Data Engineering Consulting: How Can It Help Your Business?

Side view portrait of black software developer using computer in high technology office, data systems and programming

In today’s business landscape, maximizing the value of your organization’s data is crucial to success. However, modernizing systems, establishing pipelines, and optimizing infrastructure is a complex and time-intensive task.

If your organization is bogged down with old systems or struggling to effectively process and leverage its data, a skilled data engineering consultant can help you build technical solutions to optimize data delivery, improve scalability, and bolster the accuracy of your insights.

Things to know about data engineering consulting:

  1. What is Data Engineering?
  2. What Does a Data Engineering Consultant Do?
  3. Responsibilities & Services of Data Engineering Consultants
  4. When Should You Hire a Data Engineering Consultant?
  5. Why Should You Hire a Data Engineering Consultant Over a Permanent Hire?
  6. 7 Ways Data Engineering Consultants Can Benefit Your Business
  7. Types of Projects Data Engineering Consultants Work On, With Examples

What is Data Engineering?

Data engineering is the development, implementation, optimization, and maintenance of pipelines, transformations, and jobs that take in operational data and process it for analytical use. Data engineering makes it possible to access, explore, and analyze the massive amounts of data available to businesses.

What Does a Data Engineering Consultant Do?

Data engineering consultants help companies build the pipelines and transformations necessary to make operational data available for analysis. Their deep expertise, technical knowledge, and extensive experience across multiple industries equip them to create and implement custom-fit, end-to-end data solutions.

Data engineering consultants begin by conducting a discovery phase and partnering with key stakeholders, including leadership teams, data scientists, and data analysts, to understand the organization’s data needs, goals, and business challenges.

They then design and architect robust, scalable technical solutions that align with these business needs. The consultants leverage data storage solutions, build and optimize data platforms, and use cloud-based services to enable seamless data integration, allow real-time processing, and improve data accuracy.

Data engineering consultants are also skilled in helping organizations migrate from on-premises data storage to the cloud or from one cloud provider to another.

Consultants help manage and support internal talent through their community of practice, building their skills and knowledge to ensure long-term sustainability of the data solutions.

Responsibilities & Services of Data Engineering Consultants

  • Evaluating the goals of the project to understand the what, why, and how of the task ahead
  • Collaborating with technology and leadership teams to understand structural requirements and define standards for how data will be stored, consumed, integrated, and managed across the organization
  • Streamlining and optimizing every aspect of the data pipeline, including acquisition, processing, feature engineering, and deriving insights
  • Designing and building data pipelines, data lakes, and data products
  • Skilled in using ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) methods to move data between systems, then transform it to prepare it for analysis
  • Understanding of data governance and compliance standards
  • Skilled in scripting languages, especially SQL, Java, Scala, and Python

When Should You Hire a Data Engineering Consultant?

Organizations at any maturity level of their data journey can benefit from hiring consultants. For those who have abundant data residing in various sources and formats, data engineering consultants can develop efficient data integration pipelines to extract that data, transform it for analytical use, and even establish a unified view.

If your organization has an outdated legacy data system, data engineering consultants can ensure success and minimize disruption when migrating to modern data management solutions. Data engineers can also help organizations experiencing rapid growth by implementing scalable solutions that can accommodate your ever-increasing volume of data.

Organizations that have heavily invested in their data solutions can still realize the benefits of engaging with data engineering consultants, as they help optimize your data platforms, pipelines, and processes to improve data quality and accuracy, improve efficiency, and ensure compliance with regulations.

Why Should You Hire a Data Engineering Consultant Over a Permanent Hire?

Data engineering consultants bring outside ideas and deep experience in providing an array of data solutions for organizations across numerous industries. They have “been there, solved that” and can quickly remove roadblocks every company eventually encounters.

They have also been exposed to diverse solutions, platforms, perspectives, learning styles, and business environments, which makes them well-equipped to operate successfully in your organization’s specific environment.

When your organization employs a consultant with a high level of technical expertise and experience, that individual knows the optimal approach to solving your business challenges and is able to hit the ground running to achieve it, maximizing the value of your organization’s data by redesigning infrastructure and optimizing your data delivery.

IT consultants provide new avenues of exploration and growth by bringing innovative ideas involving leading-edge technology, using approaches that have proven to be successful.

If you leverage consultants correctly, you can inspire your internal resources to build their skills so they can maintain and grow the solutions you have implemented.

7 Ways Data Engineering Consultants Can Benefit Your Business

  1. Enabling your organization to collect, process, store, and analyze massive sets of data, maximizing overall efficiency and the value of your data
  2. Embedding data cleansing processes and governance policies to improve the accuracy and reliability of your data, strengthening insights quality
  3. Increasing the scalability of your infrastructure, ensuring information is collected, stored, and processed in a way that can handle the large volume, variety, and velocity of your data
  4. Skillfully designing and implementing infrastructure that enable your organization’s data science, machine learning, and business intelligence initiatives
  5. Empowering your teams and leaders to make more informed, strategic, data-driven decisions using higher-quality insights
  6. Implementing robust security measures, encryption techniques, and access controls to maximize your organization’s protection against breaches and ensure compliance with regulations
  7. Leveraging tools like Apache Kafka to support real-time data collection, processing, and analysis, enabling your teams to respond quickly to shifts in customer behavior, market conditions, business opportunities, and emerging trends

Types of Projects Data Engineering Consultants Work On, With Examples

The work of data engineering consultants can vary significantly and includes elements of data exploration, extraction, modeling, aggregation, transformation, cleansing, and change processing. As one example, let’s look at one of AIM Consulting’s previous projects. For a more detailed look, see our Data Engineering case study.

Example of Data Engineering Consulting Project:

A large American retail store chain with a massive data store was having difficulty locating particular data on demand. To address the problem, they attempted to develop a scalable, production-ready application involving Elasticsearch to crawl and find data. However, the project stalled because the application could not keep up with the demand of ingesting the millions of data sets and data attributes required of it.

AIM Consulting’s data engineering experts provided practical design and development leadership to reengineer the application into a complete data portal that instantly fulfills employee data requests. The consultants, after assessing the organization’s needs, recommended an open-source scalable solution consisting of:

  • The famous NoSQL database MongoDB for storing and querying data
  • Elasticsearch for recording and analyzing data
  • RabbitMQ, the most widely used open-source message broker, for communication among the solution components and systems

The consultants helped the team reevaluate its technology infrastructure before reengineering the project to ensure it would be sufficient to host the new solution. They also helped the client team with error handling and data cleaning measures, and guided the team on intelligent search methods and indexing data in Elasticsearch.

The new data portal enables employees across the company to not only locate the data and reports they need, but also tag data to increase its discoverability for future users. The data portal enables visibility to the company’s massive dispersed data store to provide the following:

  • Immediate discovery of the data needed to answer business questions
  • Less duplication of reports from more intelligent indexing
  • Cleaner data with increased levels of trust

The data solution provided by the data engineering consultants ensures that it takes the client less than a second to find the data that took days or weeks to locate in the past.

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