The material role data fabrics play in modern business
Posted March 23, 2022
Written by Terry May, Xpanxion Technical Writer
Is your data unified?
As the world of connected devices, digitization, data volumes, and data sources continue to explode, businesses face mounting pressure to extract value from their data…and they must do it on time, within budget, and during a historic labor shortage.
The gravity of this tension is a relentless tug on data-driven businesses that must overcome constant data management challenges to survive in today’s digital age. Finding ways to collect and unify siloed data to gain valuable and actionable insights is by far their biggest obstacle.
Today data is so diverse and comes from so many different places that managing it is an ongoing slog for data analysts.
The data could be structured or unstructured, data-in-motion or data-at-rest, stored in the cloud, on-premises, or at the edge (on or near connected devices), and reside in data warehouses, data lakes, data hubs, files, tables, and in programs like CRM and ERP, for example. The list of data sources is seemingly endless and accessing and managing them is becoming more complex.
Data diversity, disparate sources, desperate for a solution
As history shows, like with every critical business problem, a solution shortly follows in the form of technology or a technical approach. In this case, a new data management approach called ‘data fabric’ has emerged to tackle the colossal problem of data utilization.
Data fabrics are reshaping how we manage data in the future. And since data is at the heart of digital transformation, it’s fueling those efforts, as well.
Gartner named data fabric as one of its top 10 data and analytics technology trends for 2021, and for good reasons. A data fabric can reduce integration time by 30%, deployment by 30%, and maintenance by 70%.
Gartner defined a data fabric as "a design concept that serves as an integrated layer (fabric) of data and connecting processes. A data fabric utilizes continuous analytics over existing, discoverable, and inferenced metadata assets to support the design, deployment, and utilization of integrated and reusable data across all environments, including hybrid and multi-cloud platforms."
- In simpler terms, a data fabric organizes data into a single interface that connects across different networks and endpoints, bridging siloed data from disparate sources and providing a single unified view of the aggregated data.
Data fabrics hinge on many things conducted in the background and at light speed. The data needs to be validated, cleaned, cataloged and managed before it’s ready for analytics or machine learning (ML) purposes. It also needs to be integrated with the frontend that uses it.
A data fabric that works follows the rules of ‘the right data in the right place at the right time for the right action.’ This proficiency to quickly coalesce and analyze different types of data across disparate sources lets businesses deliver value from their data pipelines on a just-in-time basis.
However, it’s important to remember a data fabric is not a specific product; it’s an approach that combines a collection of data management and data integration skills with shared data assets. A data fabric can serve as an accelerator to retire legacy systems, it's great way to deal with distributed/siloed data architecture, but it’s not a cookie-cutter deployment. A data fabric requires modern infrastructures, and a lot of integration.
That said, organizations that can use data fabrics can harness the breadth and complexity of the state of their data, even as it continues to expand and grow.
At Xpanxion, we build modern, distributed infrastructures with advanced technologies so businesses can embrace new technologies and approaches such as data fabrics to advance competitively. Read our success stories to learn how we help organizations prepare for the digital future.
About Xpanxion - Solving business problems with technology. We are software product engineering experts with over 20+ years of experience delivering the technologies, software architectures, processes and people critical to delivering success. As a trusted partner, we focus on business solutions and alliances that provide end-to-end value to solving our customer’s problems. We focus on providing best-in-class solutions by developing custom solutions with modern technologies or by delivering industry recognized off the shelf solutions.
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