Is EA Art or Science?

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Or to put it another way, is your EA visually-driven or data-driven? Not that long ago, a colleague found himself in a conversation with a customer’s large EA department. They were voicing their concerns that Ardoq is clearly data-driven, whilst they saw themselves as visually-driven.

Petteri Vainikka, Ardoq, [email protected]
Petteri spoke at the Enterprise Architecture Conference Europe 2018 22-25 October 2018 on the subject, “Old EA is dying. What’s next?” Arqdoq were Platinum sponsors of this event.
This article was previously published here.


Of course, this wasn’t the first time we’d heard objections to our mission of transforming EA from manual architecture drawing to augmented analytics based on real enterprise data. We do, however, want to take a couple of minutes to explain why we’re sticking to this mission. 

Want To Learn More about the New Rules of EA? Download Our Playbook >>

Facts and data matter more than opinionated art

When it comes to making a business case with senior management, having facts and data beats opinions and artistic impressions every time.

Make no mistake: at Ardoq, we want to ignite passion and understanding of the value of enterprise architecture at the highest possible levels of organizations, small and large alike. In other words, we want to elevate EA to the same standing as:

  • Sales Management (CRO)
  • Product Development Management (CTO)
  • Financial Management (CFO)

All of whom sit at the senior management table. For this to happen, EA needs to be based on facts and data — not an ‘artist’s impression’ of connected boxes and lines with only a vague connection to hard facts.

Continuing with this comparison, all of the above mentioned offices derive their executive dashboards and visual communication aids from data in an automated fashion.

  • All departments are data-driven and facts based
  • All departments can argue their case with data, and can analyze — or interrogate — their data through standardized analytical means at almost real-time speed
  • None consider their work to be visually-driven at the foundation
  • All are deeply founded on data
  • All thrive towards automation of data analysis, including automation of the visual analysis

New EA is About Data-Driven Visualizations

The age when ‘data-driven’ meant dull looking tabular data sheets and clumsy technical visual representations (UML anyone?)  is long over. Being data-driven is no longer at odds with being visually rich and visually pleasing, even to someone who isn’t familiar with EA.

In fact, it’s very much the opposite. Being data-driven simply means that creating and maintaining visual communication materials of complex systems in constant flux is no longer laborious, manual work – instead it becomes an automated task.

To thrive at senior management level today, your EA needs to be data-driven with business friendly, visually appealing, and instantly informative analysis — all with the highest possible level of automation across the entire EA workflow. Luckily for today’s EAs, this future state is already within reach.

Welcome to new EA.

Petteri Vainikka is CMO at Ardoq, and is a frequent speaker at industry events globally. Petteri has an MSc in technology from Aalto University in Helsinki, a degree in higher education pedagogics, and a PhD currently on hold. Throughout his 15+ year professional career spanning mobile, internet, data, and enterprise SaaS technologies, he has always found himself at the intersection of emerging technology and its hands-on commercial application.
His most recent 7 years having been at the forefront of Data Management Platform (DMP) evolution from a buzzword to globally recognized billion dollar enterprise SaaS market. He is driven by genuine passion to help customers understand and succeed within rapidly changing ecosystems, catalyzed by new technology.
Petteri’s past work experience ranges across entrepreneur, business development, product management, academic, and general management roles at Sumea, Digital Chocolate, Rovio (Founder and Head of Sales and Marketing), Aalto University, Leiki, Enreach (CMO), and most recently Cxense ASA (CXENSE:Oslo), where he served as SVP Product Management. Petteri has a proven track record of launching and scaling new technology companies internationally, whilst at all times remaining customer experience obsessed in doing so.

Copyright Petteri Vainikka, CMO, Ardoq

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