It may be difficult to precisely nail down the latest IT trends, but one that most everyone can agree upon to going mainstream is that big data is only going to get bigger—like really bigger.
So big that custom data management and CRM solution firm Neudesic anticipates an “exponential increase” down the road for big data that’s largely based on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the amount of information collected about its users. According to Neudesic’s estimations, by 2020 there may be over 28 billion connected devices creating data, many while communicating with other devices.
With big data’s explosive growth, comes greater opportunities for organizations to analyze data and gain even more valuable insight to boost their profitability, lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and gain a competitive advantage. But what also comes with growth and the dramatic shift to big data in full force is the fact that traditional data management methods will not be enough to handle the big changes that are in store for big data.
To that end, there’s a solution that’s trending for cost-effective data management and protection that allows IT managers to control data ownership, access, classification, authorization processes and entitlements—and that solution is automation.
For purposes here, we’ll take a look at data warehouse automation, which is defined by the Data Warehouse Institute as “…using technology to gain efficiencies and improve effectiveness in data warehousing processes. Data warehouse automation is much more than simply automating the development process. It encompasses all of the core processes of data warehousing including design, development, testing, deployment, operations, impact analysis, and change management.”
In a nutshell, data warehouse automation allows you to achieve much more than ever before, much faster than ever before and at much lower costs than ever before. Let’s look at the how and the why.
The Need for Speed
Speed is pretty much everything in business. “Slow and steady wins the race” no longer applies. What does apply is this: if you’re not fast, your competitors will be and will leave you in their dust. With the most tangible benefits of data warehouse automation speed and agility, it is hard to argue that automation is not a viable solution to staying relevant, competitive and not left behind in anyone’s dust.
Data warehouse automation tools transform traditional, waterfall development processes into a business-driven model that is all about rapid design and deployment and delivering the right data—right now—with an integrated tool set to automate the entire data warehouse lifecycle.
Automation means accelerating the routine tasks that are associated with building and managing decision support infrastructure, which results in numerous benefits, including:
- Increased developer productivity
- Dramatically improved time-to-value
- Reducing repetitive tasks and freeing-up resources for those tasks that are of higher value
- Strengthening quality and consistency of business support infrastructure
- More timely responses to ever-changing business requirements, revisions and requests and additionally, more accurate time, cost and resource estimates
- Rapid delivery of completed data warehouses, data marts, big data and business intelligence environments
Making the Automation Argument
With data warehouse automation and as referenced above, organizations can make changes much later in the development process, more frequently and with less disruption, rework and waste—all of which not only saves time, resources and money, but also ensures deliver of a quality product to the exacting specifications of stakeholders.
And how it all works is by design patterns—specifically, identifying and reusing patterns to achieve consistency, quality, speed, agility and cost savings—that best capture best practices for data design, management, integration and usage as well as, capture architectural standards.
Applied patterns in a data warehouse automation tool support accelerated design and development, drive compliance with standards and consistency of data warehousing results, and mine invaluable business intelligence in a modernized and automated method.
The end result is improved quality, increased agility, the ability to iterate fast, reduced costs and better sustainability, maintainability and operability that are beneficial to not only development, but provide automated creation of documentation, simplified testing and better version control.
With organizational benefits such as these, what’s not to like about data warehouse automation? Moving forward and staying ahead means forgetting the past and embracing the future. And the future is now.