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Interest in Databricks has been on the rise over the past year. According to a TechCrunch study, Databricks’ market valuation has exceeded $43 billion, even as many other late-stage startups are experiencing a slowdown. The recent announcement of Salesforce and Databricks’ strategic partnership to bring Lakehouse data sharing and shared AI models has only raised the stakes. In this blog, we learn in-depth about Databricks and how it can yield tremendous business benefits.

How Can Databricks Help Your Business?

Databricks is a platform that unifies all your data, analytics, and AI workloads, facilitating seamless collaboration between various technical and business groups within an organization. It modernizes your data infrastructure, which is increasingly vital as traditional data architectures struggle to meet the evolving needs of companies. Databricks democratizes data across your organization, empowering employees to make smarter, data-driven decisions.

Databricks can also streamline your business processes through end-to-end automation. A product-driven mindset within an IT organization using Databricks ensures close collaboration with stakeholders, leading to the development of tools and systems that improve business outcomes.

Another way Databricks can drive business is by managing vast amounts of data from various sources. It provides a single platform for storing, cleaning, and visualizing data, which can significantly improve your data management processes. Databricks addresses the challenges of data growth and integration, leveraging the benefits of multi-cloud strategies and open-source technology.

Databricks Brings the Best of Both Worlds - Data Lakes and Warehouses

The Databricks Lakehouse platform incorporates optimal features of data lakes and data warehouses. Data lakes support diverse open formats, facilitate machine learning, and efficiently process and store data at a lower cost. However, due to underwhelming transaction support, they fall short in Business Intelligence (BI) reporting. Conversely, while data warehouses are excellent for BI reporting, they have limited support for unstructured data, data science, AI, and streaming. Their closed proprietary formats are also expensive to scale.

The Data Lakehouse platform is a multi-faceted solution capable of supporting a range of roles and diverse workloads. Utilizing the ‘Delta Lake’ format, the platform incorporates ACID transaction support, eliminating the need for repeated data processing by only updating the altered data. Delta Lake represents an improvement over the traditional ‘data lake.’ It enhances control and reliability by maintaining multiple data versions while employing vacuum operations to merge and clear out old versions, optimizing storage.

With remarkable data processing and indexing speed, Delta Lakes is 48 times faster than other competing big data technologies. The Lakehouse platform is distinctive, with features such as schema enforcement, governance support, open format compatibility, and time travel capabilities. Databricks Delta Lake skillfully bridges the gap between the benefits of data lakes and data warehouses, making it the best of both worlds.

Databricks and Data Governance: A Powerful Combination

Databricks provides a service called Unity Catalog that addresses multiple functional areas under the umbrella of data governance, as summarized in Table 1.