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Varada 2021 Predictions: 2021 and the Continued Evolution of Data Lakes

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

2021 and the Continued Evolution of Data Lakes

By Eran Vanounou, CEO of Varada

So far, 2021 seems to be misbehaving just as much as 2020. As fruitless as it would be to predict any global news that 2021 may hold, I'd like to focus on something we may have a better grip on: data infrastructure. At the kickoff of 2021, here's a few predictions for what data infrastructure might look like down the line:

First and foremost, a rapid evolution is underway in terms of how we think about the data warehouse. Data warehouses have become the most popular way to analyze data, and are regarded as an essential component of monetizing data assets and boosting the organization's competitive advantage. In 2021, data warehouses are not going to disappear-they'll only continue to grow. With the widespread transition to the cloud that has been developing for over a decade, data warehouses have donned a fresh new look and now offer many modern attractive capabilities including self-service and serverless. 

With the rise of the cloud, data lakes are the new kid on the block. Data lakes, compared with data warehouses, were initially used for storing large amounts of raw data, which would then be duplicated and modeled for analytics purposes in data warehouses. In the last couple of years, with the rise of new query engines, such as Presto, data lakes are also becoming popular for agile and flexible analytics, leveraging the entire data lake to extract value.

So now that data lakes are becoming more and more popular for analytics, their rapid emergence from the innovation stage means that organizations are beginning to demand more out of them. Based on our conversations with customers, we see organizations demand simpler, easier to manage, and more cost effective means of extracting usable business value from their data lakes, using as many data sources as possible. Analytics use cases vary, ranging from experimental / ad hoc analytics, business intelligence, internal dashboarding, all the way to customer-facing applications. 

As organizations enter 2021 and re-evaluate their data strategies amid the growing shift from data warehouse to data lake-based analytics, there are two considerations that must lead the evaluation process:

1) Speed continues to be a critical requirement. 

Data teams are looking for platforms that are smart enough to accelerate queries effectively and automatically based on business requirements and priorities. They don't want to move or model data, and they don't want to add more ETLs and storage. What they want is to enable any query to run fast, without committing to specific data schemas. 

2) Everything will come down to cost. 

We've seen a strong shift towards choosing platforms that enable users to prioritize workloads. This is because organizations want to be able to meet budget and performance requirements simultaneously. However, as organizations begin to add more and more projects, they want to be able to accurately predict how their spending will be affected. Data executives are looking for a simple pricing model that delivers visibility and predictability so that they can continue adding more analytics projects without incurring budget-busting surprises. This attitude suggests that in 2021, the low cost options will be the winners.

Although it seems like an infinitely long time from now, when 2022 rounds the corner we can look back and see if our data lake predictions unfolded as we expected. And, we can maybe even take a stab at guessing what'll happen beyond then. 


About the Author

Eran Vanounou

Eran Vanounou is CEO of Varada. He is a tech executive with 20+ years of experience in technical leadership roles at LivePerson, NICE and Sun Microsystems.

Published Thursday, January 28, 2021 8:01 AM by David Marshall
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