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What Should You Look for in Your Cloud Data Warehouse?

Exerpted from an article by Rahul Agarwal of IBM

January 14, 2015

The business benefits of cloud computing are well documented; according to an IBM study, organizations using cloud computing gain a competitive advantage over their peers and can generate two times more revenue and profit.

But is the cloud the right place for data warehousing which has traditionally been deployed on-premise (requiring a significant investment in hardware infrastructure)? A study by the Aberdeen group finds that organizations are increasingly using cloud-based analytics to gain advantages such as four times faster business intelligence deployment times and have 50% more users actively engaged with analytics.

So what parameters should you look for in your cloud data warehouse?

Simplicity

Your data warehouse on the cloud should let you focus on your data and your business problems, not the business of data warehousing (including tuning, planning and integration). It should be simple to set up; ideally providing load-and-go simplicity. In addition, it should provide the ability to easily ingest data from a myriad of sources including structured, semi-structured (think JSON) and unstructured.

Speed

Speed-driven data and analytics practices are quickly emerging as a key source of competitive advantage for companies across the world.[3] Hence, it is extremely important for you to try to minimize the time it takes to convert raw data that exists in your enterprise into actionable insight. Today a number of high performance technologies like in-memory computing and in-database analytic capabilities provide the ability to analyze data with high speed and precision. By running the analytics in the database where the data resides you will gain huge efficiencies. When you couple in-memory technology with analytics, you are able to get answers to your business questions as fast as you can think of the next question to ask; no waiting for analytic results to run.

Interoperability with business intelligence tools

Your cloud data warehouse should provide you the ability to write and execute your own analytic queries, or leverage other analytic and BI capabilities provided by tools such as Cognos, Looker, Aginity Workbench, Tableau, and others. Integration with such tools will help you better visualize and interact with your data, enabling a richer business intelligence experience.

Security

Your cloud data warehouse should be designed to keep your data secure with the same rigor that has come to be expected from an on-premise data warehouse. Any security/data breach can put your business operations at risk and has the potential not only to damage your company s reputation but also its top and bottom line.


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