8 Benefits of a Cloud Data Warehouse

Data-driven decisions are everywhere. Today, customers do not choose a fancy restaurant, a beach read, or an insurance provider without doing their research. With reviews, star-ratings, and social media, it is easy for customers to make a decision they feel good about.

Businesses are relying on data, too. Data is useful in nearly every aspect of a business — sales, marketing, product development, delivery, and support. While it is hard enough to harvest the abundance of customer data out there, storing it on a secure, balanced platform is an even bigger challenge.

Cloud data warehouses can accomplish this feat, among many others. Considering all the benefits you’ll read about below,  it’s no wonder many businesses are moving to cloud data warehouses. 

  • Low total cost of ownership
  • Improved speed and performance
  • Seamless self-service capabilities for business users
  • More secure data
  • Increased data storage
  • Improved access and integration
  • Better disaster recovery
  • Leveraged cloud and cloud elasticity

Benefit #1: Low total cost of ownership

One reason why cloud data warehouses are becoming popular is due to their low associated cost. On-premises data warehouses require expensive hardware, time-consuming upgrades, consistent maintenance, and outage management.

As companies increase the amount of data collected, on-prem data warehouses become even more pricey. Since on-premises compute and storage cannot be purchased independently, scaling a business intelligence program drives costs dramatically.

For example, companies with on-premises data warehouses pour a significant amount of money into accommodating data influxes to prepare for big events, like a new release or an upcoming holiday season. Despite the fact that the rest of the year may be slow, the business is stuck with hefty compute and storage bills.

Cloud data warehouses, on the other hand, allow data warehouse teams to purchase as little or as much compute power and storage as needed. Moreover, cloud data warehouses do not demand networking, server rooms, or any excess hardware.

Benefit #2: Improved speed and performance

Cloud data warehouses are essential to keep up with the growing plethora of data sources. To make data-driven decisions, businesses need to connect ERP, CRM, social media, support, and marketing data while still maintaining speed and performance.

On-premises data warehouses are struggling to keep up. By contrast, cloud data warehouses are fast and can handle multiple data streams at various velocities. Typically, cloud data warehouses have several servers that can balance the data load and increase processing speeds. With multiple servers, cloud data warehouses can simultaneously serve multiple areas of the business in different geographies.

What is more, cloud data warehouses can integrate with new data sources as needed, and easily and efficiently  deploy the updated solution to production. Cloud data warehouses provide a marked increase in speed and performance, giving IT more time to work on innovative projects. 

Benefit #3: Seamless self-service capabilities for business users

Stakeholders need data to make evidence-based decisions. Ironically, one of business users’ chief complaints is the lack of visibility into data.

This is likely because self-service analytics is difficult to deliver with a traditional on-premises data warehouse. Setting up a virtual machine and reserving physical storage for individual users is expensive and takes time to establish. Even once the VM is ready, business users must have a baseline understanding of the data and have command of the language needed to run queries.

Conversely, cloud data warehouses leverage resource pooling to share computing power, networks, and storage. As a result, IT resources can spin up data marts for new business users without affecting processing power or hitting storage limits. In addition, stakeholders from different business areas and geographies can perform ad-hoc queries on the same dataset, while both a deployment is happening, and IT ingests a new dataset.

Cloud data warehouses make data accessible and readily available to users, empowering them to make more informed choices in every aspect of the business. In turn, IT can concentrate on strategic projects that add value to the business.[resource-download resource_sync_code="15419"]

Benefit #4: More secure data

Historically, on-premises data warehouses were considered more secure than cloud data warehouses. However, businesses are realizing that cloud data is actually more secure, and less costly to maintain.

On-premises data warehouses have full-time teams who oversee database security. Not only is this time-consuming, it is also prone to human error. Moreover, on-prem data can reside in many different locations, making it difficult to track and monitor data flow. 

Cloud data is not located in disparate locations. Consequently, cloud security engineers can build and iterate on specific controls to safeguard data. Furthermore, cloud encryption services like multi-factor authentication make transporting data across regions and resources incredibly secure. Lastly, most cloud data warehouses include virtual private networks (VPNs), further limiting possibilities of a breach.

