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Top 5 Data Fabric Takeaways from 2021 Gartner D&A Summit

Data Fabric is emerging as a quite useful architecture for organizations to deal with the data sprawl. This concept was first introduced by Gartner a couple of years ago. This year at the 2021 Gartner D&A Summit Data Fabric was everywhere. It was mentioned as a 2021 top 10 trend by Gartner that is making a tremendous impact on how companies orchestrate their data and analytics strategies. Here are 5 key takeaways from what was covered in the keynotes and breakout sessions.

1. Data Fabric is the Foundation

Data Fabric is an emerging architecture that helps organizations build an integrated layer for all of their data and processes. The data fabric uses metadata intelligence to make it easy for organizations to integrate, prepare, and share data across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

According to Mark Beyer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, “The emerging design concept called “data fabric” can be a robust solution to ever-present data management challenges, such as the high-cost and low-value data integration cycles, frequent maintenance of earlier integrations, the rising demand for real-time and event-driven data sharing and more.”


2. Data Fabric is the Upgraded Data Management and Integration Architecture

Old approaches of data management and integration are proving to be a roadblock as organizations accelerate towards a data-driven future. Data management and integration agility has become a top priority for organizations. To reduce human errors and overall costs, leaders need to shift towards modern architectures like data fabric that address the drawbacks of old approaches.

Data fabric makes it possible to integrate data from everywhere using whatever style that is necessary:

  • Bulk/Batch Data Movement
  • Data Replication / Synchronization
  • Message-Oriented Data Movement
  • Data Virtualization
  • Stream Data Integration  

Data fabric makes it possible for even less technical users to find, catalog, explore, transform, and improve data as a data preparation pipeline. This is automated once in production. 

Data Fabric then makes it possible to monitor the pipelines by observing it for schema drifts, exceptions and addressing errors in an intelligent way without disrupting operations.  

3. Data Fabric Empowers Less Technical Users / Subject Matter Experts

According to Ehtisham Zaidi, Data Fabric enables better engagement from the business because it allows less technical users and subject matter experts to find and integrate data themselves without relying on expert data engineers and data system experts.

A lot of times, users don’t know what to ask if they don’t know what is available and what it looks like. Therefore, it’s important for them to be able to find, access, and integrate, govern, and share data themselves.\

4. Data Fabric Paves Way for DataOps

100% of the time, you are going to have multiple data pipelines in multiple, heterogeneous execution environments. Data Fabric allows data engineers to bring agile DevOps-like best practices. This means working with the whole data operationalization ecosystem consisting of GIT, Jenkins, CI/CD tooling, automated testing & version control, DBT, and Apache Airflow.

According to Gartner, DataOps is ultimately focused on improving the communication, integration, and automation of data flows between data managers and data consumers.

5. Data Fabric Supports All Use Cases.

Data Fabric is not only for advanced use cases. It addresses simple use cases, where you know where your data is and what data consumers are going to need that data. But it also is highly configurable and can address complex use cases, where your data is spread across multiple environments, on-prem, hybrid cloud, and multicloud and needs to be provisioned to a myriad of data consumers using different integration styles.

Those are the top 5 Data Fabric take-aways from the recently concluded 2021 Gartner Data and Analytics Summit.

At Nexla, we have built a platform that delivers a unified data fabric experience for our customers. You can integrate, transform, share, govern, and monitor ALL your data from one platform. Sounds too good to be true? Contact us for a demo or discussion on Data Fabric or checkout our website.


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