Bringing the Power of the Data Lake to the Business
By Jen Benito, Data Intelligence Principal Consultant, Trace3
I come from the world of traditional RDBMS Data Warehouses and Business Intelligence, where I spent the first 20 years of my career. Today, as a member of Trace3’s Data Intelligence team, I hear the phrases ‘business insights’ and ‘business outcomes’ as key objectives from my customers all the time, but don’t those phrases simply describe the goals of Business Intelligence? That used to be the case, but not anymore; the reality is that obtaining business insights and achieving business outcomes has become a lot more complicated.
The data driving business intelligence was never meant to make it to the the hands of business users without being first cleansed, conditioned, and integrated. But the process of data curation was too slow for many organizations (further exacerbated by the Big Data movement bringing even more data sources to the table). But somehow business found a way …MS Access Databases and Excel Spreadsheets cropped up everywhere as business intelligence tools that allowed the business to gain insight into their business.
In today’s world, the shortcomings of the spreadmart (no quality controls, no repeatability, no transparency, small scale) and the scope of data companies want to leverage have led organizations to adopt data lakes architectures that contain ‘raw’ data. Data that has no business rules applied to it. Data that may or may not have relationships to other data. Data that comes from its original source in its original form. Data that has not been modeled or loaded to a normalized warehouse.
Self-service Data Preparation from Paxata is designed to enable business users to access the data lake directly and be able to leverage data in the lake; Paxata takes the need for IT professionals to condition, integrate, and format the data in a uniform way for reporting and puts it in the hands of the business. Paxata does so while providing all of the underlying benefits of a data lake architecture in terms of data agility and speed to insight; so business users can get these benefits with no specialized technical skills needed!
However, many organizations are not ready to take on the cost and complexity of managing a Hadoop-based data lake. Or business units have to cross a huge number of hurdles in order to access the data lakes they already have in place – significantly impacting speed to insight.
The Dynamic Data Prep Appliance from Trace3 fills a critical need for organizations. The DDPA is a turn-key solution that enables business users to blend data from disparate data sources, profile the data, make recommendations on formatting the data in a consistent manner, join the data together to make meaningful relationships, find and fix quality issues with full transparency, collaboration and repeatability at enterprise scale without having to wait months or even years to gain access to a data lake environment. In addition, the appliance is secure and completely managed enabling businesses to self-serve and act on their key business objectives.