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Harnessing the potential of data refinery

Navigating the modern business maze with Virtusa and AWS

Aijaz Ahmed , Balaji PN , Hussain Shabbir & Balaganesh Ramdas
Published: May 13, 2024

In the maze of modern business landscapes, data is the ultimate asset. However, a daunting challenge lies amid the glittering promise of data-driven insights: How do you refine this raw wealth of information and emerge with actionable intelligence? Welcome to the world of data refinery, where transforming data into gold requires skill, precision, and a keen understanding of the challenges that modern enterprises face.

Imagine your organization as a vast mine that is rich with raw data nuggets waiting to be unearthed. Though each piece holds potential, it remains buried and untapped without proper refinement. The sheer volume, variety, and velocity of data inundating businesses today only compound the complexity of this task. From customer interactions to operational metrics, the deluge of information can overwhelm even the most sophisticated systems.

But the true test lies not only in collecting the data but also in distilling it into meaningful insights that drive informed decision-making. This is where the concept of data refinery emerges as a beacon of hope in the murky waters of information overload. Much like a traditional refinery that separates crude oil into its valuable components, data refinery processes extract, cleanse, and enrich raw data, turning it into a valuable asset that creates strategic advantages.

However, the journey from data chaos to clarity is fraught with challenges. Legacy systems, disparate data sources, data silos, and privacy concerns form formidable obstacles along the path to data refinement. Additionally, the evolving regulatory landscape adds another layer of complexity, demanding adherence to stringent compliance standards.

The role of data refinery in modern data management strategies

Data refinery represents a modern data management approach, transcending traditional methods to deliver superior data quality, integration, agility, scalability, automation, and, ultimately, actionable insights for business success. Management strategies include the following:

  • A focus on data quality: Prioritizing accuracy, consistency, and reliability through processes like cleansing, normalization, and enrichment
  • Integration of diverse data sources: Handling structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data from various sources for unified analysis
  • Agility and flexibility: Enabling swift adjustments to accommodate changing business needs with dynamic governance and architecture principles
  • Scalability and performance: Leveraging distributed computing, parallel processing, and real-time analytics for efficient handling of large-scale data
  • Automation and self-service: Empowering collaboration among data professionals and business users through automated processes and self-service tools, thus reducing manual intervention and accelerating insights
  • Focus on business value: Driving actionable insights and decision-making through advanced analytics, machine learning (ML), and data visualization techniques

Clearing the path to data refinery with Virtusa and AWS

Virtusa and AWS have forged a decade-long partnership dedicated to spearheading data platform modernization and delivering comprehensive solutions to our Fortune 1000 clientele. As an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner, AWS Data and Analytics Competency Partner, and AWS Service Delivery Partner for Amazon Redshift and Amazon EMR, we have tackled intricate data scenarios across various industry domains, handling structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data with ease.

Drawing on our extensive experience and deep-rooted relationship with AWS, we've meticulously crafted optimal data services for ingestion, transformation, and enrichment. This iterative process ensures the delivery of curated data bolstered by a well-architected consumption layer tailored for business intelligence (BI) and advanced analytics.

Together, we've built scalable and flexible cloud architectures, empowering clients to harness the full potential of their data assets. Our portfolio boasts large-scale implementations of Amazon EMR for robust data processing, AWS Glue for meticulous metadata cataloging and seamless data integration, and Amazon Redshift for data warehousing enriched with advanced capabilities, like data quality assurance and secure data sharing.

Through strategic optimization of AWS services and utilization of features like autoscaling and spot instances, we've enabled our clients to trim infrastructure costs while maximizing the efficiency of their data refinery processes. This cost optimization ensures clients achieve their data processing objectives within budgetary constraints.

Our collaboration also extends beyond core AWS services, as we've witnessed organizations augmenting their data refinery processes with third-party tools and services sourced from the AWS marketplace. This integration ecosystem empowers clients to tailor bespoke solutions that cater to their specific requirements, streamlining workflows and enhancing efficiency.

In essence, our partnership with AWS has strengthened the effectiveness of the data refinery process for our clients by offering scalability, advanced analytics capabilities, robust security and compliance measures, cost optimization strategies, and seamless integration with third-party tools. By leveraging AWS' unparalleled capabilities, we enable organizations to unlock the full potential of their data assets, driving innovation and fostering growth.

Driving business success: Data refinery implementations in the U.K.


For a major U.K. currency exchange customer, an AWS-based data refinery enabled customers to predict their next best actions (NBAs) and efficiently analyze their historical data with ease and trust. These outcomes helped the customer streamline their business prospects, advise marketing channels, and offer a fair share of profits to brokers. 


For a U.K.-based pharma customer, we implemented an enterprise-wide, domain-specific data mesh solution with the client’s core ingestion and standardization processes within the AWS data refinery. Ingestion frameworks collect data from multiple streaming sources with multiple structures and feed it into the data refinery. Within the data refinery, data is sanitized, refined, and restructured into a common format to enhance data products for respective domains. With this refined data, a business can monetize its data assets as data products within the corporate marketplace for the business teams to derive accurate outcomes.

Digging into the details of data refinery with Virtusa and AWS

Virtusa brings a holistic and comprehensive data modernization approach to build a robust, modern data platform and data refinery.


Virtusa’s data modernization on the cloud with smart migration — takes a holistic, unique approach to deliver value

Using a specific set of AWS data refinery services, Virtusa has expertise with AWS capabilities and consistently utilizes them in implementing data refinery for various customers.

  • AWS Glue DataBrew: To clean and standardize data
  • Amazon Data Firehose and Amazon EMR: To ingest streaming data
  • AWS Glue and Amazon EMR: To ingest and transform batch data
  • Amazon S3: For unstructured data storage
  • Amazon Redshift and Amazon Athena: For structured and analytical data storage
  • AWS Glue Data Catalog: A technical and business catalog for data stored in the refinery
  • Amazon QuickSight and Amazon OpenSearch Service: For operational data analytics
  • Amazon Macie, AWS Data Exchange, and AWS Clean Rooms: For securing and sharing data with internal stakeholders

Empowering businesses for the data-driven future

Data refinery represents a paradigm shift in data management — transcending traditional methods to deliver superior insights and drive business success. As we navigate the modern business maze, Virtusa and AWS are committed to guiding organizations toward a future fueled by data-driven decisions and untapped potential. Learn more about our partnership with AWS here.

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