Data Hubs, Data Lakes and Data Warehouses: How They Are Different and Why They Are Better Together

Many data and analytics leaders think of data hubs, data lakes and data warehouses as interchangeable alternatives. In reality, each of these architectural patterns has a different primary purpose. When they are combined, they can support increasingly complex, diverse and distributed workloads.

Key challenges according to Gartner

  • "Data and analytics leaders are often unclear about the differences between data lakes, data warehouses and data hubs.
  • Positioning them as competing approaches creates confusion. Without a clear understanding of the specific roles and capabilities of each structure type, data and analytics teams miss opportunities to provide the best support for specific business requirements.
  • Many organizations also overlook the value of using data lakes, data warehouses and data hubs together. Combinations of these structures can be used to support a more diverse set of data and analytics use cases."

Recommendations according to Gartner

"Data and analytics leaders seeking to modernize their data management solutions and the supporting architectures should:

  • Distinguish between these structures by recognizing their differences in focus. Data warehouse and data lakes exist primarily to support analytic workloads. In contrast, data hubs are not primarily analytic structures — they enable integration, sharing and governance of data.
  • Eliminate confusion and ensure alignment of approach with business requirements by communicating the characteristics and common use cases for each of these structures.
  • Maximize your ability to support a broader range of diverse use cases by identifying the ways that these structures can be used in combination. For example, data can be delivered to analytic structures (data warehouses and data lakes) using a data hub as a point of mediation and governance."

Gartner Data Hubs, Data Lakes and Data Warehouses: How They Are Different and Why They Are Better Together, Ted Friedman, Nick Heudecker, 13th February 2020

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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