Eblocks Helps Major Bank deliver and Enterprise Metadata Solution

Deon Thomas

Practical delivery of data management requirements requires a rethink of traditional approaches, here is how we've done it.

The ModelOps decision process
Metadata solution

Absa required an enterprise metadata solution. To put it more simply, they needed a fit for purpose enterprise metadata solution that would allow all metadata types to co-exist with appropriate relationships between each other. Four different metadata categories needed to integrate:

  • Technical metadata
  • Business metadata
  • Governance metadata, found in various data management systems
  • Operational metadata, found in transactional systems

Initially, Absa had the problem of integrating complex, multi-tiered metadata across different metadata categories. This was overcome through the use of Voltron, but it still had its drawbacks. Data had to be manually captured, other types of metadata aside from RDADD were not catered for, and there was no scalability for enterprise adoption. 

Combining The Old With The New

This is where we at Eblocks came up with a workable, forward-thinking, scalable solution. Enter, Symphony, an integrated metadata framework for Absa, divided into three tiers:

  • Application tier - various applications and dashboards could be built to leverage the available data in order to deliver on the required use cases
  • Database tier - the data repository could integrate a wide range of information and facilitate easy visualisation and accessibility by the applications
  • Integration tier - A variety of ingestion methods could reduce the time and effort to bring data in from a wide range of source systems and tools

Both old and new solutions and systems could integrate into the new Symphony framework, building on the existing possibilities and addressing the shortfalls.

One Integrated Solution

Using the convenience of a single platform, business and technical metadata could now be integrated, and all supporting information for data platforms could be controlled. All available data could now easily be visualised and identified in an end-to-end journey. 

In addition to that, Symphony also allowed us to automate the technical metadata updates for RDARR, removing the manual processes and reducing the time and resources spent. Not only did this leverage distributed systems and platforms, but it will enable the easy building and integration of additional business applications. 

Absa Appreciation

We approached Absa’s requirements holistically, allowing our technical leadership to guide the process and delivery in an agile manner. Not only were we able to respond to Absa’s resource requirements, but we offered up our best and most highly skilled people to implement the solution. 

“Eblocks are quick to respond to resource requirements, and offer up suitably skilled people. There is a holistic approach to delivery, from technical leadership through to facilitation of delivery in an agile manner. One element that stood out was the strong understanding of continuous integration and quality assurance. Their Knowledge of the big data environment as well as open-source options was acknowledged. Value adds like orientation workshops from eblocks team members who were not on the project but were asked to assist and upskill the team were received with gratitude. Good range of relevant skills for agile development on the big data platform and cloud, from design and development to deployment, testing and scrum facilitation

” - Harvey Naidoo - Lead Technology Partner, ABSA

Our understanding of continuous integration and quality assurance was put to the test, as well as our knowledge of open source and the big data environment. 

Through multiple cycles of agile development, we implemented Absa’s enterprise metadata solution. We followed the delivery through with value-added orientation workshops to ensure that the Absa teams were upskilled and ready to work with their new solution. 

Meeting this challenge head-on was an exciting and interesting undertaking. It allowed us to grow into different areas of focus to create a workable solution that benefitted Absa’s requirements. To have our efforts met with gratitude in the end is the outcome we work towards for each challenge we take on.  


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