As a business, having a powerful data warehouse is one thing—but if you don’t have the tools to maximise its power and precision, you’re failing to take advantage of the full benefits available.
In this article, we’ll discuss what to look for in your data warehouse toolkit, which four data warehouse tools we recommend, and how they can help you take your data warehouse to the next level.
To understand the tools available, first, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what a data warehouse actually is.
A data warehouse supports your business’ data management by providing a comprehensive system to collect, store, and access important data when you need it. The data collected within feeds your analytics software, allowing you to make deeper queries and broader searches, and uncover the right data to deliver better and more competitive insight.
A data warehouse tool is a crucial component in a business's ability to optimise its reporting and data analytics and help you collect better information from all over your business. So rather than just delivering information at face value, your data warehouse tools provide a way to manage your queries, clean the resulting information, and then organise it in ways that make it easy for your users to extract the value they need. It connects with a variety of sources to achieve this and presents in a way that makes it available for more intelligent analysis.
So for a business that’s focused on optimising its data management and decision-making, it’s important that you choose the right tools for your data warehouse toolkit that help you achieve your goals.
When choosing the tools for your data warehouse toolkit, there are a few important considerations to take into account in order to identify the right platforms, and whether or not they’re going to provide the necessary value for your organisation.
Whether your data warehouse is in the cloud on-premises will determine which tools you can use. Not all data warehouse tools are available for on-premises systems—more traditional database management systems are more appropriate for this type of set-up. For most cloud data warehouses, the majority of popular modern data warehouse solutions are cloud compatible, if not cloud-native, meaning you’ll be able to integrate almost any solution.
A business can’t just integrate a data warehouse tool and hope it works—it’s important to check first that it can connect with the tools and systems that you use daily, and complements your existing data infrastructure. Does it suit the volumes of data you’re accessing? Does it provide the operability your users need in their daily roles? Importantly, is it able to grow as your business needs to?
The price of your data warehouse tool doesn’t necessarily determine the value you’ll receive from it. While a cheaper option may suit your budget, it may not deliver on its promises, leaving you falling behind in the long run. Alternatively, just because a system is more expensive, doesn’t mean it delivers what you need—you may in fact be paying for functionalities that have no relevance to your business.
Instead, map out your business goals, and identify where your data warehouse tool can help you achieve them, and the capabilities it provides to drive your business forward.
When looking at data warehouse tools, it’s important to pare back your choices and focus on what’s relevant to your business needs. Best-in-breed doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for your business.
So let’s look at the four data warehouse tools Tridant recommends, and what they can help your business achieve.
As one of the largest suppliers of cloud warehousing, Snowflake is an essential data warehouse tool for any data warehouse toolkit. One of the tools we consider best-in-breed, Snowflake was born in the cloud, which allows it to sit comfortably within the 3 major cloud platforms - Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. It features strong loosely coupled architecture, with independently scalable computing and storage, and comprehensive support for data in various formats. It also provides opportunities for machine learning and AI capabilities, paving the way for future growth.
Snowflake bills on the amount of time its compute is active, down to a second. In other words, it will charge you on the amount of time your data takes to load or your BI/Analytics queries taken to run, and is widely known to deliver a more cost-effective long-term solution.
Microsoft Azure has two data warehouse tools available, Azure Synapse and Azure SQL, both of which delivers enterprise data warehouse capabilities.. While these tools can be optimised for extremely large-scale processing, Azure SQL is recommended for smaller data warehouses. Extremely adaptable, both platforms are supported by a strong family of other Azure tools, like Azure Data Factory, Azure, Blob, Azure Data Lake, and Azure Databricks, its popular machine learning and AI engine.
Azure provides a holistic platform for your data warehousing while delivering connections that provide more comprehensive insight. With a range of pricing options, you’ll be able to find the service to match your budget.
Another cloud-native, Google BigQuery is a new contender on the market, that has already proven itself a strong competitor to Snowflake. It’s a powerful data warehouse tool that features all the capabilities a modern business needs, including deep data mining and real-time analytics, along with the power of built-in machine learning. Users can be confident they’re engaging in a best-in-breed solution, and are able to get strong support for data in various formats.
The main difference is in the billing model. BigQuery charges on a per-query basis, and the number of bytes scanned or read by the query, makes it a cost-effective alternative if your business regularly runs large, complex queries.
Amazon Redshift delivers pioneering cloud data warehouse technology that’s made for enterprise-level organisations, with powerful processing speeds that enable businesses to manage queries smoothly and swiftly. Its automation features help to increase or decrease the resources used in query processing to match workload demand, while delivering optimum flexibility to scale, allowing switching between node types.
We can help build, set up, and deploy a holistic data warehouse solution for your business, and advise on the best data warehouse tools to help you leverage your data in a more effective way. From start to finish, we partner with you to ensure your business is set up for success.
Contact us today to discuss your requirements, and see how we can help you build a data warehouse for the future.