If you’re in the IT business, you’ve probably heard about the data lake concept. Even though the term was coined a few years ago, it’s only recently being adopted by enterprises. And it’s still pretty controversial.
Last year, Gartner released an article where it cautioned information leaders about the perceived dangers of using a data lake. It also attacked the very term of “data lake”, and suggested that “data warehousing” might sound better.
Andrew C. Oliver at InfoWorld disagrees. He compares the rise of big data with the emergence of the printing press. Printing books meant that, historically, the information masters (mainly, the monks) lost control over the written word. This created more knowledge for everybody. In the same way, “Gartner has allied itself with the data monks” of today, who don’t trust cloud-based solutions and prefer holding on to expensive, proprietary tech.
Perhaps Gartner’s main concern is that, since a data lake is such a new technology, its adoption will not be without risk. Oliver replies that no real progress has ever been done without risk. He recommends to let go of the fear of liberalizing data, because the rewards are there. Companies like Microsoft and Bigstep are already on the forefront of this new concept. The data lake-as-a-service solution pioneered by Bigstep is still the first offer on the market.