What’s the Difference Between Data Lake and Data Fabric?

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Companies are recognizing the need for a more modern approach to learning about the inner mechanisms of their structure or to even get the best picture of customer data as it comes through in real time. Proper data management and integration software is key to making sure that any member of an organisation can access viable data sources. There are some terms in analytics that business users may not understand, so it’s important to know that there is a difference in things like data fabrics and data lakes.

Data Fabric

Data fabric is an end-to-end data integration and management solution consisting of architecture, data management, and integration software. Enterprise data fabric is designed to help organisations address complex data queries and use cases by properly managing an influx of information. Data fabric enables frictionless access to information that can provide businesses with a competitive advantage through safe, controlled data sharing in a distributed data environment.

Through properly instituted data fabric architecture, businesses are moving beyond traditional data integration to meet the demands of real-time connectivity, automation, and universal transformation. Many organisations haven’t been able to integrate, curate, and transform data at a steady pace, impacting their supply chain within their company and impacting their customer relationships. Now, data fabric is allowing companies to not only find the right data but convert raw data from a variety of sources more easily with the right frameworks to transform that data into powerful analytics based on set standards for businesses of all sizes.

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Data Lake

While data fabric makes use of the architecture for proper data analysis, a data lake is a key source for this network of information, helping to build data pipelines for the deployment of analytics and business strategies. A data lake is a centralised repository that allows you to store all your structured and unstructured data at any scale. You can store raw information before it goes through the proper data preparation filters. From there, you can build up these datasets through the proper architecture to make for easier visibility for end-users thanks to real-time analytics and machine learning to guide better decisions.

Even with a large volume of data, these lakes can combine structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data of any format. This allows any size infrastructure to not only gain faster access to information but also help data engineers avoid concurrency issues in a complex environment. With proper data governance, analysts are able to enforce row- and column-level security across private clouds with scalable role-based access policies, eliminating the need to manage multiple versions of the same data, which can lead to issues in the accuracy of your data.


Data Integrity

In this digital transformation, businesses in a variety of industries are looking for the fastest way to turn their data into crucial information for better business decisions. Data quality is key, and data fabric and data lakes help companies implement strategies to institute consistent capabilities. With a properly implemented data lake and data fabric architecture, analysts are able to work to install their choice of endpoints to make sure that the information available is not only accessible but accurate.

For example, this can allow an online retailer to capture fraud detection within their customer databases brought on by a security breach. In these scenarios, activation of an alert system makes companies aware of compliance risks to prevent customers from falling victim to fraud because of an individual purchase. By having databases sync up from the supply chain through a secure sales front, retailers can handle any size data volume while still providing rapid access to make sure that their data practices are best established.