In this blog, we’re carrying on our review of the components of Infor OS and looking into Infor Data Lake. 


As we all know, only too well, all ERP software creates data, lots of it! 

Infor Data Lake gives you an easy and cost-effective way to manage the big data that you generate as part of your day-to-day business processing. This data is then available for use by BI or other analytical applications. It also provides the perfect repository for Infor Coleman or other AI applications.  


What is a data lake? 


A data lake is a centralised pool that allows you to store all the business data you have in either a structured or unstructured way. We could get all excited about BLOBs, but we’ll spare you that for now! 

You can, however, store your data in different ways. So, for example, you could have structured data, such as a SyteLine database. Other data could be semi-structured, so XML files etc., and finally, you could have unstructured data such as documents or PDFs.

All of these can live happily in your data lake!


What are the benefits of data lakes? 


The biggest benefit of a data lake is that you can store all your data in one place. They are usually cloud-based so they can store incredibly large amounts of data relatively cheaply. Because of how the data is stored, it can be left there indefinitely and only used when needed. 

This also means that the data can be easily used by different people running different applications. There may be applications which are used as part of the business that is concerned with modelling or predicting trends etc., for example, an AI application such as Coleman AI. 


What are the drawbacks of data lakes?


Like most storage systems, we can all start with good intentions. So, for example, if you use SharePoint, you can start off with really structured folders and a plan of how things will look. However, that can quickly become a nightmare to manage with duplication and disorganisation. If you’re going to start leveraging big data, then you need to know what the purpose is of the data that you’re storing! 


Is a data lake the same as a data warehouse? 


In short, no, they are not the same. The easiest way to differentiate the two is what the data is like that is stored within them. Data warehouses generally have data that has been processed in some way stored in them. Whereas a data lake will have ‘raw’ data. This raw data is likely to be used by something like AI tools such as Coleman AI from Infor or by data scientists who may use other applications to get what they need from them.


How does Infor Data Lake benefit my business? 


If you are already using Infor OS or perhaps multiple different Infor products, then Infor Data Lake is ideal for you. It is built with these applications in mind, allowing you to have a single repository for all your data, which can grow as your business does. 

Not only that, you get to use Infor Data Catalogue, which helps you to understand the data you have captured with a suite of services and user experiences which are tailored specifically to different business requirements. 

It’s worth remembering, however, that to use Infor Data Lake, you need to have Infor OS and be a CloudSuite user, but not necessarily CloudSuite Industrial! 

If you’re looking to upgrade to CloudSuite Industrial, or want to find out more about how we can support you with your business growth, then please get in touch