Get your head and data into the cloud

No matter where you are in your data warehousing journey, it’s important to take a step back and understand the basics of data warehousing and where the trends are going to avoid pitfalls. Setup and managed properly, a data warehouse unlocks the powerful data within an organization. A data warehouse not only stores data, but essentially functions as the pipeline to allow data integration.

Today, your modern data warehouse is going to want to scale up and bridge the gap between on-premise and cloud data. According to Gartner, the future of database management is in the cloud. Gartner reports that by 2022, 75 percent of all databases will be deployed or migrated to a cloud platform, with only 5 percent considered for repatriation to on-premises. Organizations are continually migrating data to the cloud at an increasing rate and there is no indication of that trend slowing down, so what do you need to know?

Data overload

It’s not a secret- data is everywhere and coming from so many places whether that is on-premise, on the cloud, or data that is completely siloed by individual departments within an organization. Needless to say- it’s complex. However there are many vendor services and tools that have been taking the market by storm to iron out any issues for organizations that need to scale quickly. A data warehouse is an organization’s central nervous system to generate more value and overall revenue. Allied Market Research reports that the global data warehousing market is expected to reach $34.69 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.20 percent.

Unlock your data’s potential

Yes, a lot of data is being managed in the cloud, but why? One reason being that most vendor services and tools offer visualization layers to easily transform data allowing stakeholders to easily diagnose issues and take action based on that blended data. Cloud platforms are scalable and overall more flexible. One of the biggest issues with the age of data analytics is that business owners and non-data scientists/IT remained in the lane of IT. Now with how data warehouse architectures function and solutions provided by leading providers including Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Snowflake it’s easing the implementation process without a huge price tag.

Cloud data warehousing can be more of a cost-effective strategy for organizations to take advantage of the latest and greatest technologies and architecture without having to worry about purchasing, installing and configuring the hardware and software. Businesses benefit from cloud-native data including:

  • Rapid adoption of SaaS – customer relationship management software, enterprise resource planning software suites, online marketing tools etc.
  • Cost-effective setup and avoiding a huge upfront investment
  • Easier deployment and less time-consuming
  • Increased flexibility to scale up or down depending on an organization’s goals
  • Ability to have a data lake with structured and semi-structured data without having to be too concerned about storage limitations

Key drivers for the growth in the data warehousing market is the rise in demand for more analytics and the production of advanced analytics. With so many IIoT devices collecting data in pretty much any industry these days, data is being collected around the clock and an organization needs a solution to store and analyze all of that data and be able to act on it.

Overall, it’s easier to engage with cloud-based technologies, decreasing the barrier to entry which is also driving growth behind cloud-based warehousing. There are also platforms that offer a hybrid cloud solution.

Snowflake is no “flake” when it comes to being one of the biggest players in this space. Their data platform  allows organizations to harness all of the power behind the data that is being mined, collected, stored and analyzed. According to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Study, Snowflake’s customers can expect an ROI of 612%  and benefits of more than $21 million over three years. Those are huge results.

Prep your data with the right tools and approach

Historically, data warehousing development took an extract-transform-load (ETL) approach and now, there’s a focus on a new preferred method – extract-load-transform (ELT).With this approach, raw data is extracted from the source and loaded unchanged into an area of the warehouse. From there, businesses can use the power of the database to transform that data by applying business rules, cleansing it or performing data quality measures. This again capitalizes on benefits including cost-effectiveness manipulating data to the warehouse directly rather than an external server and performing easier data audits.

Aside from going with the right approach when it comes to development, providers like Snowflake offer a secure foundation for your data offering key features such as:

  • Encrypted customer data at rest and in transit using dedicated encryption keys
  • Virtual warehouses only run when needed
  • Personnel doesn’t have access to unencrypted customer data or have the ability to collect, update, or delete data.
  • Performs an analysis to detect and mitigate threats
  • Built-in security features increase data protection that is loaded and managed

So you have the architecture of your data warehouse built and it’s up and running. Now what? A big goal for a data warehouse is to continuously operate at peak levels and deliver data faster thereby resulting in faster decision-making and creating more value. Adopting automation tools can help with deploying code more quickly.

Utilizing tools to secure your data is another necessity. As hybrid cloud adoptions gain more traction, it’s critical to secure all of that raw data you’re collecting. By having a hybrid or cloud data warehouse, IT departments can rest a little easier without having to bear the burden of setting data protection guidelines. Cloud providers make things a little easier by providing rules, privileges, and providing role-based access.

According to Statista, in 2020, the global average cost of a data breach amounted to $3.86 million, a 1.5 percent decline from the $3.92 million in average data breach costs in the previous year. The all-time high was in 2016, then the average cost of a breach amounted to 4 million U.S. dollars- so it looks like we’re getting better and we need to keep going in that direction.

