Cloud Data Warehouse: What It Is and Why Your Business Needs It

Cloud data warehouse

Today, gathering data is easier than ever before. That’s why just about every business in the world collects it like it’s going out of fashion, but why do they do it? First and foremost, data helps you gain valuable insights into your customers and allows you to observe the intricacies of your relationships in an objective manner. Something that would have been entirely impossible just a few decades ago (especially for smaller businesses with limited resources.)

In addition to this, a recent survey from Deloitte revealed the following responses when asking business owners about why they collect data:

  • 49% said analytics helped them make better business decisions
  • 16% said data enables them to initiate key strategic initiatives and spot new opportunities
  • 10% said it helps strengthen relationships with both customers and business partners

However, it’s not just as simple as pooling data from every source you can and hoping for the best. To take full advantage, you need to have the right resources and tools in place to help you properly store, analyze, and retrieve relevant data points when necessary. This is the only way you will extract the maximum amount of value from the data you capture, and you need a cloud-based data warehouse to do it.

What is a cloud data warehouse?

A cloud data warehouse acts as a central hub for your data, where it can be easily analyzed, stored, and retrieved. They are typically delivered in a public cloud as a managed service optimized for a wide variety of business functions, helping you make more informed decisions.

A data warehouse is focused on providing high data quality that is well presented and highly customizable. This offers tangible data assets that can be put to work in just about any aspect of your business, from the data scientists to your sales team.

Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, and SnowflakeDB make up some of the most well-known services out there; however, there are some fantastic Redshift alternatives, for different use cases, that provide an even more comprehensive range of useful features for data management and consolidation.

What about before the cloud?

Before we had the cloud, most businesses had to install large in-house databases that would be used for data storage and analytics. While they served their purpose well, they were extremely costly to install, expensive to maintain, and took a long time to set up. As a result, many businesses were priced out of data warehouse services, but fortunately, the cloud came to the rescue.

Nowadays, cloud data warehouses offer a versatile, agile solution to businesses of all sizes, allowing them to make data-driven decisions using more accurate business insights. On top of this, cloud services have the potential of being set up in minutes as opposed to several months, with a whole bunch of extra benefits over traditional in-house systems thrown into the mix too. Let’s take a look at a few of them below:

It’s a managed solution

One often overlooked aspect of a cloud data warehouse is the fact they are a managed solution. This means that you can outsource all of the heavy lifting and the hassle that comes with running a data warehouse to the cloud provider. Additionally, this helps to reduce the cost as you don’t need specialist in-house staff to monitor and maintain the server.

Low cost of ownership

Cloud-based data warehouses are significantly cheaper than legacy systems as you don’t have to pay for an expensive install. However, the cost-saving benefits don’t stop there. With cloud services, you usually only have to pay for the resource you use, with many providers offering flexible pricing (per hour or node). Staggeringly, a traditional database warehouse that used, on average, one terabyte of storage and 100,000 queries per month would cost $468,000 each year.

Better uptime

Cloud providers usually offer a much better uptime than legacy systems as they must meet their service-level agreement (SLA). They can also accommodate a wider variety of data and support multiple querying languages.

Improved scalability

Cloud data warehouses are designed to scale, ensuring they can respond to demand variations and scale to meet your business needs. They can do that because they use massive parallel processing (MPP), enabling them to scale up when computing demands are high and down to save money when demand is minimal.

Final word

Cloud data warehouses offer a wide range of solutions for business owners looking to control their data and gain access to more accurate business insights so they can optimize their strategies.

Less than a decade ago, these services were out of reach for many businesses due to their extremely pricey install costs and maintenance fees. However, thanks to the cloud, organizations of all shapes and sizes can set up a flexible plan with providers, drastically reducing the barriers to entry and allowing them to equip their business with accurate data and real-time insights.

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