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Six Benefits of a Cloud Data Warehouse for Your Business

In 2023, data is becoming increasingly important to the way we do business, but how can you take advantage of this without the right tools for storing and processing it?

Traditionally, these kinds of operations would have involved hefty on-premise servers that IT teams would have to keep running. If the needs of the business outgrew these systems, it was an expensive and disruptive job to upgrade them.

Today, however, we have all kinds of cloud data warehouse providers with solutions to fit every business. In this blog post, we'll go over six of the key benefits for your enterprise. We'll also cover some of the main providers and how you can make the transition from your current system to the cloud.

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Understanding Cloud Data Warehousing

A data-driven business collects all sorts of information from the various apps it uses, ranging from demographic info and buying habits for their customers to performance analytics for their own operations. This adds up fast, so where do they store it all?

If they're keeping it on an on-premise server, many companies will struggle to make room for it. The high cost of adding additional storage creates a hard limit on how much data they can hang onto.

A cloud data warehouse solves this issue. Virtualizing your data store in the cloud means it's spread across several machines, but it's as easy to retrieve as if it were all in one place. Having access to a whole cloud server network also enables the potential for parallel processing, which makes it incredibly fast to add, edit, and remove data from a store.

This centralization makes it much easier to collect data from the likes of your enterprise VoIP app, retrieve it as needed, and to run operations like natural language processing and business intelligence reporting to make better decisions.

Let's look at some of the benefits of cloud data warehousing in more detail.

Key Advantages of Cloud Data Warehousing

1. Scalability

Opting for a cloud data warehouse over an on-prem system allows for rapid scaling. If the cloud services you're subscribing to are no longer sufficient, you can just bump up your payment plan.

Contrast this with on-prem upgrades, which are costly, time-consuming, and can cause disruption to your operations.

2. Cost-Efficiency

With no physical hardware to set up, cloud providers are often lower-cost options than on-prem data warehouse solutions. With storage and computing being so abundant, providers are often happy to talk about flexible pricing options for your business.

3. Data Accessibility and Real-Time Analysis

Cloud data warehouses enable improved access to data too. By unifying disparate data in one place, warehousing gathers together information for processing via business intelligence tools like enterprise risk management software.

4. Performance Enhancement

Additionally, a cloud data warehouse gives you more room for parallel processing, which in turn delivers speedier data analysis without having to buy expensive hardware.

These resources also facilitate cloud data warehousing automation tasks, which can make your whole business run faster and more efficiently.

5. Reliability and Support

Another selling point of a good cloud data warehouse provider is reliability and support. Keeping their services running 99.9% of the time is the bare minimum, and in the rare event that something does go wrong, they have 24/7 support available to help get you back on track.

6. Usability Across Teams

In addition, cloud data warehouse providers make information easy to access with user-friendly interfaces. Teams don't need to go through software developers and system administrators to work with the data they need to do their jobs.

If non-techie teams need to read, write, or edit data in the cloud, they can access it via low- or no-code platforms. By building automated workflows into these, they have the power to do "citizen development" i.e. build their own solutions to problems without having to interrupt busy IT staff.

This accessibility and usability also help remote teams e.g. business analysts working from home can use Microsoft Remote Desktop or RealVNC's remote desktop for iPad to access data wherever they are.

Ergo, as well as centralizing your information, a data warehouse also simplifies all the workflows surrounding it.

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Choosing the Right Cloud Data Warehouse Provider

There are many cloud data warehouse providers on the market today, each with offerings for different kinds of business. So, what should you be looking for?

  • Architecture. How flexible is this for accommodating your needs? How much support is the company offering to move your operations toward the cloud? Is the architecture secure, and is it compatible with your compliance obligations?
  • Scalability. If your data operation grows rapidly, is the offering easy to scale in terms of features and pricing?
  • Performance. How fast can the platform perform routine actions like queries, indexing, and storage optimization?
  • Use cases. How suited is this tech to the use cases you care about? This might be reporting, dashboards, machine learning operations, answering new ad-hoc queries, etc.
  • Cost. How much does a subscription cost? Are higher-tier pricing plans available for you to grow into? What's your predicted ROI?

Once you know what you're looking for, you can start shopping around for providers. Some notable players in the field include:

  • Azure Synapse Analytics. Microsoft's Azure Synapse Analytics (formerly Azure SQL Data Warehouse) integrates particularly well with its other products, like Microsoft Power BI and Azure Machine Learning.
  • Google BigQuery. Google BigQuery is a serverless data warehouse designed to operate across cloud systems. As it's designed by the company behind Bard and Google Analytics, it's no surprise that this offering boasts built-in machine learning and business intelligence capabilities that are optimized for generating insights from large datasets.
  • Amazon Redshift. Amazon's popular Redshift leverages its existing Amazon Web Services to offer cost-efficient, SQL-based data warehousing. Running everything in SQL eliminates the need for data movement and transformation, which speeds up query performance. Essentially, Redshift can perform faster analytics in a simpler package with a serverless architecture offering.
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Transitioning to a Cloud Data Warehouse

If your business is currently storing its data on-premise, a cloud data warehouse setup can feel like a big transition. Many of your processes will have to change, and you're going to be spending a lot of time thinking about new ones.

Luckily, most providers enable a "cloud on-ramp" or "ramp into cloud" approach that helps you migrate from your existing system in various ways. This might include setting up VPNs to create secure connections to the cloud server no matter where your team is or helping make sure the data from your virtual business phone numbers runs smoothly through the new system.

Key Takeaways

Cloud data warehouses offer a scalable and cost-efficient option for data storage and processing, and many providers deliver no-code, user-friendly solutions that mean anyone can work with the system to easily complete their data processing tasks.

What are you waiting for? Isn't it time you made the switch?

Published Monday, December 04, 2023 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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