Data Fabric and Data Lineage – The Basics

Pam Roman

“The fabric of our lives.” We all know this as a phrase the cotton industry has used for years. But given the exponential flood of information we devour today, there’s really a new fabric that all organizations need to understand and live with – data fabric. And as that data fabric is weaved, it’s important to know where the data originated and how it flows – the data lineage.

Gartner ranked data fabric as a top 10 data and analytics trend for 2019.

What is data fabric all about?

The term “data fabric” has been around for a few years but has only recently gained more attention and traction. Leading research and advisory company Gartner had it as one of their “Top 10 Data and Analytics Technology Trends for 2019.”

Prolifics partner Talend, a leader in data integration and data integrity, knows a thing or two about data fabric. Last month, independent research firm Forrester named Talend “a leader in enterprise data fabric evaluation.” Talend describes data fabric this way:

  • Think of data fabric as a weave that is stretched over a large space that connects multiple locations, types, and sources of data, with methods for accessing that data. The data can be processed, managed, and stored as it moves within the data fabric.
  • In simplest terms, a data fabric is a single environment consisting of a unified architecture, and services or technologies running on that architecture, that helps organizations manage their data. The ultimate goal of data fabric is to maximize the value of your data and accelerate digital transformation…

Where does data lineage fit in?

Data lineage is describing where data came from (how it entered your organization), how it’s moved and spread through the organization, the data’s characteristics and how it’s changed, and its overall quality. Prolifics partner MANTA succinctly describes the importance of data lineage:

  • What makes a decision bulletproof? Solid data. What makes data solid? Knowing its source, its journey, and all its transformations from the moment it entered the database to the moment you saw it in the report you are using to make your decision.

For MANTA, data lineage is more important than ever given today’s environment. When dealing with data privacy regulations, like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), MANTA notes that “data governance (is) made possible with powerful data lineage…full lineage is a must when proving compliance with any data-oriented regulation.” When dealing with the unexpected, like remote workers in a pandemic lockdown, “…understanding of how your data flows and its transformations, you will easily come up with strategies to overcome the data-related obstacles that the current pandemic has caused for your organization.”

Learn more

Innovation Sandbox – Powered by Prolifics,” is a new, six-week YouTube Live series with today’s brightest minds, latest tech and most creative ideas.

Episode 2: “Take a Byte Out of Data,” airs live on Thursday, July 16, 10-10:30 a.m. ET on our YouTube channel, Prolifics TV. Rolf Heimes from Talend and Ernie Ostic from MANTA will discuss how companies that adopt new technologies, architectures, and methodologies for data will succeed – while companies that don’t will risk becoming obsolete. Learn more here.