Over the years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to be a part of some truly amazing teams. Thinking back, if I had to choose just one attribute that contributed to our shared success, it would be the relentless pursuit of greater efficiency. This is, of course, a very broad and multi-faceted topic where opportunities abound, so it can be difficult to decide where to focus time and energy when expounding upon it. But in this case, it’s pretty clear what made the difference.
No surprise, It’s collaboration
It’s no coincidence that these particular teams placed a very high value on collaboration. Successful collaboration can be a hard thing to master. But it becomes especially challenging when working remotely, either because of geographic reasons or, as the case may be, government order. Certainly every team is different, but evaluating solutions that promote a large degree of collaboration seems like a sensible place to begin when you’re looking to get things done faster and more effectively.
Matillion: Built for collaboration
Matillion ETL was built from the ground up to facilitate collaboration, even across widely distributed teams. There are a number of ways that Matillion can help your organization collaborate. Let’s look at some key features that can make the largest impact on your productivity and your success as a team.
Browser-based user interface
Matillion’s browser-based interface is at the core of almost every point that will follow. A single shared user interface, procured and provisioned in the cloud, is the cornerstone that enables Matillion to continually add features and functionality that support highly collaborative teams.
Tools that are locally managed are clunky to maintain and configure and they present a variety of logistical problems. Perhaps most notable, (and admittedly cheeky), is the ‘it-works-on-my-machine’ effect. These logistical hiccups cause all sorts of havoc for developers, often requiring hours of triage and wasted cycles. Worse still, these types of ‘infrastructure’ problems can spread throughout the team, bringing additional developers into the fray. This is not the type of ‘collaboration’ we’re looking for.
A user interface that team members can access from anywhere in the world, with just a browser, creates some interesting opportunities and avoids some of the common pitfalls of locally managed tools.
Collaborate in the same space, even when you’re apart
One of the opportunities a browser-based interface affords is the ability for team members to co-develop the same workflow, in real time. This enables team members to see the effects of adding or modifying Matillion components instantaneously (and vice-versa). If you’ve seen several people work within a Google Doc, you get the gist.
As a result, several members of a team can work on a single workflow, allowing each to focus on their respective areas of expertise, so that the project can be completed, tested, and delivered more quickly than a single resource could manage. This real-time coordination also allows team members to perform code-review tasks on the fly as the workflow is being built. This saves an enormous amount of time that would otherwise be spent providing context to the reviewer. The end result is increased speed to delivery with the potential to increase quality at the same time.
Fine grained permissions
This may seem trivial and perhaps even common, but Matillion offers an incredible degree of flexibility when it comes to user management and permissions, which makes it accessible to a larger and more cross-functional audience. You have the ability to create unique and specific roles for Business Analysts, Product Owners, Project Managers and beyond. Just like that, developers and engineers, and their counterparts, can look at the same workflows and speak the same language (or nearly so), without the worry that less technical resources can see, access or execute something which could have negative impacts. Compliance and audit resources can access Matillion with the same or similar precautions in place, without having to trouble engineers with all of the minutiae that auditing requires.
This feature is an incredible time-saver even without going into its collaborative benefits. Maintaining documentation, while extremely important for most organizations, is an incredible drain on overall throughput. At times, the lifespan of a document version can be calculated in minutes, so keeping up with iterations requires dedicated resources. Unfortunately, in many cases, tracking changes falls by the wayside. Not only does Matillion make it manageable to follow updates in documentation, the hyper-linked, thorough, and pleasantly formatted document that Matillion produces can be yet another touchpoint for stakeholders. It can answer questions that would otherwise be directed at development resources, and it can spark important conversations to ensure that deliverables and requirements align.
No discussion of Matillion’s collaboration features would be complete without mentioning our support for Git integration. Git is the go-to version control system for today’s developer with it’s feature-rich support of distributed repositories, easy branching and merging, and straightforward workflows that enable distributed teams to contribute to the same codebase in a managed way.
Matillion’s implementation of Git allows developers to not only track the history of their own changes, but also merge those changes into centralized branches along with other collaborators. Branches can naturally be pushed to remote repositories and pulled down onto different Matillion instances, allowing your whole team to contribute changes while controlling those changes promotion from development environments through QA and into production. All this can happen from within the Matillion GUI, which provides a simple point-and-click interface for managing your job development and promotion processes. On top of that, Matillion provides API endpoints for interacting with Git, which supports programmatic deployment strategies and allows for the automated promotion and integration of your whole team’s contributions.
Work smarter together, near or far
A cloud-native solution like Matillion is well suited to the demands of co-located team members from a wide variety of skill sets and functions. The challenges that teams face with staying connected and producing their best work can be reduced, sometimes by a great deal. The key is to take advantage of solutions that were built taking into account the types of problems that modern data teams face every day, and sometimes in unanticipated situations.
See for yourself how Matillion ETL can help your team collaborate closely, even at a distance.