What Is a Data Lakehouse?

What Is a Data Lakehouse and How Can It Transform Higher Education?

The term “Data Lakehouse” might sound new, but it really is the natural evolution of data architecture that combines the established capabilities of Data Warehouses, Data Lakes, and Data Virtualization to create one of the most exciting new data platforms categories since the 1980s. 

Data Lakehouses combine these three technologies into a single, unified architecture that creates incredible new opportunities for organizations around the world - and especially for higher education. 


Data Warehouses and Data Lakes

Like a physical warehouse, data warehouses are central locations where important organizational information can be stored and organized. Users can pick out specific data they want from this repository of data for reports, dashboards, and other analytics as needed.

Data warehouses have been around for decades and have been the staple of structured data management for organizations around the world. But there are challenges embedded into the very fabric of data warehousing as well, such as it being complicated and slow to add new data. 

In fact, because the data warehouse must be “designed” before data can be loaded with information, it means that every data warehouse in the world is only designed to answer questions we already know we are asking. None are prepared to address new questions that have never been asked!

Another place where data warehouses can struggle is in the use of unstructured data like photos, videos, and sound recordings (as examples).

Believe it or not, this unstructured data can make up over 80% of the information available to an organization! Unfortunately, none of it fits well with the structured nature of the data warehouse. So a new data management system needed to be invented - the data lake. 

Similar to the water in a real “lake”, you can fill a data lake with different kinds of data without needing to structure it in advance for SQL (Structured Query Data) querying. 

Data lakes are great for keeping track of enormous volumes of unstructured data, but it’s this lack of structure that makes it harder to use and often requires specialized resources, such as data scientists, to obtain significant value. It’s also a unique technology architecture from data warehouses, meaning that institutions need to maintain two separate data environments in order to take advantage of each.

What Is a Data Lakehouse?

A data lakehouse combines the best capabilities of data warehouses and data lakes and incorporates key data virtualization processes to create something completely new.  It provides the benefits of all three approaches while giving us the opportunity to solve many of the problems and challenges we’ve long accepted in the use of data warehouses and data lakes.

A data lakehouse provides the familiar structured nature of a data warehouse along with the flexibility of a data lake in one cohesive architecture.

Keeping up to date with data, especially unstructured data, can be costly when data warehouses are all that you have to manage your data. Since they are not optimized to work with unstructured data, multiple systems might be required to optimize the unstructured data. 

According to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), “...data lakehouse data can be easily moved between the low-cost and flexible storage of a data lake over to a data warehouse and vice versa, providing easy access to a data warehouse’s management tools for implementing schema and governance, often powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence for data cleansing.”

This streamlined approach to collecting and managing data empowers organizations to easily perform all of the necessary research, reporting, dashboarding, and analytics alongside the development of machine learning models, and even neural networks from a single cost-effective architecture. 

Features of a Data Lakehouse for Higher Education

As explained in Snowflakes Guides, a data lakehouse includes features that can be game-changers for higher education.

  • Concurrent reading and writing of data which allows college and university CIOs to ask and answer mission-critical questions in minutes.

  • Direct access to historically stable source data allows administrators to go straight to the data rather than having to move from one data location to the next to find the correct data.

  • A separation of storage and computing resources. All persistent data is stored on remote, network-attached storage which allows for reduced data movement and faster data gathering, saving human resource hours.

  • Support for structured and semi-structured data, allowing university and college CIOs to manage and work with all of their data in one central location.

InvokeClarity: The Advanced Data Lakehouse for Higher Education 

Data lakehouses are growing in popularity among colleges and universities. Administrators are finding that data lakehouses are proving to be highly cost-effective and require less time and effort to administer while providing superior business value.

Invoke Learning is at the forefront of advancing data lakehouses and applying these next-generation technologies to the mission of higher education. 

Our advanced data management and analytics platform, InvokeClarity, is designed specifically to meet the needs of Colleges and Universities across the country.  For example, here are eight benefits provided by our InvokeClarity™ data lakehouse that aren’t possible with a traditional data warehouse or data lake platforms:

  1. Multi-source analytics, without joins!

    • The groundbreaking model provides a full Student, HR, and Finance data warehouse with just 16 self-contained tables

  2. Solve “never-before-asked” questions

    • Queryable daily snapshots across hundreds of source tables to answer all questions, every time!

  3. Trend EVERY data element across time

    • All history is captured every day to enable comprehensive DoD, MoM, and YoY analytics

  4. Understand students at a deeper level

    • Data from an array of public sources automatically included providing a “whole student” perspective

  5. Limit the frustrations of load failures

    • All source system table changes are dynamically integrated so data is available every day

  6. Enable true self-service and access

    • Create and provision users, add data, create and drop tables, and build data marts without requiring vendor assistance

  7. Avoid Cloud Partner Lock-in

    • Available on all major cloud platforms.

  8. Your data is available when you need it

    • Daily, intraday, and real-time loading capabilities

At Invoke Learning, we understand that colleges and universities face challenges in advancing the mission of higher education.  Some problems are known. But others are invisible. Hidden. Impossible to address.

Invoke Learning developed revolutionary technology that’s light years ahead of anything you’ve seen yet.  The unique data lakehouse architecture of InvokeClarityTM was designed by experienced national and international award-winning education technology experts to give institutions of higher education real-life data superpowers.  Ask questions you never imagined could be answered.  Get unprecedented insights that lead to mission-impacting action.

What’s holding you back from taking your mission further tomorrow?  Find out - and discover just how far you can go!  We’ll show you how.

Learn more about Invoke Learning at invokelearning.com.