Helping a startup build a data strategy and architecture roadmap in AWS

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β€œThe sessions felt like a lighthouse, shining a significant light on our roadmap and our future. We enjoyed the business & product focus.”

Co-founder - Digital Service Marketplace

Case Study



Company Size

< 10 employees

Problem Space

Data Strategy

Cloud Architecture

Data Platform

Data-Intensive Solutions


Technology Used

AWS Glue

AWS SageMaker

AWS Lake Formation

AWS Redshift


Business Context

A seed-funded startup within South Africa was looking to scale their business. In order to scale effectively and attract the right investment, the startup needed to re-architect their core product to be future-proof and enable growth.

The startup currently serves the digital and creative talent industry by providing a platform that brings business opportunities and creative skills together in a seamless digital marketplace.

The team aimed to strategically utilise the platform's data, but to achieve this, they required the expertise of a data and cloud specialist. This guidance was essential to develop a robust and practical data strategy and architecture tailored to their business needs.

The ask for the Melio AI team was to:

  • Create a vision of how the startup's data and technology could disrupt the digital services marketplace;
  • Make the vision practical by developing a growth-oriented data strategy with consideration for data governance and maturity; and
  • Make the strategy real by developing a data platform architecture and roadmap.


How can we build a platform to enable the business objectives and strategy?
  • The current technology stack was developed as a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Data collection, governance and management was an afterthought due to the need to get to market first.
  • The skills required to translate the data strategy into a technology roadmap was limited.

How can we put data at the center of our technology solution?
  • As an intermediary technology platform between service providers and customers, the client needed to understand how to make data a strategic asset creating a moat of competitive advantage.
  • As a startup, cost efficiency was a central theme that needed to be addressed as part of the cloud architecture and design.
  • Data was already being generated but there was low / poor visibility of key metrics and health of the product and it's contribution to the company's financial performance.


Developing a product-centric data strategy to enable competitive advantage
  • A series of client workshops were run to understand how the business operates and the direction that the founders wanted to take the business in the future.
  • A data vision was developed that helped our client understand the potential of what a data-driven version of the company could look like.
  • The workshops established the principle that data works more effectively in eco-systems rather than in pockets of excellence.
  • The data vision was then used to translate the core business focus into an integrated data strategy and roadmap.
Utilising AWS best practices to develop a fit-for-purpose data management platform architecture
  • A multi-skilled engineering team worked with the client to design a AWS data platform that was was practical and aligned to AWS Well-Architected best practices.
  • The client was able to create a design for incremental growth of the platform as they matured their data and technology solutions.
  • The architecture included a detailed implementation roadmap. This included how to overcome existing and impending business and technology challenges that typically would impact this type of project.
  • The final output was a handcrafted presentation pack that was used to support fund-raising initiatives within the client's venture capital investment eco-system.

Data Strategy and Data Platform Architecture Design

Our client was able to create clarity of vision resulting in:


Understanding the potential of data to transform the business


Aiding in fundraising endeavours within the venture capital investment ecosystem


Providing a fit-for-purpose AWS data platform architecture and detailed roadmap


Setting up the foundation to enable data-driven decision-making