In part 1 and part 2 of our modern data warehouse series, we laid out the benefits of a data warehouse and compared the different types of modern data warehouses available. In part 3, we take a step back and see how the modern data warehouse fits in your overall data architecture.
A modern data warehouse is just one piece of the puzzle of a modern data architecture that will ultimately provide insights to the business via reporting, dashboarding, and advanced analytics.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to modern data warehousing, and it’s important to understand upfront that it’s a huge endeavor. With that in mind, a well-designed modern data warehouse will help your organization grow and stay competitive in our ever-changing world.
The ultimate goal of modern architecture is to facilitate the movement of data not only to the data warehouse but also to other applications in the enterprise. The truth of the matter is that a modern data architecture is designed very similarly to how we at 2nd Watch would design an on-premise or traditional data architecture, though with some major differences. Some of the benefits of a modern data architecture are as follows:
- Tools and technology available today allow the development process to speed up tremendously.
- Newer data modeling methodologies can be used to track the history of data efficiently and cost-effectively.
- Implementation of near real-time scenarios is much more cost-effective and easier to implement utilizing cloud technologies.
- With some SaaS providers, you can worry much less about the underlying hardware, indexing, backups, and database maintenance and more about the overall business solution.
- While technology advances have removed some of the technical barriers experienced in on-premises systems, data must still be modeled in a way that supports goals, business needs, and specific use cases.
Below you will find a high-level diagram of a modern data architecture we use at 2nd Watch, along with a description of the core components of the architecture:
Technical details aside, 2nd Watch’s architecture provides key benefits that will add value to any business seeking a modern data warehouse. The raw data layer enables the ingestion of all forms of data, including unstructured data. In addition, the raw layer keeps your data safe by eliminating direct user access and creating historical backups of your source data. This historical record of data can be accessed for data science use cases as well as modeled for reports and dashboards to show historical trends over time.
The transformation-focused data hub enables easy access to data from various source systems. For example, imagine you have one customer that can be tracked across several subsidiary companies. The business layer would enable you to track their activity across all of your business lines by conforming the various data points into one source of truth. Furthermore, the business layer allows your organization to add additional data sources without disrupting your current reporting and solutions.
The enterprise data warehouse provides a data layer structured with reporting in mind. It ensures that any reports and dashboards update quickly and reliably, and it provides data scientists with reliable data structured for use in models. Overall, the modern data warehouse architecture enables you to provide your end users with near real-time reporting, allowing them to act on insights as they occur. Each component of the architecture provides unique business value that translates into a competitive advantage.
If you depend on your data to better serve your customers, streamline your operations, and lead (or disrupt) your industry, a modern data platform built on the cloud is a must-have for your organization.
Contact us for a complimentary whiteboarding session to learn what a modern data warehouse would look like for your organization.