If there’s one lesson to be learned from the pandemic, is that organisations should always be prepared for the worst, as well as have a strong backup plan, that is agile, and can be deployed in any scenario, with minimal disruption. One way of doing this is through cloud data warehouses which enable organizations to adapt and accommodate rapid and ad-hoc changes in workloads. It does so by enhancing the provisioning of resources or by scaling down the same as per the data volumes and its usage across users. The data volume, as well as the number of users who may access it at any point in time, is not predictable. The flexibility that a cloud data warehouse brings along enables faster processing of data. It helps organizations to be nimbler at managing data and workloads and arrive at insights faster.
By ensuring that cutting-edge insights are delivered to the business users through efficient self-service interfaces, businesses can accelerate the pace of informed decision making and this can augment sales. It can also help to engage and retain customers, enhance loyalty, and create a customized and contextual customer experience.
The process of building or implementing a cloud data warehouse can empower an organization with ‘value’ as below:
Connecting a diverse technology ecosystem: The enterprises of today have a complex IT landscape. They have legacy applications which are mostly run on-premises. They have a variety of applications which are cloud native. They also must deal with applications which are in the midst of a modernization exercise. The modernization from on-premises to cloud is a process that the organization addresses by working on the functional or technical debt that these applications bring along. Organizations must also deal with multiple clouds which are either closed source or open source and could yield their influence across SaaS, PaaS, or the IaaS layer. A cloud data warehouse can seamlessly connect the legacy and new-age systems and enable data to retain its characteristics all through. Thus, data can be made ubiquitously available when required across systems and processes. This enables organizations to analyze data faster and create accurate and critical insights for businesses in near real-time.
Managing multiple types of data: Data is not as linear and tabular as we want it to be. Today, businesses must understand structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data completely and know it right from its origins. Is it real-time data? Is it data that is streamed? Is it data that is generated by the customers interaction with product/service offerings?
Every bit of data assumes its own significance and importance. A cloud data warehouse can manage all such types of data and enable organizations to get a holistic view of the data and derive better inferences.
Self-Serve interfaces to address multiple user’s needs: An organization’s data team may comprise of data analytics and engineers as well as creators of reports from the data. To add to it, there are business users who seek very different value from each data point. The reports and dashboards required across each such constituent is different as per their function. A finance professional, for instance, may infer the same data differently as compared to an operation’s professional.
With a cloud data warehouse, data is no more siloed. It is liberated and served across self-serve BI interfaces to enable business users to make sense out of the data across the organization and make an informed business decision – quickly and seamlessly.
Comprehensive management of the data value chain – Data today is no more a departmental asset. It extends well beyond an organization’s perimeter and it creates a priceless value chain in the process. Organizations that can comprehensively manage this value chain of data can empower themselves with smarter business decision which positively impact growth.
With a cloud data warehouse, the entire process from data assimilation across sources, to data ingestion, refinement, processing, enrichment, and the allied integrations to enable data to break-free of departmental siloes can be managed efficiently. The cloud also brings in an added level of security to further empower the organization to leverage data for quick insights and business results.
What’s more, the huge terabytes of data in the organization can be used as a fodder to efficiently implement AI/ML capabilities onto the cloud data warehouse. This will help drive cross-efficiencies leading to automation of processes, and automated generation of report across key metrics that would be required by the business users at periodic intervals.
By Shrikant Navelkar, director, Clover Infotech