A data lake, in essence, is a repository that can store an infinite amount of both structured and unstructured data for later use. In a previous article, we have briefly explained a few noticeable differences between data lakes and data warehouses. Each type of data repository serves a unique purpose. Therefore, instead of replacing one with another, they can be used supplementarily.
In this article, we will dive into the different uses of data lakes, and why your business should consider this advanced technology today.
What can businesses use data lakes for?
With the capability to store high-volume, high-velocity data as-is in a centralised location, data lakes immediately become the most sought-after technology for not only data scientists but also businesses that seek to diminish silos and maximise the power of data. For example, the migration and extraction from legacy email archives to the cloud, like transitioning to Office 365, require sizable storage for discovery and analysis in later times.
The shift to data lakes is unavoidable as the sheer volume of data that pours in from multiple enterprise applications daily. However, the vast majority of such data is still processed traditionally and in silos.
One of the most common uses of the lakes is to store the Internet of Things (IoT) data to support near-real-time analysis. Businesses do not consume all data that they generated, and there are pieces of information that get used more often than others. Data lakes are valuable in storing historical data and supporting active archive strategies, applications, or even business reporting activities. With the right business intelligence and analytic tools, businesses can conduct experimental analysis before its value or purpose is defined and moved to a data warehouse.
The ability to garner practically all data provides endless opportunities for businesses. Data lakes have many uses and play a key role in providing solutions to many different business problems.
1. Oil and Gas
Being one of the early adopters of multiple disruptive technologies, from cloud computing to IoT, it is no surprise that oil and gas are also onboard with this new trend. It is estimated that, on average, an oil and gas company generates 1.5 terabytes of IoT data daily.
Historical data stored in data lakes are vital for exploration, and thus, can be used to optimise directional drilling, minimise unexpected downtime, lower operating expenses, improve safety, and stay compliant with regulatory requirements.
Data science combined with GPS can enable oil and gas companies to increase production more than 20 times. According to the World Economic Forum, the oil and gas industry can unlock $1.6 trillion of value by 2025 by leveraging data lakes.
2.Smart city initiatives
Governments, private and non-profit organisations, and universities are working together to build more liveable, connected smart cities. According to IDC, investments on technologies that drive smart cities initiatives are expected to reach $124 billion this year.
These technologies will power traffic lights, direct law enforcement, enhance education systems, optimise waterways, tolls and more. Thus, the amount of data generated per vehicle or pedestrian every single minute will be tremendous. And such sheer volume can only be contained using data lakes.
3. Life sciences
Our body is a highly complex machine, and it also generates tons of data. Our weight, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, enzymes, white blood cell counts, etc. are measurements that change over time.
Life sciences need data lakes to conduct data exploration and discovery to gain a deeper understanding of the human genome, predict and detect any defect, and leverage these insights to enhance the life expectancy of the entire world's population.
Cybersecurity has always been a challenge that every organisation tries to eliminate, or at least minimise. Any laptops, servers, smartphones, or computing devices are vulnerable and susceptible to internal and external threats. Ransomware, scam emails, viruses are becoming harder to detect.
To prevent these security breaches wreaking havoc a company, its employees and customers' trust, especially during the post-GDPR period, organisations need to put into place proactive, always-on security, disaster recovery and business continuity plans. Data lakes provide a safe and secure haven to house a business' precious digital assets.
Every marketing channel and touchpoint forms its own database. Data lakes can be used to collect any information, from demographic to preferences of both customers and prospects from disparate sources, to assist in hyper-personalised marketing campaigns. As a result, marketers do not need to acquire such data from third parties.
What many of us are not aware of is common customer data platforms used by marketers, such as Salesforce and HubSpot, store fragmented data in data lakes, and then present it to us through a web-based interface.
Data lakes can enable marketers to monitor and analyse data in near real-time, a vital capability if you are working with streaming services and need timely information to make informed strategic decisions and build segmented campaigns.
These are, without a doubt, just a few examples of what data lakes are truly capable of. Other sectors such as fintech, insurance, supply chain or healthcare unquestionably can also profit from the endless opportunities that data lakes bring. According to an Aberdeen survey, organisations that implemented data lakes outperform their peers by 9% in revenue growth by identifying and acting upon new growth opportunities faster using new data sources and analytics.
Data lake on Infor OS – One operating system to rule them all
Along with a wide variety of use cases, data lakes are also available on many platforms. The most common being Hadoop, a powerful processing platform and a less expensive option than traditional data warehouses. But Hadoop is not the only choice.
Enterprise applications are inching towards the cloud, and so are data lakes. The cloud offers a cost-effective solution for data repository in addition to highly elastic scalability, reliability, availability, and a diverse set of analytic engines.
As an Infor's Gold Partner, it would be a missed opportunity if we do not mention Infor Data Lake. The technology is a built-in part of Infor OS, the next-generation operating system that powered Infor CloudSuites and Infor SunSystems 6.4.
Infor Data Lake unites data on your CloudSuite Industrial, IoT, third parties to provide one single version of the truth. Moreover, the lake also provides numerous advanced functions, such as intelligent data ingestion, metadata management, and big data architecture, enabling users to obtain data based on their needs.
With Infor OS, you can tap into a wide array of applications that can transform your business, such as Infor's very own Artificial Intelligence engine Coleman AI, Birst networked analytics, Infor ION, and Infor Ming.le to name a few.
To gain a deeper understanding of how Infor Data Lake and Infor OS can help your business thrive, check out our available resources here or download an Infor OS brochure via the button below.