In today’s data-driven environment, most businesses and organizations rely heavily on harvested and stored information. Data integration is now more critical than ever as it improves efficiency, increases accuracy, adds agility, improves analytics, and increases business value. With such a heavy reliance on collected information, the data landscape is increasingly becoming varied and more hybrid. The arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT), the volume of unstructured data, and the complexity of analytics requests compound the need for flexible data management solutions. Data fabrics can increase the value of data and accelerate digital transformation.
Data fabric solutions support the delivery of semantically enriched data. Data fabrics are similar to textile fabrics as they weave together data collections from sources such as internal silos, data lakes, and external databases. In simplest terms, a data fabric is a single environment that incorporates a unified architecture and associated services and technologies to help manage data. A data fabric aims to maximize data and accelerate digital transformation by crafting a web of information to drive enterprise business applications, AI, and analytics. Let’s look at how a data fabric weaves together data sources similar to a piece of textile fabric.
Woven Data Fabric
Think of data fabric as a woven web of data assets similar to textile fabric. Just as textiles are stretched over a loom and woven together to create a cloth, a data fabric is stretched over a vast space that connects multiple locations, types, and sources of data. As the data moves within the data fabric, it can then be processed, managed, and stored. Once under the data fabric “cloth,” the data can be accessed and shared among internal and external applications for numerous analytical operations. The data within a fabric architecture allows for advanced analytics that can aid with forecasting, product development, and improved marketing and sales.
Like many textiles today blend materials such as cotton, polyester, and nylon, a data fabric combines various types of data by providing real-time access to the information stored in numerous locations and environments. Data fabrics are creating virtual data centers that allow access to the right data at the right time. This solution is critical for many businesses and organizations reliant on information such as metadata to make decisions and drive productivity. Through a data fabric architecture, business users get rapid data access to shape operations and innovation.
Benefits of Data Fabric
Data fabric solutions provide many benefits for organizations needing to harness the power of information stored in data warehouses, silos, databases, and other locations. Previously, it wasn’t easy to gather collective insights from various data types and data sources. However, data fabrics provide a competitive advantage to many institutions, as they allow for harvesting and analysis from a wide range of locations. It’s a scalable and permanent solution for data management under a unified environment.
As a result, data fabric ultimately allows businesses and organizations to realize the full power of data to meet business demands. It will enable IT departments and data scientists to harness the power of hybrid clouds, build hybrid multi-cloud experiences, and modernize storage methods through better data management. Data fabrics have done away with disparate, disconnected infrastructures that served as an obstacle to the sharing of data. This has led to massive cost-saving and time-saving techniques for data ingestion and analysis.
Data fabric can be compared to a large piece of cloth that covers an entire network of an organization’s users. Anyone who is covered by this cloth can access data from anywhere in the network. Data fabric weaves together massive data stores from numerous suppliers and locations to create a single platform for query and analysis. Businesses, organizations, and even mass transportation are benefiting from data fabric solutions. Data fabric technology improves end-to-end performance, reduces cost and time, and simplifies infrastructure configuration and management.