MyWeek showcases one of our expert’s work week – the highs and the challenges they are facing, and what the role actually consists of.
Today, it’s time for some data content, as we followed our Data Architect Samu Niemelä for one week in June. Samu is a co-lead for our Data Domain and a Data Architect in one of our biggest data platform projects. Samu is also an American Football team manager and soon leaving for parental leave to lead a different kind of life for a while. Let’s check out what a Data Architect at Zure does!
What customer work do you have currently?
I am currently working about 60-70% on one project as a Data Architect. We are a team of seven from Zure, working with a data integration platform. This week I have been working on Azure Synapse Analytics service and making the plan for using serverless SQL pool for a customer use case inside the platform. I’m also looking into our current state of Azure Data Factory ELT/ETL pipelines and the team’s efforts in the Azure Data Lake storage building, optimization & testing. Lastly, I’m also working to set up Microsoft Purview for data governance, and end-to-end data flow lineage observability.
Our team has a great diversity of tech skills from Azure Development and Consulting to Data Engineering and Architecture. One super interesting part of this work is learning between these worlds. Like this week’s discussions about whether fetching raw data to Data Lake should be built with functions or with Logic App. Or should we go with a code-first or database-first approach with data model implementation in release pipelines. The different viewpoints make us learn new ways of solving problems together, which is super cool.
What has been most challenging?
The really challenging part of my current work at the moment, is that we need to be building the environment at the same time as building the architecture for it. It’s like orienteering with an unfinished map. This requires a lot of communication and team effort to make the route as smooth as possible.
What internal stuff do you have?
This week we had our Data Domain product presentation workshop. We have been iterating our Data offering with Markus, and now we got to present it to our CEO Sakke and CCO Sami. We discussed our current set, e.g. our Azure Data Platform in a day concept and MLOps in Azure and Data Governance.
I think the most time I used this week was internal training planning. I am presenting the Data Platform of my current project to everyone interested following Monday. It’s called Project intro and is one of the ways we learn from one another here. It’s my first one, so I’m taking some time to make it good.
I also took part in our Sustainability Force’s meeting, lead by one of our Data Scientists, Lauri. We had a brainstorming session about the possible ways of making our business and workplace more sustainable. I am very interested in green coding, and hoping to bring that area into Zure’s ways of working in the future.
Best things this week?
The customer project, which I have been working on, consisted of planning and figuring things out beforehand right from the get-go. I´m pleased that the work shows concrete results, and the platform has started to take steps toward the desired destination. The case is in an exciting phase right now, so it is somewhat sad to step down at this point.
I was also really happy reading about my Peer Review results. We have a process of giving our colleagues feedback at least twice a year. Someone had written that they are really happy when I’m around at the office. That gives a really nice feeling to come here all the way from Kouvola.
What does Data Architect role contain?
I think that the core of Data Architect role is to make it clear what the data platform should be in big picture, and how it integrates to other platforms. Communication skills are very important, as you need to be able to ask right questions and justify the choices to the team and customer. You need to understand the customer business and what the data should actually be used for.
In this project I have been doing a lot less hands-on work than before – more plans and driving the team work towards a common goal. However, at the same time at Zure I have been able to focus more in the data skills and domain understanding, as we have such skilled experts from all other domains.
Want to be like Samu? Check out our job opportunities and come eat ice cream with us!