Delivering a data analytics program that delivers

Published on the 16/12/2019 | Written by Peter O’Connor

Do you have the data warehouse to support a data driven future?…

Is your business or organisation hungry for the insights – and the ensuing competitive edge – a data analytics program can deliver?

You’re not alone. After a slow start, a growing swell of Australian and New Zealand enterprises are embracing the data analytics revolution; looking for actionable insights in the often-expansive repositories of data in their keeping.

Research suggests they have some catching up to do.

A 2018 report by Melbourne Business School and AT Kearney found Australian enterprises lagged behind their global counterparts, extracting 12 per cent less value from data analytics than comparable companies around the world.

Local businesses have some catching up to do.

Risk averse corporate culture, reluctance to experiment and staffing issues were cited as the reasons local companies had found themselves towards the back of the pack.

Doing more with data
Technology-wise, it’s a good time for local organisations to step up the pace.

Historically, data analysis was a rarefied and often costly exercise, financially feasible for large and well-resourced organisations only. That’s no longer the case.

Instead, cloud-based data warehousing technology is making it easier and more economical for enterprises to embark on data analytics projects which can help them maintain competitive advantage in an increasingly cutthroat commercial environment.

Furthermore, experts have warned that companies which fail to embrace data analytics are likely to find themselves behind the eight ball, and out of business, in a short space of time.

In late 2018, managing director of the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia, Annette Slunjski warned that businesses which did not become data driven within five years would cease to be in business.

Looking to the cloud for better answers
The rise of the cloud has conditioned organisations to expect even the most complex of technology arrays to perform like applications and be just as easy to manage and maintain.

Historically, data warehousing solutions did not fit this description. Typically hosted on premises, they were complicated and expensive to operate and maintain.

In 2020, that legacy model no longer answers. Organisations hastening to join the data analytics race want it to be affordable and easy for them to do so.

And not just for the small group of individuals with data analytics expertise either.

Instead, for many organisations, the goal is to make the exercise as egalitarian and ubiquitous as possible; something that’s embedded in processes and practices across the enterprise, not a discrete activity, undertaken by highly skilled professionals on behalf of their colleagues.

Data warehousing 2020 style
Wondering what the data warehouse of the future will look like? Think global, multi-cloud capable and vendor managed. Data migration – from both inhouse repositories and other clouds – will be simple and swift and navigation a straightforward matter for all users, not just for those with a background in the data sphere.

Similarly, patching and upgrades will be the remit of vendors rather than users; an activity which occurs automatically in the background, rather than popping periodically onto the IT team’s To Do list.

Tomorrow’s data warehouses won’t just be a cinch to own and operate – they’ll be fast. Very fast. Data streaming and processing advances are increasingly allowing organisations to extract insights from information gathered five minutes ago, rather than five weeks or five months. Being able to base commercial decisions on current rather than historic information will allow enterprises to anticipate future needs and wants more precisely and deliver products and services to suit.

Moving with the times
It’s often said that change is the only constant and, in 2020, Australia and New Zealand’s commercial landscape is evolving far more rapidly than once it did. Data analytics can help businesses make better decisions; ones which will enable them to keep up and compete, in the decade to come.

Data warehousing solutions which make extracting actionable insights easy are an essential piece of the technology puzzle and judicious investment in this space is likely to generate very real returns.

Peter O'Connor


Peter O’Connor is vice president, Asia Pacific and Japan for Snowflake.

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