How data fabric will transform the analytics environment for the better

Data fabric is particularly useful for organisations where data is stored across multiple locations and far away from the analytics environment.

Big data is growing at an astronomical pace. By 2020, the world will produce 40 trillion gigabytes of data each year. The growth of data combined with the adoption of multiple cloud environments is opening up new opportunities and challenges for organisations. For example, how does one get a comprehensive view of data when it is stored across multiple cloud platforms? These challenges have a knock-on effect on the analytics environment because the quality of insights generated from analytics platforms is dependent on the quality of data.

Data needs to be well managed and well-organised if organisations are to derive meaningful value from it. That’s why data fabric is so important.

What is data fabric?

Data fabric can be best described as a platform where data across different locations and different formats can be serviced to meet an organisation’s needs. It is a framework where data can be isolated in different cloud vendors and different formats to be consolidated. It allows organisations to invest to gain insights from their analytics environment without worrying about uneven access, security and data service levels.

Why should enterprises care about it?

Organisations should consider data fabric because it brings several benefits to data analytics. Large corporations have their data in silos within different storage environments, such data is integrated manually which is a time-consuming process that hurts the ROI in data. Organisations struggling to glean meaningful insight would also benefit from data fabric because the analytics environment would be more efficient and productive.

Data fabric is particularly useful for organisations where data is stored across multiple locations and far away from the analytics environment. With such a data storage plan, access levels, security and compliance rules are different, which makes it very difficult to glean insights. For example, if the data needs to be migrated or analysed, there could be problems due to the differing features. Data fabric offers a solution to the disparity in features.

What are the benefits of data fabric for the analytics environment?

Data fabric offers several advantages that organisations should aim for.

Organisations can maintain consistent service levels even across hybrid cloud environments, regardless of overhead costs, reliability, risk and service levels. The consistency across different cloud environments is incredibly useful for processing big data in the analytics environment.

Access multiple data sources – Whether it is on-premise, cloud or other storage locations, data fabric allows data analysts access to all data, no matter its source. Data migration and a central repository are no longer necessary because the framework can support access to multiple storage locations. Access to multiple sources of data is essential for data analytics platforms because different sources are necessary for a comprehensive analysis of data and for detailed insight.

Create a unified environment – An analytics environment requires seamless access to multiple data sources. Data fabric merges systems and tools to access big data into a single platform or framework. It is a tremendous asset for data analysis because it allows comprehensive insights that are not found when data is stored in siloed locations.

Leverage power and storage – It is much easier to merge data assets to leverage processing power and storage due to access from multiple nodes that enable access to data assets across the entire organisation.

A superior replacement – Big data is fast outgrowing legacy systems and continuous use of these systems is resulting in several problems, like delays in getting insights and lower accuracy amongst other problems. Data fabric can replace these legacy systems because of its superior processing power.

Operate a true cloud environment – Organisations select a cloud storage option based on security levels, service requirements and cost. However, organisations are never static. They grow and evolve, so their requirements change, which means they need to shift to a new cloud platform. But cloud data migration is a costly endeavour, especially if organisations are locked into a long-term environment. However, data fabric circumvents the need for cloud migration by allowing organisations to maintain different cloud storage platforms.

The positive gains of data fabric

Data fabric is the best choice for organisations bogged down with siloed data stores, legacy data systems and disconnected multiple cloud systems. Data fabric is a boon to the analytics environment given that the new framework is comprehensive and unified, which is crucial for delivering the insights that generate value for organisations. Without a proper data environment, data analytics cannot deliver the insights organisations need and there is little value in the data stored.