Today’s businesses store their data in many different forms. However, due to the sheer amount of information that even modestly sized enterprises collect, leveraging it all at once just isn’t viable. So, what’s the solution?
Well, that’s where data lakes come in. TechTarget explained that in essence, a data lake is a vast amount of information that is stored in its native format to later be used for analytics and business intelligence efforts.
More information, better decisions
Data lakes can enable organisations to scale more easily in the face of growing amounts of information.
While that definition is relatively basic, the possibilities of what data lakes can do are endless for the most forward thinking organisations. A comprehensive report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) explained that data lakes can help resolve issues around the integration of data into analytics, creating a scalable solution that has the future in mind.
As touched on, the rise of big data has seen an increasing number of organisations horde information, without an immediate plan of what they’re going to do with it. However, pre-determined data models can be relatively stifling in this regard.
PwC suggested that the concept of the data lake relaxes some of boundaries of standardisation in storage, resulting in nearly unlimited potential for data discovery and valuable analytical insight.
Leveraging a data lake
So, for organisations that are ready and able to build out their own data lakes in order to benefit their analytics practices, what are the ideal steps? CITO research explained that it’s actually about experimentation.
This is due to the fact that the usability of a data lake will be centred around what the company can’t do with its existing data infrastructure. Consequently, data lakes are best leveraged after a thorough assessment of how the organisation is using its information, and highlighting any issues that it’s hitting in terms of scalability and deployment.
While there’s no guarantee that a data lake can provide success and increased analytics capabilities in its own right, there can be little denying that the most progressive enterprises should be leveraging them alongside other data warehousing efforts.
— EMC Global Services (@EMCservices) November 24, 2015
Together, data lakes and the more traditional methods of storage provide a melding of capabilities that can ultimately lead to better, more informed business decisions. Essentially, their use can help organisations get more from their information, and do it faster, too.
A data lake may not be hugely useful when considered on its own. However, enterprises that can use the concept to alleviate some of the pain points across their information storage infrastructure will soon find value, and be free draw more encompassing conclusions.