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BBC plans self-service platform for data requests


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The BBC has outlined an ambition to develop a self-service platform to respond to requests for data from its various departments.

It has put out a request for information to the technology industry to increase its understanding of the necessary software capabilities for the platform to work on a data mesh structure.

It currently operates with a centralised data platform team that maintains the infrastructure for the collection, storage and provision of data to the rest of the organisation and takes the majority of request for new data and products. But according to the notice it often does not own the domain knowledge for many of the datasets.

This is prompting the move to a data mesh, in which data is treated as a product and owned by teams that know and use it and the central team will provide the core capabilities that can be re-used by other terms.

“This will help the data platform to efficiently scale in a cost-effective manner to meet the growing data demands of the organisation and its vision,” the notice says.

Core capabilities

Among the capabilities the BBC is looking for are storage and visualisation of the data, tooling to support its governance and quality, an infrastructure to support its aggregation, segmentation and machine learning, self-service for ‘extract, load and transform’ and the capacity to build metrics.

The plan has become public a few months after the National Audit Office published a mixed review of the BBC’s progress in digital transformation, emphasising that it had a solid foundation to deliver its digital first ambitions, but its digital leadership needed to evolve to deliver the strategy and accelerate growth more effectively.


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