What CIOs need to know about data lakes

by Paul Maritz CEO of Pivotal, the Platform-as-a-Service provider

Data lakes are going to be creditable for the success of all enterprises. A lot of businesses are realising that they can get all sorts of data about their business into a common structure, and once in a structure they can analyse it.

Businesses can look at data lakes in three ways. The first is as one common place to put all the data you may want to use. This includes structured data drawn from traditional databases and unstructured data like text.

Secondly, it is a platform for Big Data analytics. A data lake isn’t just a landing zone for all sorts of data ­­– it’s where you can analyse the data as well, and where you can find the correlations among data that you’ve never before examined together.

Thirdly, data lakes help resolve the longstanding tension between the corporate push to get standard data into warehouses and used consistently, and the business unit need for local views and combinations of data that get implemented in all those Excel spreadsheets. At Pivotal, we summarise those three uses with a slogan: “Store everything. Analyse anything. Build what you need.”

Key things CIOs should know and do about business data lakes

Data lakes are not on the horizon – they’re here today. The technology integration of flexible, scalable data storage with Big Data analytics is admittedly complex. Few enterprises would want to do it on their own, or even invest directly in all the underlying technology. That’s why data lakes are a Platform-as-a-Service offering at Pivotal. The capability is here, and we want the time to business benefits to be very short.

They’re business data lakes. And the purpose of business data lakes is to enable business people and organisations to work with much more data of interest, do better and faster analytics, decide and act in real time, and generate far more insight and value. The success of data lakes is measured by how the service is consumed and converted into other forms of business value.

really have been removed. So work with your business executive partners, pick an interesting opportunity or two, be creative, and exceed your ambitions.


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