Government agencies are continually seeking new ways to gain deeper insights from their vast amounts of data. As a result, public sector entities are increasingly integrating data lakes into their IT initiatives. By holding both raw and structured information, data lakes enable agencies, such as the Department of Defense (DoD), to better utilize their enormous amounts of data as a strategic asset. DoD data strategies leverage data lakes to turn information into actionable insights.
What are data lakes?
Government agencies need to use and track large amounts of data to execute their missions. A data lake recognizes that such vital data is not just transactional data stored in databases and in structured folders in data warehouses. These data formats are varied, variable, and unstructured and often include documents, audio files, photos, and videos.
Agencies must acknowledge the reality of their data volume. A viable place to store all the data to get a proper inventory of their data assets is necessary. Additionally, agencies can tag that data with its source. That enables agencies to understand its lineage, its pedigree, who might have looked at it, and what they might have done with it.
The imagery of a lake applies because organizations can place fish (data) into the lake. They then take out fish that are vital to them. The lake is typically a vast natural resource fed by multiple sources (rivers). Inside the lake exists insights and resources that can be explored and exploited.
Data analytics, access, and storage
Due to their accessibility and minimal restrictions in terms of data sources and types, data lakes have become very attractive to federal agencies. According to some reports, the data lake global market size is estimated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 20.6% by 2024. One key driver of this growth is the need for greater insights from data analytics. Others include growing volumes of data and the heightened need for simplified access to big data from departmental silos and legacy systems.
Government agencies tapping into enterprise data lakes
The U.S. Census Bureau earlier in the year announced their interest to invest in an enterprise data lake with a budget of approximately $22.3 million. Census Bureau leaders believe that an enterprise data lake would enhance the modernization of data storage and improve data analytics capabilities. The move would require an additional 30 full-time workers to manage it. According to the bureau leaders, data lakes would increase their capacity to grow administrative records for huge amounts of demographic and economic data.
Similarly, the DoD also has plans to establish a large-scale data lake. This will be accomplished hrough a partnership between Qlik and Ironclad Technology Services. The DoD data strategy will migrate data from ten different legacy systems into a single, integrated data lake. Using Qlik’s solution, data will be migrated more seamlessly to allow for easier organization downstream instead of moving it upstream first.
By moving from legacy systems to data lakes, government agencies are opening doors for more modern and streamlined data analytics and data management processes. These shifts lead to greater insights that enhance mission delivery.
Using Tableau to analyze data lakes
Several agencies are already reaping the benefits of integrating data lakes with data warehouses. They use an innovative architecture referred to as a Lakehouse. A platform such as Tableau, which is in Webhead’s toolbox, allows you to leverage the new capabilities of Databricks (a cloud-based data engineering tool for processing and transforming large quantities of data and exploring the information through machine learning models). Seamlessly access a data lake with Databricks. Gain high-performance access to the most current data sets from batch and streaming sources.
The Lakehouse architecture also enables critical use cases such as customer analytics and fraud detection by accessing the most current information. In addition, your organization can gain more business intelligence and insights from the data lake.
Overall, data lakes are the next big thing for agencies utilizing massive amounts of data. Webhead delivers client-centric IT solutions into every area of your business by creating high-touch insights, data-driven results, and customer experiences. Our goal is to fundamentally revolutionize how your business operates so you can increase the value of your offerings to your clients. Contact Webhead to speak with an expert. Together, we’ll break down data silos and transform your organization with data integration, advanced data analytics, and powerful insights.