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The Medallion Architecture Unveiled

Medallion architecture

Medallion architecture, a term increasingly recognized within the realms of data management and software development. It presents a compelling framework for building scalable, flexible, and efficient data platforms. This blog post explores the core concepts of medallion architecture, its benefits, and real-world applications. It aims to shed light on why it has gained popularity among data engineers and architects.

What is Medallion Architecture?

At its heart, medallion architecture is a data modelling strategy designed to streamline the process of data ingestion, storage, processing, and analysis. The architecture is segmented into three layers, each of which can be synonymous with Olympic medals. These layers represent different stages of data transformation and refinement, facilitating a structured approach to data management.

At the heart of this the clear divide of data storage build has real benefits. In the past I have used a landing layer, staging layer and reporting layer. These names can be interchanged with the Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Medallion Architecture

Bronze Layer: This is the foundational layer where raw data is ingested from various sources. Data in this layer is kept in its original form, ensuring that all information is captured without loss. The primary goal at this stage is to store data securely and reliably, making it available for further processing.

Bronze Medallion

Silver Layer: The silver layer acts as an intermediate stage where data undergoes cleansing, normalization, and integration. Here, data from the bronze layer is transformed into a more structured format, resolving inconsistencies and preparing it for analysis. This layer significantly reduces the complexity and improves the quality of data.

Silver Medallion

Gold Layer: At the pinnacle of the medallion architecture lies the gold layer. This is where highly curated and business-ready data sets reside. Data in this layer has been aggregated, summarized, and enriched. This makes it ideal for analytics, reporting, machine learning and decision-making processes.

Gold Medallion

Benefits of Medallion Architecture

  1. Clear Structure: Having a clear organisational structure allows you to clearly separate your data. Improving efficiency and work effort.
  2. Scalability: By segregating data processing into distinct layers, medallion architecture allows for scalable solutions that can handle increasing volumes of data efficiently.
  3. Flexibility: It accommodates a wide range of data sources and formats, providing a flexible framework that can adapt to changing business needs.
  4. Data Quality: The stepwise refinement process ensures high data quality. As each layer focuses on specific aspects of data cleaning and transformation.
  5. Efficiency: By enabling incremental processing and avoiding the reprocessing of raw data for each analysis. The architecture enhances system efficiency.

Real-world Applications

In practice, medallion architecture finds applications across various domains, from finance and healthcare to retail and logistics. For example, a financial institution might use this architecture to manage transactional data, customer information, and market data, facilitating real-time fraud detection and customer insights. In healthcare, it can help manage patient records, research data, and clinical trials, improving patient care and operational efficiency.

Implementing Medallion Architecture

Implementing medallion architecture can involve leveraging modern data platform technologies. These could include such as data lakes, cloud storage, and big data processing frameworks. In some cases they will be difference databases or schemas in one database. The choice of technology depends on specific business requirements, data characteristics, and scalability needs.

1. Data Lakes: Data lakes are ideal for storing raw data in the bronze layer due to their capacity to handle large volumes of unstructured data.

2. Data Processing Frameworks: Various tools are available for the silver layer. The basis of selection could be based on the size, complexity and whether steaming is a factor. The challenge of cleaning that data and joining is a often the most difficult.

3. Cloud Storage and Databases: For the gold layer, cloud-based storage solutions and databases offer the performance and flexibility needed for storing and querying refined data sets. The business can then receive the information via BI tools, direct connections, or reporting tools.


Medallion architecture offers a compelling framework for constructing robust, scalable, and efficient data platforms. In this blog post, we’ve delved into the core concepts of medallion architecture, explored its benefits, and highlighted real-world applications. Let’s recap what makes it shine:

  1. Streamlined Data Modelling: At its core, medallion architecture is a strategic data modelling approach. It streamlines the entire data lifecycle, from ingestion to analysis, by breaking it down into three distinct layers.
  2. Olympic Medal Analogy: Imagine these layers as Olympic medals:
    • Bronze Layer (Landing): Raw data enters here, preserving its original form. The goal? Secure and reliable storage, ensuring no information loss.
    • Silver Layer (Staging): Data undergoes cleansing, normalization, and integration.
      It irons out inconsistencies, transforming them into a structured format.
    • Gold Layer (Reporting): The pinnacle! Here, highly curated data fuels business insights and decision-making.
  3. Clear Divide, Real Benefits: The separation of these layers has tangible advantages. Think of them as the “bronze,” “silver,” and “gold” of data management. The bronze layer captures raw potential, the silver layer refines it, and the gold layer delivers valuable insights.

Medallion architecture has gained traction among data engineers and architects due to its structured approach and tangible results. As you embark on your data journey, consider donning the metaphorical medals of medallion architecture – each layer contributing to your organization’s triumphs.

Remember, whether you’re building data platforms or chasing Olympic glory, the right architecture can make all the difference! 🏅🔍📊

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Blog Posted by David Laws

David Laws Principal Consultant