Logical Data Management

Gain the agility to advance your business with data.

The core idea of modern data management is to improve the generation of data-driven business insight based on two main drivers:

  • Bring agility to the data analytics process, often through self-service initiatives that reduce IT bottlenecks
  • Make any piece of information available to analytical processes

However, any organization owns a long list of applications and systems focused on different aspects of the business, from supply chain management to marketing automation and a variety of data systems, like data warehouses, data marts, and data lakes.

This complex data landscape must be managed efficiently to achieve the above mentioned goals. Topics like agile data integration, data discovery, security, and governance are at the forefront of any modern data strategy.

To effectively implement those requirements, enterprises have turned to two different approaches:

  1. Centralized data strategies based on physical data consolidation and
  2. Logical data strategies based on consolidated view of data across disparate systems.
Data MAnagement

Centralized data architecture and management

Centralized data architecture and management rely on physically copying data from multiple systems into a single repository (e.g., data warehouse/data lake/house). This is the traditional and more common approach. It is relatively easy to get started with this approach, however, with ever-increasing numbers of data sources and ever-rising data volumes, it is just not practical and lacks agility.

When data is constantly produced in massive quantities and is always in motion and constantly changing (e.g., IoT platforms and data lakes), attempts to collect all this data are neither practical nor viable. This is driving an increase in demand for connection to data, not just the collection of it (Data Virtualization).”

Gartner Critical Capabilities for Data Integration Tools, August 2022

Challenges of a centralized approach

One size never fits all:
Operational RDBMs, noSQL, graphs, key-value pairs, data lake engines, enterprise data warehouse, etc., exist to address different data requirements. There is no single data system that provides capabilities for all data needs.

Take significant time and effort:
Intensive data replication scripts must be designed for each new data need.

Consolidation may be prohibited:
Regional data privacy regulations often limit data consolidation.

Does not reduce data silos:
For 30+ years, we have tried consolidating everything into a data warehouse. Cloud alone will not change the outcome.

Logical data management

Logical data architecture and management enable access to multiple, diverse data sources while appearing as one “logical” data source to users. It is about unifying data that are stored and managed across multiple data management systems, including traditional data sources like databases, enterprise data warehouses, data lakes, etc., and other data sources like applications, big data files, web services, and the cloud to meet every analytics use case.

Logical data management allows practices like data discovery, access, security, integration, and sharing to be performed through a logical (or virtual) representation instead of directly on each physical source system. Logical data management practices enable the consistent implementation of policies and practices to manage, integrate and use an organization’s data, regardless of each source system's nature, location, and capabilities.

The market has realized that those data integration tools that do not balance “collect”- with “connect”-based data management architecture strategies will always result in data silos and/or poorly integrated infrastructures.”

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools, August 2022

Benefits of logical data management


Ease of use

Consumers have a single location to access any data.


Agile data integration options

One platform to support full range of data integration options from full replication and transformations, caching and real-time federation options.


Centralized security and governance

Access control and policy implementation are done consistently in a single location.



Decoupling from data location and schemas allows for technology evolution and infrastructure changes.

Although there are clear advantages to logical approaches, organizations sometimes need to employ a monolithic approach to meet a particular business need, both approaches can be deployed together as part of an overall agile data management strategy.

The Benefits of Logical Data Architecture and Management

Investments in logical data architecture and management pay off quickly. By implementing a logical data layer, organizations can access any data source, connect data silos, and provide 360-degree views of their data to anyone across the enterprise. This holistic data integration and management approach have a wide range of benefits, including improved collaboration between data managers/owners and data users/consumers. Below are just a few of these benefits from the business and IT perspective.


Business Perspective

  • One place to find all your data: A logical data layer centralizes your data, enabling real-time access to all data, including data stored on-premises and in the cloud, with semantic consistency.
  • Business-friendly views: With a logical data layer, organizations can easily create business-friendly, self-service views of their data. This is done by eliminating the traditionally complex data integration technologies, formats, protocols, and location details, making data more approachable and user-friendly.
  • Improved data utilization: Enable less-technical users to quickly find, access, integrate, and share data. Enable subject matter experts in the business to become a part of the data modeling process and reduce the cycle time required to create ready-to-use data.

IT Perspective

  • Real-time data: A logical data layer enables stakeholders to access the most current data on demand, anytime, in preferred formats to support a wide variety of business use cases. Businesses no longer need to wait for a nightly batch run to refresh their datasets.
  • Reduced data sprawl and duplication: By eliminating unnecessary data replication with a logical data layer, organizations can increase agility, mitigate risk, and reduce costs.
  • Faster data fulfillment: Logical data layers enable accelerated provisioning of new datasets, enabling organizations to keep pace with ever-changing data requirements.
  • Centralized security and governance: With a single layer embracing access to all enterprise data, enforcing security and managing data controls for every user across all datasets becomes much easier.

The Required Capability for Logical Data Management

To successfully implement a logical data architecture and management approach, organizations need only one capability:

Data virtualization is a data integration and data management technology that leverages metadata to enable organizations to access all enterprise data in real-time, and to discover, catalog, provision, combine, share, and govern data to meet a wide variety of use cases..


What's Next?

Gain real-time insights from your data and begin
your digital transformation today!