Why Sparkle was born
Back in 2016, there were two main observations:
- Traditional BI (business intelligence) and DWH (data warehouse) projects did not really have a very good reputation. They tended to go over budget and over time and not fully deliver on their promise. Leaving customers disillusioned.
- Traditionally strong database vendors like Oracle seemed to fail to attract new customers, due to the high competition in both quality and pricing of vendors like Microsoft.
So that is how we started, with a focus on data platform modernization projects by introducing automation and near real-time data feeds. This opened new use cases for our data platforms that were no longer only used analytically, but also operationally by providing other applications qualitative and integrated data through API’s.
Why data governance is the key to success
Being quite successful in data platform modernization projects, we concluded that our high-tech modern solutions were not used to their fullest potential by our customers. We often saw a lack adoption of the platforms we built for our customers.
We needed end users to embrace the solutions we built, and to embed it in their processes. That is when we started with a new activity: Data governance. Introducing data governance allows to create ambassadors within the organization that are enthusiastic about data and inspire each other, which leads to new use cases being discovered the whole time.
Data dashboard and reports need to tell a story
The next evolution is that we realized it is not sufficient to build dashboards. No. Building dashboards is not a matter of choosing some visuals to represent data. Data needs to tell a story. It needs to be self-explanatory. Not too much information. Not too little information. But the right amount of information, with the right visual to bring the right message. At first glance. In the right colors and visually attractive. It is about data storytelling, an area of expertise on its own, almost a form of art. A new expertise domain was born: Data visualisation.
Predicting the future with advanced analytics and AI
As a strategic and holistic data partner, we still need to be able to do more for our customers. We do not only want to look at the numbers of the past. We also want to be able to predict the future better than business experts that do it manually. We want to be able to gain information from thousands of textual documents. We want to interpret images from pipelines to detect leaks. We want to be able to predict what pipelines need to be maintained first to optimally use maintenance budget. A new domain was born; the domain of advanced analytics or artificial intelligence.
Enterprise Architecture aligns IT & business
Our solutions go beyond data, insights and information. We want to help our customers to ensure that the entire IT landscape of their organization is properly aligned with the business objectives. That budget is spent wisely, and architecture lives consistently within the organization. In the domain of enterprise architecture, we guide our customers to implement an enterprise architecture discipline in a pragmatic, information centric way.
Sparkle is a holistic data partner
This natural evolution has resulted into today’s 5 domains of expertise.