Data infrastructure, as the name implies, can be thought of as the way data is built or structured, all in the name of sharing, access, and consumption. A strong, well-built data infrastructure helps the group using it be more efficient and productive, with the opposite being true of a poorly built data infrastructure. In addition, proper implementation of the data infrastructure can help boost supply chains and reduce operational costs – which is good news for any company.
With how much data a company would need to gather, store, and access at any given time, it’s no wonder that many have turned to data infrastructure providers. These are businesses that help build the networks to store the data, and such networks can be a combination of hardware, software, and cloud services.
Behind every successful infrastructure provider, though, is at least one data infrastructure engineer. But what is it exactly that these people do, and how important is the role they play? Let’s take a look.
Before any data can be stored, it needs to be captured or gathered first. A data infrastructure engineer will know best how to navigate a given data landscape, helping companies understand their challenges, objectives, and any opportunities. From there, an engineer can pinpoint what data is needed, and optimise the current landscape to gather the needed data, or else develop a new solution to achieve the same result.
In other words, data infrastructure engineers will be able to help a company gather crucial data so no time is wasted looking at unnecessary information.
Consolidation and Storing
There’s little point in gathering data if you have to spend more than a few minutes looking for it. A data infrastructure engineer will know how to put the data together – in other words, consolidate it – and store it in such a way that it can later be easily accessed by you and your team whenever you need to.
What about on-going data gathering? Well, a competent engineer will be able to put together a ‘pipeline’ to make sure any additional data gathered is sent to the same storage space in a way that makes sense and with little to no need for human input.
In summary, a data infrastructure engineer should be able to figure out how to organise data before it’s stored, making it easier for companies to find what they’re looking for later. This organisation can mean the difference between a poorly informed decision and a well-informed one.
Transport and Access
Data gets moved around a lot, usually to make room for newer data. If the infrastructure isn’t built well, there’s liable to be some loss of data when, say, transferring several datasets from an onsite server to the cloud and vice versa. It’s a data infrastructure engineer’s job to make sure this doesn’t happen, in order for not even a byte of data to go to waste.
As mentioned earlier, there’s also the matter of being able to access the data whenever you need. The engineer is responsible for making sure that your team will know exactly how to find the data they need every time, instead of wasting time guessing where it’s stored before they can access it.