In his June 7, 2023, article in Smart Industry, “What is data fabric and how can it unleash the full power of AI,” Douglas Vargo writes that a common challenge hindering the adoption of AI is having data that is unclear, unstructured and unconnected. 

He suggests that one solution revolutionizing the way businesses approach data management is the construction of an integrated data fabric that connects information from disparate sources. The data fabric provides organizations with a holistic view of their information assets, enabling them to effectively leverage technologies like AI, automation and machine learning. 

Requirements for a successful data journey 

To start, says Vargo, organizations can create a solid foundation for their data management by mapping out a data architecture and aligning on an operating model. Additionally, there are three core functions IT leaders should consider:  

  • Data ingestion—Prioritize data-ingestion techniques that support batch, real-time and event-driven formats.
  • Data storage—Focus on establishing three layers of storage (RAW Storage, TRANSFORMED Storage and CURATED Storage) to efficiently manage and store petabytes of data.
  • Data indexing and cataloging—Properly indexing and cataloging data into the lake ensures its visibility and searchability for users.

Common obstacles along data journeys

To achieve a holistic view of data and maximize return on investment (ROI), organizations need to address common obstacles like a lack of strong engineering talent, ensuring leaders are invested in data modernization, and the need to adopt an agile methodology for delivering data and analytics.

Transforming data into actionable insights

Once a solid data foundation is in place, organizations can then leverage AI and other technologies to transform data into actionable insights and drive new programs. Some notable technologies and use cases include:  

  • Data sharing
  • Customer applications.
  • Open-source AI platforms and libraries

In summary, Vargo states that implementing a data fabric approach enables businesses to integrate and connect information from various sources, while providing a holistic view of their assets to inform a strategic approach to data management—paving the way for AI adoption. 

Read the full article at Smart Industry