The Compelling Advantages of a Cloud Data Lake

“Big data” is an idea as much as a particular methodology or technology, yet it’s an idea that is enabling powerful insights, faster and better decisions, and even business transformations across many industries. In general, big data can be characterized as an approach to extracting insights from very large quantities of structured and unstructured data from varied sources at a speed that is immediate (enough) for the particular analytics use case. Enabling big data are new economics that make the value of these insights worth more than the cost of building and running a system to capture data and extract the insights at a scale that traditional approaches cannot handle. These new technologies often include scale-out distributed storage and processing resources on generic hardware, supporting open source software for a wide range of parallelized analytics techniques. Hadoop and Spark are good examples of big-data-enabling technologies, though the ecosystem incorporates many other distinct and complementary pieces.