Benefit #5: Increased data storage

Previously, IT teams estimated their compute power and storage needs up to three years in advance. This evaluation had to include each network silo, generally created for each department. Buying too much or too little storage cost companies a fortune.

With cloud data warehouses, this appraisal is unnecessary. As mentioned above, business stakeholders can utilize their own mini-warehouse without negatively impacting storage costs. Additionally, cloud data warehouse providers often offer a “pay-as-you-go” model. That way, if a business has a smaller number of nodes, it can increase or decrease its subscription over time.

Besides cost-savings, cloud data storage provides flexibility and agility. With a cloud data warehouse, data warehouse engineers can control the cluster size, CPU, and RAM to fit the needs of unique projects. As a result, developers can deploy changes quickly and prototype new products and services without disturbing the company’s architecture or budget.

Benefit #6: Improved access and integration

Unlike on-premises data warehouses, cloud data warehouse integrations can accommodate various data types — including unstructured data. Likewise, cloud data warehouses can support multiple querying languages, meaning that companies can choose from a more diverse pool of developers.

The hospitable nature of a cloud data warehouse also makes it easier for database administrators to integrate data sources. Cloud data warehouses can adjust to fluctuations in volume, scaling in accordance with business needs, thereby increasing the accuracy of business intelligence.

At the same time, most cloud data warehouses have built-in data governance. Business users can be added to particular groups in order to access the data needed for dashboarding, analysis, or visualization purposes. These permissions are flexible enough to encourage the use of data warehousing applications, but stringent enough to preserve data integrity.

Benefit #7: Better disaster recovery

Conventional disaster recovery for an on-premises data warehouse is risky and costly. Companies require “backup” data centers prepped with duplicate data in case an issue occurs.

Backup data centers introduce a whole host of costs, such as: purchasing real estate to house servers, buying ample server capacity, and employing management and other security personnel. Most of the time, a business’s data center will never end up being used, nor will it be able to withstand a natural disaster.

Preparing cloud data warehouses for a disaster does not require physical assets. Instead, nearly all cloud data warehouses support asynchronous duplication of data, and perform consistent snapshots and backups automatically. This data is stored across different nodes, making the duplicate data constantly obtainable without interrupting current work.

Even if a physical building is destroyed, users can log into cloud-based applications and use replicated data immediately. Cloud data warehouse vendors supply specialized networks to further enhance backup security and dependability.

Benefit #8: Leveraged cloud and cloud elasticity

Another vote in favor of cloud data warehouses is their elasticity. Cloud data warehouses allow administrators to accurately match infrastructure needs to the appropriate number of resources.

This capability is especially useful for businesses with cyclical changes in demand. When demand is high, database teams can add more capacity, but when demand is low, storage and compute power can shrink to save companies money. For example, over the holidays, retailers might provision more analyst users. Post-holidays, temporary employees may leave and can be de-provisioned instantly. Elasticity is nearly non-existent with on-premises data warehouses, which routinely require IT teams to predict resource consumption years in advance.  

Begin benefiting from a cloud data warehouse

Customer data is growing exponentially with no sign of stopping. As such, on-premises data warehouses are becoming obsolete. Cloud data warehouses are able to store copious amounts of data effectively. Besides lowering costs, cloud data warehouses enable user access and safeguard precious data, all while maintaining processing speeds. In parallel, cloud data warehouses allow IT resources to dedicate time to more exciting business intelligence projects.

To provide the best business intelligence, companies need a cloud platform that can seamlessly integrate new data sources while upholding data integrity. Talend Data Fabric is a suite of applications designed specifically for fast and trusted data integration.

Talend preserves data integrity throughout the collection, governance, transformation, and storage process. On top of that, users across the organization share a common repository, simplifying the monitoring and deployment experience. Get the most accurate business intelligence today with Talend Data Fabric. Start your free trial today.

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