Data is an essential component of digital transformation for any company. However, as these organizations look to leverage their data, they often face numerous challenges from various data sources, structures, types, platforms, and locations. The problem of multidimensional data becomes more complex when companies begin using hybrid and multi-cloud data architectures. For many organizations, operational data is still often hidden, creating a large amount of dark data that’s much harder to access and utilize.
A data fabric is one of the most modern solutions to the problem of unutilized data. So, you may be wondering, “What is data fabric?” It is quickly becoming the best solution for companies of all sizes to manage their data better. Today, we’ll explore what a data fabric is and its purpose in business.
What is a data fabric?
In the past, many companies tried to address issues with data access through point-to-point integration or by utilizing data hubs. However, these solutions aren’t sustainable when data is highly distributed through various platforms, apps, and more. In addition, they are not sustainable when data is siloed and inaccessible to most company members who need it. A data fabric is a more modern approach to the problem with data that strives to address the challenges of a hybrid data landscape.
The basic idea behind a data fabric is to balance decentralization and globalization by acting as the “fabric” that connects data to its endpoints. The data fabric architecture allows dynamic and intelligent data management across a diverse online landscape through automation, expanded integration, unified data management, and activation of metadata. As a result, it creates a network of readily available information to give a business the competitive edge it needs to stay ahead of the curve with valuable insights and data analytics extracted at much faster rates. In addition, a data fabric ensures that your various data types can be easily combined, accessed, and managed efficiently regardless of platforms, data processes, and geographical location.
What are the components of a data fabric?
A data fabric is not a single technology. Instead, it’s a combination of various technologies that work together to make your data accessible. Below, we’ll discuss these multiple components:
The first component we’ll discuss is the data catalog. A data catalog is a crucial part of the data fabric that allows companies to access and represent all metadata types. Furthermore, it serves as an inventory for all data assets. So, the data catalog provides the correct metadata context to the overall data so users can share it across environments. In addition, the data catalog can automatically add metadata to particular data types and extract specific metadata for storage.
The next component is the knowledge graph. A knowledge graph enriches data with semantics about data usage across your company so that analytics leaders can interpret the data more efficiently. Furthermore, the knowledge graph is essential to identifying relationships across separate data repositories. These relationships are then used in machine learning algorithms to create data models.
Active metadata management technologies are another crucial component of your data fabric. These technologies are responsible for changing the data fabric derived from dynamic metadata. These changes ensure the data fabric is constantly evolving automatically to meet updated needs without physical intervention from data engineers.
Orchestration and DataOps are essential for a data fabric to transmit data continuously and on time from various sources. Typically, this functionality is built into the data preparation and engineering platforms for seamless data prep. The point of orchestration and DataOps is so companies can set their routine data prep pipelines and let the automation do its job and provide timely, fresh data.
Data fabric architecture ensures seamless, managed data for any size company.
With the rising importance of data and data management, companies of all sizes should integrate a data fabric into their data management systems. Industry leaders like TIBCO provide numerous data fabric solutions to suit any organization’s needs.