Data cloud providers like Snowflake have security built in and are continuously building their security compliance portfolio to keep up with the high standards and expectations for a variety of industries. Hybrid cloud providers are offering strategies to fill these security gaps by:

  • Using Service Organization Control reports to certify their control environments or offering security certifications from third parties to define compliance strategies.
  • Performing security audits. Audits may include remote testing or onsite visits to limit vulnerabilities and best practices are being followed with how data is being managed.
  • Maintaining terms and conditions that outline how they are responsible for managing controls and implementing the necessary security measures and relaying that information to businesses to ensure workloads are being transferred/maintained securely.

Organizations need to not only have a reliable data warehouse, but it needs to be managed properly and secured to avoid data breaches or leaks that could cost a company millions of dollars and its reputation. It’s hard to recover from a damaged reputation especially if sensitive/proprietary data was leaked. Whether your organization runs with a cloud or hybrid data warehousing model, there’s benefits to both methods depending on the organization’s goals. A key takeaway is that as a stakeholder, having your head in the cloud is not a negative thing when it comes to managing your data.

Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.

Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.

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Process management

As previously mentioned, one of the best use cases for RPA technology is to streamline and enhance processes in every department of your organization. Identifying what areas of the business are taking the longest or are performing inefficiently is going to allow RPA solutions to take over for those tasks. For example, within the healthcare industry, health care supply chains have so many repetitive tasks. Considering just one of those tasks-the number of claims constantly coming through and ensuring accuracy and efficiency, automation is in increasing demand.

Taking advantage of bots and RPA technology is just the first step to automating the entire enterprise. Especially with the influx of immediate care and high physician demand during when the pandemic hit, there was an even higher demand to automate tasks. According to the PwC Health Research Institute Health’s executive survey, 73 percent of provider executives said their organizations are automating physician’s administrative tasks. With automation, physicians can not only not have to worry about a variety of repetitive-yet critical-admin tasks, but create closer relationships with their patients to increase the quality of care that is provided.

The high demand of increased intelligence and a faster response as to what is going on with COVID-19 in different regions across the world has motivated providers to invest in RPA. According to Gartner, 50 percent of U.S. healthcare providers will invest in RPA in the next three years. In the same survey, healthcare providers listed a number of challenges including the need for cost optimization. RPA technologies naturally address this challenge head-on by automating these mandatory, yet time-consuming tasks that also increase output and efficiencies.

According to an independent study commissioned by UIPath, 66% said RPA restructures existing work, enabling their employees to have more human interactions, and 60% said RPA helps people focus on more meaningful, strategic tasks.

Process Mining and RPA Solutions

While organizations can realize quick ROI when implementing RPA technologies and bots at a smaller scale, the failure rate is quite high because of not having a well thought out process and analysis done prior to automating tasks. RPA technologies and process mining have a lot of synergy between the two for critical reasons- but first let’s define what process mining is exactly. Process mining can reveal data quality issues that need to be addressed. In order to optimize or automate a process, key stakeholders need to understand how exactly a process is currently running to begin with and process mining addresses this and again, produces a scalable, end-to-end automation process solution. The following benefits to utilizing process mining are:

  • Analyze processes enterprise-wide without using employee resources
  • Collect and analyze data on processes in place based on facts
  • Identify inefficiencies in processes and those that can be automated
  • Simplify compliance across any industry

When data mining takes place, the data is transformed into event logs that is then turned into visualizations and insightful analyses to take action and move forward with your process automation. With these insights, you will learn how to improve, what needs to be improved and monitor overall how things are getting done to ensure the organization is operating at peak efficiency levels.

Process mining techniques are designed to discover, monitor and improve processes by extracting knowledge from event logs in a variety of systems. The process is so elaborate, yet critical to the overall automation process. In 2011, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) created a manifesto to promote process mining, defining guiding principles and listing important challenges for software developers, scientists, business managers and end users. According to a Gartner survey, most process mining initiatives have historically been targeted toward business process improvements, however in 2021 are projected to have more use cases targeting business process automation (BPA) and RPA.

Technology like UIPath’s platform, unlike others, is an automation platform with integrated process mining to provide valuable context and impact of automation on end-to-end processes and allows for a hyperautomation strategy.  The analysis that takes place on a platform like this involves multiple interactions and significantly enhances the hyperautomation strategy within the platform.

Selecting a tool like this isn’t easy, but it’s mission critical to better assist RPA and overall automation efforts. Process mining really sets the stage for a successful RPA implementation that is also scalable. Having these tools in place will help diagnose and prescribe a solution to the issues of the overall health of the organization. With the right tool in place, stakeholders will be able to see the complete ROI pipeline including information as to what can be optimized, implementation, and the impacts of the proposed process changes including costs and the effort required by the organization.

The same Deloitte Global RPA Survey also reported that 63 percent of organizations that implement RPA will likely work alongside a dedicated third-party partner due to a lack of specialist skills. In order to implement and scale up successfully, stakeholders need to be aware of the resources available to them and when it makes the most sense to partner with another team to create a solution that produces the best outcome for the future of the business.

Keep Moving Forward with Aptude

Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.

Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.

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