When is it time to upgrade your data warehouse?
As businesses develop and expand their operations, investments in technology tend to lean towards acquiring software, to digitise more business processes, for example. Whirring away, quietly, in the background is the data warehouse, a convergence of hardware and software, the engine that drives business intelligence capabilities, through the ability to extract data from different databases, various software programmes and sort and process it so that it can be easily retrieved by whichever user needs it.
But as businesses become increasingly technology-enabled, data warehouses may not be able to keep up with more complex expectations placed upon them. The data warehouse a company started out with a decade, or even a few years ago may not be able to support data mining or analytics, let alone machine learning models.
And, it’s vital for business success with Gartner estimates that by 2025, 80% of organisations seeking to scale digital business will fail because they do not take a modern approach to data and analytics.
It could well be time to consider data warehouse upgrading when:
- Your data is prolifering. Technology enabled businesses need to be able to gain insights from data from multiple sources, which did not exist before. In addition to business and enterprise applications, there are mobile-based and web-based applications and programmes, as well as APIs. But, not only that, data is proliferating in terms of type of data. Organisations increasingly must be able to get to grips with more sources of semi-structured and unstructured data as well as structured data. Only a fit-for-purpose data warehouse can take all this multitude of data and transform it into something more uniform that can be exploited for analytics and insights that can support better business decision making.
- There are many more users and they all want access to data much of the time. Your data warehouse is essentially unable to keep up, like an understaffed front-of-house team at a busy restaurant that can neither keep up with customers’ orders or serve dishes, turned out by the kitchen, quickly enough. Upgrading your data warehouse can ensure multiple teams have access to the same accurate and consistent data, with no gaps in availability, while users can query any real-time views of data.
- Your IT teams and administartors are spending more and more time engaged in data warehouse-related processes. From running specific queries to maintenance, in the past data warehousing related tasks may have been low-level and manageable but expand and encroach on people’s time as your warehouse requirements become more complex. Upgrading data warehousing infrastructure will free up your staff from wasting time on tedious repetitive tasks, to focus on more critical matters, while better performance and availability from upgraded infrastructure is also assured.
- More and more of your organisation’s processes and applications are being moved to the cloud. Cloud-based data warehousing can address barriers, including cost and complex deployment, that may have hindered organisations from beefing up their data warehousing capability. Just like other cloud computing applications, data warehousing in the cloud can provide more flexibility, enabling easier scale up or reduction in warehouse capacity, depending on the changing needs of the business.
- You want faster insights and smarter decision making. Your business has evolved in terms of identifying new revenue streams, customers or audiences, retaining existing ones, understanding impact of new marketing campaigns, keeping track of the competition, and brand building through new platforms. On the supply side your organisation continues with its aim of running a leaner, more agile operation. If your data warehouse cannot yield the insights required to support these many facets of your business, then it may not be fit for purpose.
Businesses today are realising that they can operate more efficiently, more productively and profitably using data. In this environment there is no room for trade-off between performance, or expensive and time-consuming upgrades. It is time to bring this core piece of technology infrastructure into the twenty-first century.
Chief Executive Officer
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