One of the questions I’ve been asked is why we chose to call it a ‘Business Data Lake’ rather than an ‘Enterprise Data Lake’ part of this goes back to a blog post in 2006 where I called Enterprise one of the biggest lies in IT, the reason for that is that Enterprise tends to mean that the IT strategy is to have a single solution, the reality is that you’ll have lots.

So we call it an Enterprise Data Warehouse, but we accept that the business will have local solutions.

We say Enterprise Resource Planning but some companies have over 100 ERPs in production

We say EAI or ESB but we end up with multiple depending on the vendor or area we are working on.

Enterprise sums up exactly what the Business Data Lake isn’t.  Its not a single solution, a single vision pushed by IT which the business must comply with.  Instead its a solution which accepts that the business is a federated organisation with different challenges in different places.  So its a solution which abandons the old, cherished, approaches of IT for Enterprise solutions which attempt to create single views and single approaches for the full enterprise.  The Business Data Lake is an approach which starts from the perspective that fighting against the business culture and instead believes that the business model is the right way to work, to provide a model that represents the way the business world and concentrates governance on where the business sees it has value.

Choosing the name Business Data Lake was a concious decision to mark a break from the old mentality of enterprise solutions which are anything but.  Its time for IT to react to the business not try and enforce Enterprise IT solutions in places where they do not work.