Greenfield Data Platform Implementation

At i-spark, we deliver implementations of data platforms from the ground up. This service is designed for companies looking to harness the power of data analytics for the first time or aiming to build a completely new data environment. Establishing a robust data platform is crucial for driving business innovation and gaining competitive advantages.

To set an example, we encounter the following scenario a lot:

You are a company with an e-commerce business model, perhaps a webshop or a SaaS company, and started operating about 5 years ago or so. You probably implemented off-the-shelf software for your webshop, solutions like Magento or Shopify. And invested in digital marketing, so insights into your SEO and SEA became important and therefore installed Google Analytics on your site.

Fast forward a few years, you now have a more sophisticated web analytics implementation and there are more channels you’re advertising on. For Customer Care you are using a customer service platform and you are using an email service provider for sending newsletters and commercial offerings. To keep the operations running, you might have other SaaS software running for your supply chain and logistics. And to monitor the balance between incomes and expenses you implemented a financial software package. In the meantime, you might have experienced that your webshop software doesn’t work for you anymore, so you decided to migrate to another solution.

And to add even more complexity in this landscape, a lot of potential data lives outside these systems. For example, internal teams like Marketing or Sales are using spreadsheets that contain your targets and other important key numbers. You check all these individual systems regularly. Each time you want to have an integrated view over multiple systems, you export a few Excel files and someone merges these together and spends hours trying to make sense out of it.

Now you realize this is not a futureproof situation and you are looking for a solution that helps you to create insights in all data, now and in the future.

But where do you start? What’s the first step? What kind of party can help you? Is it your digital agency that offers multiple services including data analysis? They have the knowledge and experience in creating insights of your online marketing, but do they have the right experience with the non-marketing software? Or should you go to your IT supplier? They might know something about your software, but do they have the right experience with insights in online marketing data?

You’re stuck. You just want to get it done, taking small steps. Preferably with people who can stand next to you and that take each next step together.

That, exactly that, is what we do. We get you started. This is what i-spark is all about. We spark your data into action! 

Building a New Data Platform

The journey towards building a data-driven organization begins with a solid foundation: a well-architected data platform that aligns with your business objectives. But where to start? The landscape of data technology is rich with possibilities, offering cutting-edge solutions that promise enhanced reliability, efficiency, speed, and security. 

Our team is here to guide you through every step towards your new analytics stack, ensuring that it is scalable, cost-effective, and tailored to your unique business requirements. Such a project is referred to as a greenfield implementation.

This, especially in the context of data platforms, is the process of designing and deploying a data processing and analytics infrastructure from scratch, without the need to consider existing systems or legacy technologies. This approach presents a unique opportunity for businesses to adopt the latest technologies and best practices in data analytics, ensuring that the infrastructure is highly scalable, flexible, and capable of accommodating future growth and technological advancements.

Key Aspects of A Greenfield Implementation

  • Customization and Flexibility – Starting anew means that every component of the data platform can be selected based on current needs, future goals, and the latest industry standards. This level of customization ensures that the platform is not only tailored to the specific requirements of the business but also flexible enough to evolve as those needs change.
  • Technology Adoption – Greenfield projects allow organizations to leverage new, cutting-edge technologies from the start. However, the challenge with embracing new technology lies in the fact that it may not always be sufficiently tested or mature for deployment. The selection of the right tool for the job is always dependent on the business needs and requirements.
  • Optimized Performance and Scalability – With limited to no legacy constraints, the architecture can be designed for optimal performance from the ground up. Scalability is a key consideration, allowing the platform to grow seamlessly with the business. This approach ensures that the data infrastructure can handle increasing volumes of data, more complex analytics, and a growing user base without significant rework or investment.
  • Enhanced Data Governance and Security – Implementing a greenfield data platform offers the chance to integrate robust data governance and security measures right from the start. This proactive stance on data quality, compliance, and security helps mitigate risks and builds trust among stakeholders, which is crucial in today’s data-sensitive environment.
  • Cost Efficiency Over Time – Compared to migrating existing systems and processes, the initial investment of a greenfield project can be lower due to the absence of legacy system constraints and the complexities involved in integrating old and new technologies. A well-designed, modern data platform can also lead to significant savings by reducing maintenance costs, improving operational efficiency, and avoiding the need for frequent, costly upgrades.

Cost-Effective and Scalable Solutions

A new data platform represents a fresh start and an opportunity to implement best practices right from the start. Our approach focuses on scalability and cost-efficiency, ensuring that your investment grows with your business. As pioneers in this field of data activation, we have been offering our customers actionable data platforms using best-in-class tools for several years.

