Data Fabric: Everything You Need to Know
Data is a valuable asset for businesses around the globe. It helps companies understand their customers’ basic needs and drives their decisions. But many organizations are inundated with data, making it hard to find the information needed to make strategic decisions that drive business outcomes. The data is often stored in a variety of locations and formats. Data fabric aims to unlock this challenge by connecting data across departments and enterprises. Learn more about how data fabric can help you do just that!
What Is Data Fabric?
Data fabric is a data structure design idea that allows users to integrate several data sources across multiple channels. It is a framework that connects, protects, and secures your data in one place. This means that you can have all your information in one central location, which will give you better control of everything. A data fabric also gives you access to all your data when it’s needed. When you have this type of arrangement, it reduces the need for redundant processes because all the data is readily available without having to go through many distinct steps.
Aside from providing access to real-time updates, the fabric also allows for controlled distribution. You can grant permissions from anywhere and at any time. So individuals can do more with less — whether they are traveling or working remotely. With the data fabric, you don’t have to worry about individual departments losing their data if there’s an interruption in internet connectivity or power outage. Because the data fabric stores your data for offline use, it ensures that business continuity remains intact no matter what happens outside of your company walls.
How Does Data Fabric Work?
A data fabric provides an organization with the ability to collect and analyze massive amounts of structured or unstructured data from multiple sources. It uses multiple servers to store large chunks of information and distribute them among different hosts so they can be processed faster. Users have full control over their information, as it’s only accessible by those with specific access rights. Because it combines several resources into a single system, it’s often referred to as a multi-cloud management platform.
Why Use a Data Fabric?
With fragmented infrastructure and complex tools, combined with rapidly evolving data needs, traditional approaches have become outdated and incapable of meeting the challenges of today’s data-driven enterprise. In order to succeed in today’s data-driven business world, you have to have access to data from all components; be it an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor or a traditional enterprise application.
And while no one wants to manage data silos that are rife with incompatibility and redundancy, it’s challenging to connect the causes of these challenges and the solutions through traditional data integration. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to have a holistic approach to data that overcomes the hurdles of time, space, different software types, and data locations.
Data needs to be accessible to users who need it, regardless of department or information technology (IT) silo. Businesses need a secure, efficient, unified environment that accesses and transforms information, and data fabric technology provides that.
What Are the Benefits of Data Fabrics?
Data fabrics can be beneficial for businesses in a variety of ways, particularly by improving the speed and efficiency with which they can access important insights from their data. Here are some of the key benefits of a data fabric:
1. Data Integration
The best way to get the most out of your big data is to integrate it with your existing enterprise information systems. When you’re using multiple applications and software to run your business, having a data fabric can help you integrate all of this information in order to get a holistic view of your enterprise. With the data fabric, data is no longer fragmented across files, servers, and departments.
This technology provides a single platform that unifies data, allowing users one place to store, manage, and access their data from anywhere with internet access. And this helps you make more informed decisions based on the data you have at hand. Once you have created an integrated system in which all relevant data is updated in real time, you can perform analytics on them any time without further preparation.
2. Eliminating Data Silos
While data silos have historically been the way organizations worked with data, inside a cluster or department, the fact is that they hamper productivity, even though they are quite beneficial in operational cases. This is because silos operate as independent entities that prevent organizations from accessing all of their enterprise data at once. This increases the time it takes to complete simple tasks like finding the right contact information, or comparing how a certain metric looks between months.
The data fabric can help companies overcome challenges associated with data silos. By using a data-centric approach, big data can be more easily and timely accessible across organizations. Data fabric supports a wide range of services by building on open-source technologies. This means a user can access various data sources from anywhere in the world.
3. Risk Mitigation
Risk mitigation is a major benefit of a data fabric. This was previously a challenge, as extract, transfer, and load (ETL) processing had to be managed actively. However, once the infrastructure has been put into place and configured to suit operational needs, the data fabric will handle the ETL process seamlessly. This prevents large-scale risk with data migration and safety measures in place in case of any incidents that may affect the data pipeline.
A data fabric addresses risks by incorporating real-time analytics to identify potential issues and make adjustments as needed. The agile model allows new data to be fed into the system without the worry of corrupting data assets. The platform communicates any forthcoming delays with both product development and customer experience. This keeps all departments informed of operational issues. The data architecture can also monitor compliance with regulatory guidelines.
4. Advanced Search Time
With a unified interface, a data fabric simplifies searching for information because it allows you to search across multiple databases at once. With this function, your team can save time by conducting combined searches instead of searching for specific information within each database separately. If you run a business from many locations, a hybrid cloud can allow you to access all of your data from any of your locations. This feature is helpful for companies that store sensitive or proprietary data across multiple locations.
Modern enterprises require large amounts of storage space as they grow and expand into new markets. Since a flexible cloud-based system makes it easy to scale up or down as needed, a data fabric will allow you to grow your business without having to worry about outgrowing your infrastructure. A data fabric must be able to expand with your business. If you are considering adding new applications or connecting with new partners, you should have enough bandwidth and computing power to do so easily. A data fabric maintains its integrity as databases expand and can deliver high-quality performance as its volume increases.
6. Improved Data Governance and Compliance
Data governance is an organization’s strategy for making sure its data is useful, reliable, and protected in the right ways. In industries such as healthcare and financial services where privacy regulations are strict, organizations need to show their ability to meet regulatory requirements when audited. Data fabrics can make compliance easier by centralizing data collection, storage, and management in one place so that administrators can better understand how data flows throughout the enterprise and where they might need to put extra controls in place.
7. Improved Data Security and Privacy
Data security and privacy are also two major concerns for most organizations. With data fabric, an organization has complete control over who has access and what they have access to within the fabric, making it easier for them to stay compliant with data regulations. This is important because each organization will have different security requirements based on the importance of their data and how they want data secured. Unlike traditional data silos where a single breach can expose all of your organization’s data, the fabric is broken up into micro-services which gives you, as an enterprise, more flexibility in protecting sensitive data.
8. Reduced Costs
Many companies are already leveraging this technology as it offers them flexibility in how they manage their information and compliance with various regulations, while also reducing costs associated with storage and management of data. With data fabric, companies can reduce the cost of infrastructure by simplifying infrastructure management, lowering the cost of storage, improving utilization rates, and more.
A data fabric is a single, logical, virtualized database that can span multiple physical databases and provide a unified view of data. And this concept is one of the most compelling and promising approaches for next-generation data management. It’s the only fully integrated solution that spans the entire data stack and enables you to extract insights from any type of data. As a result, you can now act on data across your entire organization, react to market changes faster and scale your business like never before.
MEV’s Expertise and Data Fabric
MEV is a software company that specializes in a variety of technology services, including data fabric-related services. We offer consultation services from industry experts as well as partnership opportunities. We provide data fabric implementation services, which includes identifying key sources of metadata, building a data model MVP, aligning your data to the model MVP, setting up consumer applications, and evolving your data fabric over time. We also provide ongoing support and maintenance and proactive fixes to ensure the architecture is running smoothly at all times. If you are interested in hearing from an expert about your current architecture or looking for a partner to aid in data fabric implementation, we are your go to allies.