What is Data Virtualization?
With more data under their control than ever before and with that volume of data increasing significantly every day—many leading organizations have outgrown traditional data warehouses. In the age of agility, businesses need a data management solution that can keep pace with rapid growth, enabling them to make sense of their data quickly and logically.
For an increasing number of organizations, data virtualization is that solution.
Data virtualization is an approach to data management where an organization’s data—including structured and unstructured data sets (e.g., social media posts, images, videos, rich media, and audio files)—is accessible via a centralized data layer interface or dashboard. Regardless of how it’s formatted or where it lives (e.g., a database, a CRM, or Dropbox), it enables organizations to retrieve, manipulate, and analyze all of their data at any time.
Here’s how it works: Data virtualization platforms leverage the metadata of each piece of data, no matter how or where it’s stored. It enables employees to make sense of all data, whether it lives on-premises in a data center or a data lake or data warehouse in the cloud—without having to move or copy any files or worry about changing formats. The technology essentially bridges the gap between disparate data sources and types, shattering data silos and giving organizations a clear view of their data’s totality while eliminating duplicate files and documents. Since employees no longer have to hop from repository to repository looking for information, it delivers much faster access to data, helping organizations make better decisions in less time.
Due to the benefits it provides (more on that in a bit), it comes as no surprise that one recent study found that the global data virtualization market, which brought in $1.68 billion in 2017, will grow to $8.36 billion by 2026. What’s more, according to Gartner, 60 percent of organizations will invest in virtualization tools by 2022.
When you start to understand just how beneficial it can be, these numbers begin to make much sense.