What is a data lake?

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What is a data lake? - Paubox

Data storage and management is an important part of HIPAA compliant email. How to query and analyze other forms of data is an essential component of making data-driven business decisions. Data lakes are one way to accomplish this goal. 

What is a data lake in simple terms?

A data lake is a storage location for raw data in its native format. Data elements are labeled with a unique identifier and metadata tags. When businesses need to use the data, the data lake is queried for relevant data and then analyzed. 

Some key elements of a data lake include:

  • Data source includes relational and non-relational data from IoT devices, websites, mobile apps, social media, and corporate applications
  • Uses schema-on-read, which is written at the time of analysis
  • Contains data that may be raw data or curated data, depending on the source
  • Can be stored in an organization’s data centers or cloud services

What are the benefits of using a data lake?

A data lake can have multiple benefits for organizations. It’s usually leveraged by organizations that want to store large amounts of data but don’t have any specific use for it yet. Since the data tends to be raw, organizations can turn it into structured data for SQL analytics, machine learning, and data science.

Data lakes can help democratize data and make it available and accessible to every team member. Since data lakes are flexible, organizations can use self-service analytics tools to gain insights into their data. This enables companies to have a data-driven culture and make better business decisions.

Choose a HIPAA compliant data solution

Healthcare organizations should be careful about data storage management. Since they have a legal obligation to keep protected health information (PHI) secure, it’s important to choose a HIPAA compliant vendor.

One way to ensure the proper safeguards to protect PHI is getting a data management provider to sign a business associate agreement (BAA). This agreement is a legal contract between the covered entity and business associate about the responsibilities and duties of the latter party to keep PHI secure.

Without a BAA, the data management provider is not HIPAA compliant. 

Take Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lake Formation for example. It allows organizations to set up and manage data lakes in the Amazon cloud. Amazon is willing to participate in a BAA for the Lake Formation service, which makes it possible to be HIPAA compliant.

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Sara Nguyen

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