What Is a Data Lake?

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data lake

A data lake is an environment where a vast amount of data, of various types and structures, can be ingested, stored, assessed, and analyzed. Data lakes serve many purposes, including:

  • An environment for data scientists to mine and analyze data.
  • A central storage area for raw data, with minimal, if any transformation.
  • Alternate storage for detailed historical data warehouse.
  • An online archive for records.
  • An environment to ingest streaming data with automated pattern identification.

Other Definitions of a Data Lake Include:

  • “A collection of storage instances of various data assets additional to the originating data sources.” (Kelle O’Neal)
  • “A tool that works upon different data nodes.”. (Michelle Knight)
  • “A pool of unstructured and structured data, stored as-is, without a specific purpose in mind.” (Amber Lee Dennis)
  • A repository “of unfiltered raw data that has not been modified at all.” (TechRepublic)
  • A place where “unstructured/prestructured data resides.” (Harvard Business Review).
  • An affordable way to “store big data in near limitless amount.” (Forbes)

Businesses Use Data Lakes to:

  • Find and act on business opportunities.
  • Stimulate innovation.
  • Deal with complex and diversified data.
  • Meet business demands of more insights, agility, and flexibility.
  • Store different types of data in their original formats until they need to be structured and analyzed.

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