Our expertise in cloud-based solutions and analytics stacks means that you get a future-proof platform that can adapt to changing business needs and technological advancements. The tools that typically make up the majority of the composable data platforms that we deliver, represent a blend of functionality, scalability, and innovation and are, but not limited to:

  • Databricks – Databricks offers a unified platform that facilitates storage based on the lakehouse principles, governance controls, collaborative data engineering and data science. Its integration with other tools such as dbt Cloud enables seamless data flow and transformation, serving as the backbone for advanced analytics and machine learning projects.
  • Snowflake – As cloud based data warehousing solution, Snowflake provides a highly scalable, performance-efficient platform for storing and querying vast amounts of data. Its unique architecture allows for seamless data sharing and elastic scaling, making it an indispensable component of many data stacks.
  • Google BigQuery – Complementing the data warehousing solutions, Google BigQuery stands out as a serverless, highly scalable, and cost-effective data warehouse. It is optimized for speed and ease of use. BigQuery’s ability to process vast datasets at lightning speed, along with its integrated machine learning capabilities, boosts analytical workflows and enables accessible data analysis directly within the data warehouse.
  • Fivetran – For data ingestion, Fivetran automates the movement of data into cloud data platforms like Databricks or Snowflake, ensuring that the data is continually updated with the latest information from various sources. This automation simplifies the data integration process, saving development time and allowing to process data faster and more effectively.
  • Dataddo – Similar to Fivetran, Dataddo enables flexible, no-code integration. It ensures that data from various SaaS platforms and databases is readily accessible for analysis, enhancing the analytics stack’s versatility.
  • Hightouch – Operating at the intersection of data warehousing and operational systems, this sophisticated tool plays an important role in activating your data for business operations. Hightouch enables event data collection from but also the sync of processed data back into SaaS applications, enabling data-driven decision-making across all levels of the organization. 
  • dbt Cloud – At the core of the data platform dbt Cloud functions as the transformation layer within the data stack, turning raw data into structured, analytics-ready formats. This tool enables analytics engineers and analysts to clean and prepare data themselves, without the need for data engineers, from different storage solutions. It is essential for maintaining data integrity and readiness for analysis, ensuring that insights are based on reliable, clean data.
  • Looker – For data visualization and business intelligence, Looker offers a powerful platform for building dynamic dashboards and reports. Connected to databases in Snowflake or Databricks, it allows users to explore and visualize data in an intuitive, accessible manner, turning insights into actionable intelligence. 
  • Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) – Looker Studio is known for its ease of use, seamless integration with Google’s ecosystem (including BigQuery), and the ability to blend data from various sources. This light-weight tool allows users to create informative, easily understandable visualizations. Looker Studio helps to deliver insights quickly, making data accessible and actionable for everyone.
  • Klipfolio – Complementing the dashboarding tools, Klipfolio provides additional flexibility in dashboard and report creation. What sets Klipfolio apart is its ability to connect with virtually any data source, from databases and cloud services to spreadsheets and online services, enabling a holistic view of business performance. Its intuitive design interface allows users to create detailed, insightful visualizations without requiring deep technical expertise, making it accessible to users at all levels.

Each of these tools are selected based on our experience and their proven distinctive benefits, the flexibility to meet various use cases and their fit in the data ecosystem. An analytics stack does not consist of all these tools, and the range of tools is not limited to this list. Depending on the business requirements, needs, and available budget, a tailored architecture is designed and implemented.

Why i-spark for Your Greenfield Data Platform

Our expertise in greenfield data platform implementation is rooted in a deep understanding of both the technological and strategic aspects of building data infrastructures from the ground up. i-spark brings to the table:

  • A Forward-Thinking Approach – We stay ahead of industry trends and technological advancements, ensuring that your data platform is not just current but also future-ready.
  • Tailored Solutions – Understanding that each business has unique needs, we offer customized solutions that align with your specific objectives and challenges.
  • Comprehensive Support – From strategic planning and system design to implementation, optimization, and training, we provide end-to-end support to ensure your project’s success.
  • Commitment to Excellence – Our goal is to deliver a data platform that not only meets your current needs but also drives innovation and growth for your business over the long term.

Starting with a greenfield data platform project is an exciting opportunity to redefine how your organization leverages data. With i-spark, you gain a partner committed to transforming your vision into reality, providing a state-of-the-art data platform that drives business value and enables data activation.

Interested in building a data platform that sets you apart? Reach out to discuss how we can bring your data aspirations to life with our tailored greenfield implementation services.

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