As cloud infrastructure projects get more complicated, there has been a growing tendency in the industry to provide pre-packaged solutions for specific sectors to meet the demand. With the introduction of Lakehouse for Retail, the well-funded data analytics business Databricks has entered the race with its first vertical-specific solution to date. Essentially, Databricks promises to provide a completely integrated platform that will assist retailers in extracting value from the massive amounts of data they create, whether via conventional analytics or by employing Databricks’ artificial intelligence technologies.
Founder and CEO Ali Ghodsi remarked, “This is a significant step forward in our mission to assist enterprises in operating in real-time, delivering more accurate analysis, and using all of their customer data to unearth new insights.” In the retail sector, “Lakehouse for Retail will enable data-driven cooperation and sharing among enterprises and partners,” according to the company.
Walgreens, Columbia, and the H&M Group are just a few of the companies that have jumped on board with the platform. These users not only gain access to the complete Databricks platform, but they also gain access to a set of Lakehouse for Retail Solution Accelerators, which provide what Databricks describes as a “blueprint of data analytics and machine learning use cases and best practices,” and which can potentially save new users months of development time. Templates for real-time streaming data intake, demand forecasting, recommendation engines, and tools for calculating client lifetime value are among the features available. Databricks supplied comparable blueprints in the past, but clients were required to construct them themselves rather than having Databricks provide them as part of an integrated solution like this.
Luigi Guadagno, Vice President, Pharmacy and HealthCare Platform Technology at Walgreens, said, “With hundreds of millions of prescriptions processed by Walgreens each year, Databricks’ Lakehouse for Retail allows us to unify all of this data and store it in one place for a full range of analytics and machine learning workloads.” Databricks’ Lakehouse for Retail was developed in partnership with Databricks. The elimination of complicated and expensive legacy data silos has allowed cross-domain cooperation via the use of an intelligent, unified data platform that provides us the flexibility to adapt, grow, and better serve our customers and patients.
The notion of a ‘lakehouse,’ as promoted by Databricks, is a hybrid of data warehouses for analytics and data lakes for storing enormous volumes of raw data that have not yet been operationalized.