Thawing out frozen data lakes so business and IT can fish together


Many organizations today — large or small, monolithic or agile — have found that just because they have loads of data pouring into a data lake, that doesn’t mean the data is going to be easily accessible or in formats that can be used by business or IT users. This can lead to frustration; not to mention, it’s a terrible use of the time and IT resources that were originally expended to create and maintain the data lake in the first place, according to Gianthomas Volpe (pictured, left), head of customer development, EMEA, at Alation Inc.

To help address this all-too-common issue, collaborative data company Alation and data wrangling company Trifacta Inc. have brought their technologies together to provide data cataloging and data manipulation for organizations large and small, “unfreezing” the data lake so that users can swim freely, finding the data that they need in a useful format, Volpe explained. Alation comes into play by helping users find what data exists, automating the process of extraction and looking at what data people are actually using.

“How do I know what data is driving value for the organization? If we can tell you that ‘in this schema, this is actually [what data] that’s being used the most,’ that’s a pretty good starting point to focus in on what is driving value [in an organization],” said Volpe.

During the DataWorks Summit held in Munich, Germany, this week, Volpe and Bertrand Cariou (pictured, right), senior director of solutions and partner marketing at Trifacta, spoke to John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, to discuss the value their partnership brings. (Disclosure below.)

Trusted information in a useful format

Alation and Trifacta typically see an organization with a data lake or a legacy data warehouse; often, it’s both together, and they need a unified way to make information about those environments available to the end users.

“We often see IT trying to develop that relationship, along with the business,” said Volpe.

By allowing data users throughout the organization to discover what other users are doing, it opens up channels of communication for sharing data, he explained.

“If I’m in marketing, I could reuse sales information. Alation will give me the opportunity to know what information is available and if I can trust it,” Cariou pointed out. That gives users the ability to combine data from different sources, creating new information with powerful results.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of DataWorks Summit 2017 EU. (*Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner at DataWorks. Neither conference sponsor Hortonworks nor Alation and Trifacta, sponsors of this segment, have editorial oversight of content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE