A data lake is a huge repository of raw data that is stored in its original state until required. Why is this important? Cisco predicts by 2020, 50 billion ‘things’ will be connected to the internet, generating enormous amounts of data every day. Processing this data for the purpose of business decision making would be incredibly inefficient and potentially paralyzing. Instead, the data will be tagged and stored in a Data Lake in a flat semi-unstructured form until a business question arises, only then will the data in the lake be interrogated. Relevant data will then be extracted and analyzed to provide answers.
There, now you know enough to be dangerous in front of your IT department.