Okay, But Just WTF is a Data Mesh?!

A simple overview for those with little time (and/or patience)

To start, it makes more sense to answer “why is data mesh”. Zhamak Dehghani (creator of the data mesh concept) had worked with many large-scale companies on the operational side, helping them build scalable applications and platforms. She looked at the way most companies (try to) use data/organize their analytics organization and came to the conclusion:
This is a hot mess express. And I’m going to try to fix it. [our phrasing]

Data mesh is her attempt to enable companies to actually be data driven by changing the way they organize their teams and their data architecture. And it is a big change from the status quo.

That is a VERY BIG challenge to take on and the size of that challenge is why her first post on data mesh is 6,500+ words. Turns out completely changing the ways company organize is a complicated and dense topic.

So, what is a data mesh? It’s a change in approach to 1) use data product thinking - approaching your data as a product instead of a by-product of how you do business; and 2) decentralize data ownership (so data/data quality is no longer owned by the centralized data lake team) and decentralizing data architecture. It isn’t a technology, it’s an approach to being data driven.

If you want to learn more about the data mesh approach Zhamak has laid out, we recommend you check out our list of introductory content here.

And if you want to chat with hundreds of folks interested in data mesh, join our Slack community here.