With large amounts of data processed every day, one of the primary concerns is data storage. Today’s complex machinery and technologies capture a staggering amount of data, over 2.5 quintillion bytes every day. Massive data is created every second, and finding storage solutions for these large data volumes is critical. [1]

Two of the most popular ways of data storage are data lakes and data warehouses. Often, the terms are used interchangeably, but there are many differences between data lakes and data warehouses. Further, data lakes and data warehouses have been used in different industries. This blog illustrates the primary components of data lakes and warehouses and elucidates their differences.

What is Data Lake?

A data lake is a massive storage enclosure that stores enormous amounts of raw data in its basic format until it is needed. Data in a data lake often originates from various sources and might be in multiple organized, semi-structured, and unstructured formats. A data lake is an excellent option for firms that need to gather and hold a lot of data but don’t need to process and analyze it all right. It can load and store massive volumes of data quickly and without transformation. The majority of companies with a data lake also have a data warehouse.

What is Data Warehouse?

Data warehouses process and convert data in a more organized database environment for advanced querying and analytics. On the other hand, Cloud data warehouses and data lakes are becoming the favored option as organizations battle with ever-increasing data quantities.

Primary Differences Between Data Lakes and Data Warehouses

Now that we know about data lakes and data warehouses let’s look at some differences.

  • Storage Costs

The cost of storing data in a big data lake is lower than storing data in a data warehouse. Data warehouse storage is more expensive and time-consuming.

  • Schema

A schema is a mental model or notion that aids in the organization and interpretation of data. Schemas are helpful because they enable us to take shortcuts when understanding the large quantity of data accessible in our surroundings. Schema provides a significant level of flexibility and convenience for data collecting, but it necessitates more effort at the end of the process. In most data lakes, the schema is developed after the data has been saved. However, the schema is often determined in data warehouses before data is stored. Work is required at the start of the process, but it offers better performance, security, and integration.

  • Data Structure

The raw vs. processed data structure is perhaps the most significant distinction between data lakes and data warehouses. The term “raw data” refers to information that has not yet been processed for a specific purpose. Raw, unprocessed data is stored in data lakes, whereas other processed data are stored in data warehouses.

Data warehouses save money on storage space by storing just processed data by avoiding keeping data that may never be needed. Furthermore, processed data may be easily comprehended by a wider audience.

  • Accessibility

Those inexperienced with raw data may find it challenging to explore data lakes. A data scientist and specialized tools are generally required to comprehend and translate raw, unstructured data for any specific commercial application, like that stored in data warehouses, processed data only requires that the user be familiar with the topic represented.

Use Case of Data Lakes and Data Warehouses

Data Lake has established itself as a reliable platform for organizations to manage, mine, and monetize large amounts of unstructured data to gain a competitive edge. As a result, the number of firms using Data Lake systems has risen considerably.

There has been a misperception that Data Lake is intended to replace data warehouses in the drive to harness big data. In contrast, Data Lake is intended to supplement standard relational database management systems (RDBMS).

Data warehouses are helpful for particular workloads and use cases, whereas data lakes are another alternative that may be used for various workloads.

  1. Transportation- The capacity to generate predictions is a big part of the value of data lake insight. The predictive potential of flexible data in a data lake may have tremendous advantages obtained by reviewing data from forms within the transportation pipeline in the transportation business, notably in supply chain management.
  2. Finance- In banking and other business contexts, a data warehouse is typically the best storage design. It might be set up such that the entire company, rather than just a data scientist, has access. If a financial services firm's model is more cost-effective for some reasons but not for others, it may be changed away from it. The financial services industry has made great progress thanks to big data, and data warehouses have played a key part in that growth.
  3. Healthcare- Data warehouses have been utilized in the healthcare business for many years, but they have never proven very effective. Data warehouses are often not a suitable strategy in healthcare due to the unstructured nature of most of the data and the requirement for real-time insights. Data lakes include organized and unstructured data, making them a better match for healthcare organizations.


When you store a large quantity of data from numerous sources in one location, it must be in a readable format. It should have specific laws and regulations to ensure that data security and accessibility are maintained.

It would be impossible to discern between the data you want and the data you are retrieving without adequate information. As a result, your data mustn’t become a data swamp. Otherwise, only the data lake’s design team understands how to access a specific sort of data.

Examine these areas to evaluate which best matches your use case when picking between a data lake and a data warehouse. The need to select the right data platform to handle data has never been more significant as the amount, velocity, and diversity of data grows.


[1] How Much Data Is Generated Every Minute? https://bit.ly/3k7vXWO.