we have been group pushed. We have been encouraging them to begin feeding definitions into Atlan, constructing workflows, and approving curated information. It was good to get their vitality ranges up and get them engaged within the course of. They might see how shortly questions could possibly be answered, and the long-term good thing about taking part.

Lawrence Giordano, Information Governance & Technique

Early Wins by means of Alignment on Phrases and Metrics

Knowledgeable by a trusting relationship constructed with their enterprise colleagues, a price stream mapping train that ensured early work can be impactful, and workshops to domesticate an informed, enthusiastic person base, Karthik and Lawrence started working constructing a metrics catalog, and a course of for preserving it updated.

Starting with sourcing definitions then enriching vital metrics, the info workforce assigned house owners to every of them, guaranteeing that when questions arose sooner or later, there was a topic knowledgeable that might deal with them.

“As our transformation challenge rolls on, we’re presenting our analytics fashions to the group and that’s what triggers what we now name ‘The Atlan Course of’, the place we have a look at the analytics mannequin, work out what’s in there, outline it, and set up who owns it,” Lawrence defined.

With this “part one”, as Karthik and Lawrence describe it, underway, “part two” will contain the drafting of extra technical readmes describing transformation logic, tied to Atlan’s automated lineage, offering a wealthy understanding of Dr. Martens’ information pipelines.

Realizing Cross-functional Worth

For Dr. Martens, self-service represents a big shift, driving transparency not only for datasets, however the sometimes tribal data that when existed round these datasets. Whereas their information shoppers stand to profit essentially the most from this work, their information workforce now use capabilities like automated lineage to speed up situation decision, and a “restaurant menu” for his or her fashionable information stack is driving larger appreciation for, and ROI from, the hassle spent on the info transformation challenge.

“It’s about belief, confidence, worth, velocity to market, self-service functionality, and finally decreasing the barrier to utilizing information,” Karthik shared. “Our enterprise customers are right here to resolve enterprise issues, to not sit in entrance of their reviews and spreadsheets spending hours sifting by means of information.”

Past the short-term wins Dr. Martens’ information workforce can ship by enabling quicker velocity of supply and selections, within the years to return, Karthik and Lawrence predict that with information shoppers crowdsourcing and curating metadata, a tradition of self-learning and possession will emerge.

Demystifying the Information Property

Dr. Martens’ information stack transformation isn’t occurring in isolation. With a mandate to enhance the best way their group operates, parallel initiatives to modernize something from their ERP to their Buyer Information Platform are driving fixed collaboration between technical groups to make sure adjustments are applied easily.

“Being within the Information Structure perform, I sometimes get bombarded by questions concerning the wider tech transformation that’s happening and its influence on Information & Analytics,” Karthik shared. “There’s a number of change occurring inside our provide chain system, our product methods, our order administration system, and our buyer information platform. All these new options are driving change in parallel to our information transformation challenge.

Earlier than the introduction of Atlan, every of those upstream adjustments meant a guide strategy of checking downstream methods for potential impacts, requiring important human capital. However with Atlan’s automated lineage, Karthik’s workforce can decide these impacts in an infinitesimal proportion of the time they as soon as wanted.

“I’ve had not less than two conversations the place questions on downstream influence would have taken allocation of a number of assets,” Karthik defined. “Then truly getting the work carried out would have taken not less than 4 to 6 weeks, however I managed to take a seat alongside one other architect and resolve that inside half-hour, saying ‘Should you’re altering the column identify or including an additional column, that is what it’s going to interrupt or influence.’”

Whereas their deal with their enterprise colleagues has shortly pushed worth from Atlan, interactions with technical counterparts that end in six-week time financial savings on costly processes construct extra inner advocates for Karthik and Lawrence’s work, and drive much more worth from Atlan.

“We did this collectively, and immediately the Area Architect mentioned ‘Can I get entry to this platform, please?’ And I mentioned ‘Yeah after all. You may get entry to Atlan. Subsequent time you don’t have to return to us.’,” Karthik shared.

Making a Technical Transformation Actual for the Enterprise

Ideas like a cloud-based information warehouse or a contemporary instrument for information transformation could appear arcane to the info workforce’s enterprise stakeholders, however their buy-in is essential to a profitable transformation. With Atlan serving to to drive higher entry to information, and enhancing understanding round it, it’s far simpler for stakeholders to grasp the advantage of the info workforce’s deal with modernization.

