Practitioner Interview


Wayne Eckerson interviewed Paul Rankin whom Wayne called “the poster child” for data mesh. (See figure 1.) Under Rankin’s leadership, Roche Diagnostics has embraced the data mesh, establishing 70 product domain teams which have created more than 350 data products in a little more than two years. 

Rankin said Roche’s culture was tailor-made for data mesh. The company’s organization is quite decentralized due to the corporate culture and continuous mergers and acquisitions. Where a centralize data warehouse never got traction or served more than 20% of the organization, a data mesh has taken root like a native plant in high-nutrient soil. 

“Roche Diagnostics’ culture is tailor-made for the data mesh.”

Other than having the right culture, the key to data mesh success, Rankin said, is a robust self-service data platform with ample training how to use it and mechanisms to enforce standards. He also said data governance is key so products align across domains. Robust governance requires lots of cross-functional committees doing the hard work of aligning on standards and processes. 

Finally, he said it’s important that business users can find data products they need. To this end, his team is building a centralized data store to integrate all the local stores where business domains publish their products.

Figure 1. Data Mesh at Roche Diagnostics


Practitioner Interview