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Accelerating Digital Transformation Amidst Rising Data Complexities With a Data Fabric Approach
August 25, 2020 Blog

 

In this age of information, data is now one of the most valuable assets of modern enterprises. Data and its insights can greatly improve the performance of a company, further develop its systems and procedures and also provide perspectives beyond what was previously possible.

For instance, companies can now collate and analyse real-time information from many different sources to make predictions that help improve efficiencies and even mitigate downtime well in advance. These were not possible just over a decade ago.

In effect, data can take a business to the next level in many aspects, including technology, customer relationships and even in financial matters. For enterprises, data can be generated every single second and every single byte of it can be valuable depending on where it would be used.

The problem is that many enterprises are unaware of how to properly leverage their data. Some companies may not even have the fundamental capabilities to collect and collate data meaningfully, leaving it in silos for a long period of time, sometimes forever.

Without a strong data management framework in place, data quality and integrity may further deteriorate as businesses store varied forms of data in multiple silos. It is fundamental for enterprises to ensure that data is trusted, complete and compliant, so that accurate business decisions can be made in the timeliest manner when the need arises.

 

What Is Data Fabric?

In a time where customers continuously generate data due to the increased usage of digital platforms, organisations have to be able to ingest, transform, govern and share their data as well as incorporate new data sources in a distributed environment (at blistering fast pace) while having the absolute confidence that the data is trustworthy.

This can only be achieved with a “Data Fabric” approach. Data fabric is a single environment consisting of a unified architecture and services or technologies running on that architecture, which helps organisations manage their data. Analyst firm Forrester believes that taking this approach is important as it “accelerates insights by automating ingestion, curation, discovery, preparation and integration from data silos”.

According to Forrester, what’s powerful about data fabric is that it has the ability to support a wide variety of use cases, including real-time insights, machine learning, streaming analytics and advanced analytics. As a result, users gain the capability to “orchestrate data flow and curate data across various big data platforms (such as data lakes, Hadoop and NoSQL) to support a single version of the truth, customer personalisation and advanced big data analytics — with zero or minimal coding”.

It is now imperative for modern enterprises to shift to this data fabric approach, where the data moves in a wave-like structure, enabling it to be managed, processed and analysed within the data fabric no matter where it resides or how it is stored.

 

Talend Data Fabric

To go into it further, data fabric empowers organisations to maximise the value of their data and accelerate digital transformation. A reliable data fabric platform has to be able to:

  • Connect to any data source using pre-packaged connectors and components, eliminating the need for coding.
  • Provide data ingestion and integration capabilities – between and among data sources as well as applications.
  • Support various batch, real-time and big data use cases.
  • Simplify the management of multiple environments (on-prem as well as hybrid multi-cloud) – both as a data source and data consumer.
  • Provide built-in data quality, data preparation and data governance capabilities, bolstered by machine learning augmented automation.
  • Support data sharing with internal and external stakeholders via API support.

Incorporating all of these capabilities, Talend has designed its data fabric architecture to enable organisations to find clarity amidst all the data chaos. Such infrastructure is necessary for businesses to fully integrate, evaluate and utilise their data.

More specifically, Talend Data Fabric is a managed cloud integration platform that makes it easy for developers and data constituents to manage the collection, governance, integration and sharing of data. It is a multi-tenant platform and all managed components can be hosted on the latest cloud platforms, eg Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure, according to customer preference. Talend Data Fabric features an architecture that comprises of the below key capabilities:

  • Talend Management Console: A browser-based application that provides access to all Talend Data Fabric applications and components as well as the administrative features and configurations that surround them.
  • Talend Data Inventory (TDI): Provides automated tools for dataset documentation, quality proofing and promotion. It identifies data silos across data sources and targets to provide visualisation of reusable and shareable data assets.
  • Talend Data Preparation (TDP): Allows customers to simplify and speed up the process of preparing data for analysis and other tasks. TDP allows customers to create, update, remove and share datasets, then create preparations on top of the datasets.
  • Talend Data Stewardship (TDS): Allows customers to collaboratively curate, validate and resolve conflicts in data, as well as address potential data integrity issues.
  • Talend API Designer: Lets users design APIs collaboratively and visually, then run simulations to test APIs and generate reference documentation.
  • Talend API Tester: Lets users automatically generate test cases from API contracts, then field test APIs by grouping tests together that simulate real-world examples. Users can integrate unit tests into a managed CI/CD process to ensure quality.
  • Talend Pipeline Designer (TPD): Allows customers to design and run data pipelines in the cloud.

 

Ultimately, having a single, unified environment is the best way for organisations to meet their data integration and management challenges. For one, they can eliminate the need for having multiple tools and reduce reliance on legacy infrastructures and solutions. With the data fabric approach, businesses will quickly discover that they can have faster access to more trustworthy data while future-proofing their data management infrastructure even if they have to introduce new data sources, endpoints or technologies at any point in the future.

To learn more about data fabric and how Talend can provide you with a single platform for this, click here.

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