Business leaders across industries strive to make their companies as data-driven as possible. Quality data and analysis fuel better decision-making, performance, and results. However, the problem for many businesses working toward a robust data-driven culture is that managing all the necessary data takes a lot of work. They need a solution like a data warehousing platform to unlock the full capabilities of their data.
Because there are so many data warehousing options, choosing the best one for your company can be challenging. Use this guide to help you find the optimal data warehousing solution for your business needs.
What is a Data Warehousing Platform?
A data warehousing platform is a system that aggregates data from multiple sources specifically to facilitate data analysis. The data warehouse acts as a central repository of business data and connects to business intelligence and analytic tools. Unlike transactional databases, these warehouses are suited to analytical processing. Enterprises use data warehousing platforms to support data-driven decision-making across departments.
Data warehouses break down into two categories: warehouses that the company stores on-premises and cloud data warehousing platforms. Data warehouses stored in the cloud are increasingly popular due to their convenience and on-demand scalability. They don’t require the business to maintain any physical hardware for the platform. Instead, it’s software as a service (SaaS). Either deployment model will maintain the core functionality of the data warehouse—consolidating your business data.
How to Choose a Data Warehousing Platform
If you’re interested in adopting a data warehousing platform, there are several factors you should consider. Keep these factors in mind during your search to choose the right platform for your business’s needs:
Different businesses collect and use vastly different amounts of data in their operations. You need to know how much data you will store and access through your data warehouse. If you choose a platform with much greater capacity than you need, you’ll likely be overpaying and wasting money you could spend elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you choose a platform without sufficient capacity, you won’t get the full functionality of the platform.
Consider also how each platform scales during periods of high demand. Some solutions include auto-scale functions to adjust automatically as needed, while others require you to make changes manually.
Cost is one of the most significant factors to consider when comparing warehousing platforms. That’s not to say you should pick the cheapest option you find, but you must stay within your budget. Start your search with a clearly defined budget for this software so you know what you can and can’t afford during your search.
Keep in mind that pricing for data warehousing solutions can be complicated. Instead of paying an exact up-front price or even a flat monthly fee, you’ll generally need to pay for storage, compute time, queries, or some combination of these. Microsoft Azure, for example, one of the top data warehousing options, charges customers according to the storage level they select and their compute time.
As with any other software solution your business invests in, the data warehousing solution you choose must offer performance matching your use cases. Specifically, think about how fast you’ll need access to the data in the warehousing solution. If you don’t intend to run real-time analytics, you can choose a data warehouse with some lag time. Companies looking to analyze their data for immediate insights will need to prioritize performance in their search for a data warehousing solution.
Once your new data warehouse solution is up and running, you need to be able to count on it completely. Any downtime could be incredibly costly for your enterprise, so it’s vital to consider the reliability of each warehousing option. Typically, data warehousing solutions have high uptime, but failures are always a possibility.
Look into the historical reliability of any warehousing solutions you’re considering to check for problematic patterns. Also, note the support features that each option offers in case of failure. The more reliable your data warehousing solution is, the better an investment it will be.
Since the purpose of a data warehouse is to aggregate data from various data sources within your organization, compatibility is another key factor to consider. The more compatible your existing tools and systems are with the warehousing solution you choose, the easier the setup will be. Make sure the data warehouses you’re looking at will work well with the technology you already use in your business. Incompatibility isn’t insurmountable, but it will make implementing and using the data warehouse more difficult.
Benefits of Picking the Ideal Solution
Once you go through all the trouble of finding the ideal data warehousing solution, how will it actually affect your business? If you choose the right data warehouse, your business will enjoy benefits such as the following:
- Eliminating data silos: Data silos keep crucial data sets isolated from teams and business units that need them. By uniting your data, data warehouses break down these silos and allow your whole team to get more out of your data.
- Maintaining data quality: Data-driven decisions are only as accurate as the data driving them. Data warehouses help ensure the quality and accuracy of your data by standardizing it and making errors more obvious.
- Enhancing business intelligence: Data warehouses allow you to draw on data from all your sources, ensuring you base your decisions on the whole picture. Business intelligence improves when you have all the data you need right at your fingertips.
- Saving time: When your team doesn’t have to sort through various sources and pull data together, they save valuable time. You’ll be able to make data-driven decisions faster and with less effort when you use the right data warehousing solution.
Using Data Warehousing Platforms to Support Better Decision-making
When you find and implement a top data warehousing solution, you’re laying the groundwork for data-driven decision-making. Consider cost, performance, reliability, and other key factors to ensure you choose the best solution for your business’s needs. And if you have any questions about data warehouses or how to use data solutions effectively in your enterprise, contact Live Earth.