Data is the lifeblood of every successful business.  As such, data needs to keep flowing to deliver value. Contrary to popular belief, the data lifecycle should not stop at collecting, connecting and turning data into insights through data warehouses or lakes. A complete digital transformation requires delivering those data-driven insights into everything you do. Many organizations are turning to 360° customer data hubs to keep the value of their data flowing, so it can reach its full potential.

What is a Data Hub?

A data hub is a data exchange with frictionless data flow at its core. Endpoints, which can be applications, processes, people or algorithms, interact with the hub, potentially in real-time, to provision data into the hub or receive data from it. When data enters the data hub, it gets connected to other data points and reconciled into a 360° view.

The data hub also provides a point of governance for the data, as well as visibility into how the data is flowing throughout the enterprise. Ultimately, trustworthy data can be consumed and reused in an easy and consistent way by anyone or any application that can benefit.

How data hubs promote trusted data

Primarily, a 360° data hub is a set of rules for data mediation and governance that helps organizations:

  • Expand and speed up the sharing of information – between own applications, employees as well as with/from customers and partners
  • Create a trusted, but continuously evolving “Golden Record” of their customers, vendors and partners
  • Drive business outcomes with data across the operations, for improved customer experiences, streamlined operations, or risk control.

Tangible data hub benefits

Customer data hubs connect data providers and data consumers, while allowing data controllers to orchestrate data flows in a governed way. The result is trusted data as we mentioned above. Once you have attained actionable and trustworthy data, and overcome the challenge of delivering trusted data in real-time at the edge, you can reap the business benefits that a 360° data hub can offer:

  • Sales can grow through personalized offers and recommendations
  • Products get smarter and adapt to their usage context
  • Compliance is under control in a holistic way
  • Employees can constantly learn and boost efficiency with smart guidance

Data hub vs. data lake

Most data architectures have been designed as centralized data stores. This design pattern has proven success in data analytics, for delivering structured analytics to the mass – the data warehouses – or to discover hidden insights from big data and learn from it – the data lakes. But when the goal is data exchange — i.e. data flows rather than data stores — a 360° customer data hub should be at the core of the architecture because it is more agile and flexible than legacy architectures.

data hub

A data hub is designed for rapid exchange of information needed by today’s organizations. It captures any data, including metadata, master data, operational data, and analytical data and reconciles them. Then it delivers the data in multiple desired formats without necessarily storing it physically in a central place. Using search-based applications and API services, data consumers can easily discover and get instant access to data they can trust. A data hub also establishes a single point of trust for data flows, with end to end visibility and lineage

6 steps to build a 360° Data Hub

A data hub is designed and customized to fit the needs of an organization, and can be architected with a six-step approach that combines the most common discipline of data modeling, data integration, application integration, and data governance:

  1. The first step is to connect the data sources that need to be shared with the data hub. At this stage, depending on an organization’s needs, the data in its raw format could be stored in the hub or simply pass through.
  2. The incoming data flows are then put into a canonical data model so that they can easily be connected.
  3. The data sets then get inventoried in a data catalog and organized for tasks like data categorization, curation, protection and remediation.
  4. Data quality techniques, such as matching, survivorship, and deduplication are then applied to create a golden record. The golden record is stored in the data hub using the data store that best meets the context.
  5. Analytics can then be deployed to augment the data – for segmentation, forecasting, predictive behavior, recommendations, etc.
  6. Finally, the data can then be shared with data consumers – applications, systems, business users and data professionals, 3rd parties, etc.

The foundation for a successful 360° data hub implementation

Talend Data Fabric provides all the tools you need to simplify the process of building a comprehensive customer data hub. This unified platform offers data ingestion, integration, governance and sharing, and Talend Data Fabric helps organizations collect, govern, transform and share any data pipeline as part of a data hub:

  1. Collect: with 1,000+ built-in components and connectors, datasets can be captured, standardized, and cleaned so that they can be connected altogether.
  2. Govern: Data governance is then applied for data ownership, data certification, data stewardship, and data remediation.
  3. Transform: Talend Data Fabric can create a golden record for reconciling and cross referencing your data using data quality, matching, and survivorship.
  4. Share: Because they have been automatically documented in a data catalog, datasets can be easily discovered and consumed by anyone – from data engineers to business users and application developers.

Get started with the industry-leading cloud integration solution today:  Download Talend Data Fabric