Medallion architecture: best practices for managing Bronze, Silver and Gold

Piethein Strengholt
10 min readJan 13, 2023

Many of my clients employ a Medallion structure to logically arrange data in a Lakehouse. They process incoming data through various stages or layers. The most recognized layout, illustrated below, incorporates Bronze, Silver, and Gold layers, thus the term “Medallion architecture” is used.

Although the 3-layered design is common and well-known, I have witnessed many discussions on the scope, purpose, and best practices on each of these layers. I also observe that there’s a huge difference between theory and practice. So, let me share my personal reflection on how the layering of your data architecture should be implemented.

Data platform strategy

The first and most important consideration for layering your architecture is determining how your data platform is used. A centralized and shared data platform is expected to have quite a different structure than a federated multi-platform structure that is used by many domains. The layering also varies based on whether you align platform(s) with the source-system side or consuming side of your architecture. A source-system aligned platform is usually easier to standardize in terms of layering and structure than a consumer-aligned platform given the more diverse data usage characteristics on the consumption…