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How to choose the right data warehouse

It can be challenging finding the right data warehouse for your company. There are several options available on the market with each one offering different features you might want. Also, setting up a data warehouse can take up a lot of engineering time so it’s best to make the right choice before going ahead with implementation.

What is a cloud data warehouse?

Data warehouses are basically a home where all your data lives. Most businesses use data warehouses to aggregate data from different sources to make it easy for data monetization. 

So, a cloud data warehouse as the name suggests is a warehouse that is completely online. There are on premise data warehouses as well but the require physical hardware which cloud based warehouses do not need making them a lot easier to scale and implement so they are less expensive as well. 

Why and when you should consider a data warehouse 

If you are looking to have flexibility with the way you store and query your data then a data warehouse makes that easy for you. You can get answers to difficult monetization questions your stakeholders are asking that that standard tools would be unable to answer.

Reports run in data warehouses can have elements from all of your data sources combined in it which makes it quite powerful. You can include data from your app, websites and any other platforms you use and when all your data is in one place, running queries directly through your warehouse is quite easy using BI tools like Looker or Tableau.

If you would like to do any of the following, then you should consider a data warehouse:

  • Go deeper than traditional tools but using SQL to query raw data
  • Store all your business data in a central location
  • Give multiple people simultaneous access to the same data sets
  • Have your CRM, web, mobile and other applications analyzed in one place.

Considerations for choosing a data warehouse.

Here are a few things to consider as you consider which data warehouse to use for your team’s needs.

Scale: how much data you intend to store effectively. Most data warehouses can store large amounts of data with little overhead costs.

Maintenance: the amount of engineering time and effort you can dedicate to running your warehouse

Data types: the types of data to be stored in your warehouse. Structured or unstructured. With a structured data set, a relational warehouse with rows and columns is best and for unstructured data, a non-relational database is best for storing things like social media posts, books or emails.

Performance: how fast you want to have your data queried and how this speed can be maintained at times when there is high traffic. 

Community: how well will your warehouse be connected to other important tools and services and how easy it will be to set up so your team doesn’t have to build multiple ETL pipelines to send your data to other tools. 

Cost: the amount you are able to spend on your warehouse based on its use case. You have to pay for size, storage, queries and run times so if you frequently run queries then getting a more price friendly compute cost warehouse and if you have a lot of data, getting a warehouse with pocket friendly storage cost would be ideal and so on.

Bear it in mind that some of these factors influence each other and you may need to make tradeoffs like having more scale may bring down performance although it will also be more cost-effective. 

Making the final call

Establishing clear use cases is one of the most important things to do when choosing a data warehouse, deciding how often you will query your data and the amount of data you plan to store all need to be done to help with your evaluation. Making these decisions will ensure you look out for the right capabilities for your business needs.

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Selecting the right stack

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How to navigate the sea of customer data tools

Every fast growing business needs to have tools that make the most of its limited resources while helping your team understand, engage with and serve your customers effectively. Choosing the right tools can be a difficult task as more tools are developed and released into the market daily. For whatever task you may have, there are countless tools available to help you do it so how do you choose which ones are best for your company? And how do you project what tools you may need in the future while figuring out what you need now? One way to do this is by looking at your north star metrics.

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