Selecting Atlan as a part of the transformation challenge helped us to tightly couple the supply of an information catalog with all the brand new, shiny instruments. However our major worth driver is attending to a single supply of reality, with everybody getting access to the identical data base, which is consolidated and curated by the enterprise. We have been fairly eager that the brand new working mannequin, primarily based on a single, self-serviceable information catalog, meant altering away engineers, analysts, and finish customers conversing offline on chats and emails round information.”

Karthik Ramani, International Head of Information Structure

By adopting Atlan, the brand new capabilities afforded by Dr. Martens’ transformation challenge are extra comprehensible and usable to their stakeholders, offering context about information property and their possession for information shoppers, and a fine-grained view into their information property for information practitioners, all accessible through self-service.

And going ahead, Atlan can be central to the supply of latest information fashions, with enterprise groups required to supply definitions, descriptions, and possession in parallel to creating it accessible to information shoppers.

“That is all data that, traditionally, would have been sourced from conversations, or different technique of a reactive nature. Now, it’s accessible and prepared for them, and so they get this as a part of the transformation that they’ve been patiently ready on,” Karthik shared. “It’s icing on the cake for them. We already see a change in conduct as Atlan nearly begins to behave as a gatekeeper for what’s truly happening in our manufacturing methods.”

Finer visibility into information property, afforded by Atlan, is already driving behavioral change and extra proactive fixes, most not too long ago exemplified by Information Engineering studying {that a} information mannequin hadn’t been efficiently processed, leading to metadata not but accessible in Atlan. As extra information shoppers onboard into Atlan, Karthik and Lawrence hope to see extra of this conduct, resolving points earlier than finish customers even notice they’ve occurred.

“We already see that change in tradition and conduct occurring, and we’re hoping to scale that up as we roll out extra,” Karthik defined. “I might say it’s made an enormous distinction. From an information workforce perspective, this prolonged, extra layer helps us do governance proactively, and never as an after-effect of the transformation challenge.”

With Atlan as their “window to the info world”, the transformation challenge’s myriad stakeholders perceive its advantages extra, extra assured that the info workforce are doing the appropriate issues, specializing in governance, safety, and compliance proactively, along with modernizing their infrastructure and tooling.

A Basis for AI and Information Governance

Dr. Martens’ information workforce are keenly targeted on delivering what they’ve promised to their enterprise companions as a part of their transformation challenge, however have formidable plans for Atlan, as soon as accomplished. Whereas they steadily roll out promised use instances on Atlan and monitor adoption, new applied sciences like Generative AI maintain promise for accelerating asset enrichment, and growing context round their information represents a powerful basis for enhancing governance.

“Among the new use instances we’re seeing are round new options like Generative AI, which is de facto thrilling for us. We’re one of many pilot prospects with a hands-on trial of the function, and we are able to see the way it might make our curation course of a lot slicker, then faster. We now have a baseline that our customers can begin working off, then refine,” Karthik shared.

Rounding out Karthik and Lawrence’s future plans for Atlan embrace information profiling, classification, and implementing DataOps greatest practices, capabilities they’ve lengthy sought, however solely now can obtain with a platform that may convey them to life.

Classes Realized

Whereas there’s nonetheless work to be carried out modernizing their information know-how, and democratizing entry and context round their information property and capabilities with Atlan, Lawrence and Karthik imagine there are key concerns for his or her peer information leaders contemplating an funding in a contemporary information catalog.

Lawrence: Get Palms-on

Being hands-on is the most important factor for me. It’s important to consider a bit of know-how that’s embedded in your stack and your information in case you’re truly going to know if it’s going to work together with your datasets, your tradition, and your group. This was the most important factor after we evaluated Atlan. Then, it’s welcoming these senior stakeholders into the journey earlier, and bringing them nearer to the advantages you plan to ship.”

Lawrence Giordano, Information Governance & Technique

Karthik: Work Agile

Atlan allows you to be agile and iterate shortly, so make use of it that means. Don’t make your implementations too tight and ‘waterfall-y’ the place you’re making an attempt to be proper the primary time. You then’re not making use of the chance Atlan provides the place you’ll be able to attempt one thing out shortly. If it really works, it really works. If it doesn’t it doesn’t. Ship worth, and if it doesn’t work, go away it and transfer to the following factor and deal with that. Be agile. Take a look at and be taught. Attempt new issues shortly.”

Karthik Ramani, International Head of Information Structure

Picture by Kilian Seiler on Unsplash



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