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Prepare for future business challenges with a modern data warehouse

(Image credit: Image Credit: Shutterstock/Sergey Nivens)

Businesses worldwide, across multiple industries and verticals, leverage data to sharpen their competitive edge. And these days, businesses have access to growing volumes of data from all areas of their operation. As an organisation continues to collect data of various formats, it becomes increasingly important to control how data moves through the business. The way data is collected and stored can prevent a business from viewing their data holistically and using that data strategically to solve business challenges. To leverage data for insights, a business must explore, consolidate, transform, and enrich its data - quickly - or risk rendering its data collection efforts a waste of time.

Data warehouse technology hasn’t changed much over the last several decades. But the advent of ‘Big Data,’ and an insatiable appetite for data exposed technological gaps that some legacy warehouses just aren’t equipped to handle. Most legacy data warehouses slow down the ability to acquire and ingest data, and they struggle to keep pace with a business’s need to transform and extract insights for true, data-driven decisions. Platform limitations are unearthed as the varieties, volumes and velocities of data grows inside your organisation. This can strain your data warehouse and existing BI processes. Such limitations are not easily overcome and are expensive to work around. This can impact your business’ ability to be proactive, agile and insights-driven.

A modern data architecture is both cost-effective and scalable. Only a data warehouse that is provisioned and procured in the cloud, can solve some of the most difficult challenges presented by the latest innovations in technology: poor performance, high costs, increased volumes of data and siloed data. These challenges, posed by the Internet of Things and other technology evolutions, need a more stable solution. The time has come for every business to modernise its data warehouse to prepare for the future.

How to modernise

Knowing how, when and why to scale your data warehouse is not difficult. Ask yourself: Do you need your jobs to run faster? Implementing a cloud data warehouse (CDW), such as Google BigQuery, Snowflake or Amazon Redshift, will help you keep pace with your growing data needs. If you have recently reassessed data modelling and data architecture best practices, invest in those ideas and discussions with your IT department and key stakeholders. Assuming that you've adhered to sound data principles, scaling becomes easier.

If along the way you discover suboptimal design patterns or poor data modelling processes, you need to fix and assess before you can scale. It’s a good opportunity to revisit your business needs for scaling your data information architecture.

What happens after you choose a CDW?

You’re now ready to create a future-proof strategy that will scale with the increasing data you collect as your business grows.

Since old tooling isn't purpose-built and won’t help with performance, you need to choose tools built for the cloud that unlock the reason you transitioned to a CDW in the first place: performance and functionality.

There are a wide variety of free or low-cost trials to evaluate the complementary ETL and BI solutions that will help you be successful in your cloud data management journey. Traditional ETL (extract-load-transfer) tools not built for the cloud may technically work with a variety of legacy warehouses, but they’re unlikely to take advantage of the native improvements and inherent flexibility and speed of a CDW. It is more likely that a traditional ETL tool will treat your cloud data warehouse like any old data warehouse, which can result in some of the same old performance bottlenecks, appropriately causing you to question why you’ve migrated in the first place. Instead, evaluate new, cloud-native solutions and tools, to ensure you select the best offerings that suit your needs.

One of the key benefits to the cloud is the ability to stand up new resources on demand. Take advantage of these lightweight solutions for a quicker POC and test things in a variety of use cases, ranging from simple tasks to your most challenging or poorest performing workloads.

It can be hard to throw out what you know and trust in a change of processes and tools inside your data information architecture. The legacy approach to collecting and organising data was complex and begged the question, “Am I being efficient?” The new, modern way is automatically optimised so that when the need arises to scale, you can be confident that the problem is not one of efficiency. There are fewer things to tweak to gain efficiency outside of scale. It’s truly more simple than people realise.

You’re ready to unlock the potential of your data

The cloud has fundamentally altered the way businesses manage and store their data — for the better. Cloud computing can help you create a new modern data architecture to serve your current and future business needs.

Your business now has the ability to harness the potential of its data, offering unmatched efficiency and ROI. You’re finally ready to transform your data to identify the hidden insights necessary to drive strategic business decisions, and yield higher-quality business outcomes.

It’s time to unlock the potential of your data to push your business forward.

Dan D’Orazio, Solution Architect, Matillion

Dan D’Orazio is a Solution Architect at Matillion. He is also a data enthusiast who has worked as a data engineer, with eighteen years of experience working across various industries.