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A glance into KONE’s data platform journey: Interview with Aija Palomäki

A glance into KONE’s data platform journey: Interview with Aija Palomäki
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst
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Any company that wants to do analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning or digitalisation, first must have their data foundations in place. This a straightforward premise, however too many businesses get stuck on their data platform journey. Aija Palomäki, Enterprise Solutions Architect, Information and Advanced Analytics at KONE, will share her story with implementing a modern data platform at KONE, how to justify ramping up a data platform, actions they’ve taken to productise the platform as well as the next steps.

Hyperight: Hi Aija, we are thrilled to have you onboard at the Data 2030 Summit. To start our discussion, please tell us a few words about yourself, your background and role at KONE.

Aija Palomäki, Enterprise Solutions Architect, Information and Advanced Analytics at KONE

Aija Palomäki: I have started my career as a research scientist and thereafter, I have been working for a number of companies from telecommunications to banking. I have often been doing the enterprise architect job with a data twist. Thus I have been ramping up a few data lakes and data warehouses, most recently the cloud-based ones. I am always aiming for solutions that support the strategic goals of business. In my mind, the IT community can only succeed by understanding the business goals and processes and consequently, the IT capabilities they would require.

Hyperight: Your Data 2030 Summit talk will focus on Data platform journey at KONE where you’ll discuss how and why you decided to ramp up your data platform. Generally speaking, what are the reasons a company would need to ramp up their data platform?

Aija Palomäki: Basically any company that is interested in analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning or digitalization, must have their data foundations in place firstly. Data foundations are not only the technological solutions, such as data platform, but also understanding the data asset as well as managing it properly. The latter is the hard part in my opinion.

A glance into KONE’s data platform journey: Interview with Aija Palomäki
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst 

Hyperight: What features should a modern data platform have in order to support the business and help them make the most out of their data?

Aija Palomäki: A working data platform is almost invisible for the business since it is simply the backbone for analytical and machine learning applications, data visualization and dashboards. What business should see, is the right data with the right quality, at the right time.

Hyperight: What are the most significant challenges that organisations face with their data platforms today?

Aija Palomäki: Traditional data warehouse development has often been too slow and rigid for the ever-changing business data requirements. Today the cloud environments give us more flexibility in scaling solutions up and down. We can utilize the data lake where the data modeling is not a pre-requisite for data usage. This will speed things up. Thus we can constantly demonstrate value for the business by doing quick demos with the data. However, it must be realized that when we build data solutions for real, funds and personnel will be required for implementation. The hard work has not disappeared. We must still do data modeling, understand the data, collect business data requirements and implement governance for the data platform. I feel that sometimes this may be neglected or found challenging.

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