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Do You Need a Data Warehouse Architect? Do You Need a Data Warehouse Architect?
A few years ago, all data warehousing was an on-premises solution that was expensive to run and may not have been optimized for real,... Do You Need a Data Warehouse Architect?

A few years ago, all data warehousing was an on-premises solution that was expensive to run and may not have been optimized for real, day-to-day operations. The cloud has helped with some of those issues by allowing companies to operate leaner and faster while reducing cost. Some companies are moving their operations to the cloud, but traditional warehousing is still very much alive. However, the cloud has changed how we think of warehousing and could be a factor in your decision to hire a data warehouse architect. 

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Are You Converting a Legacy System?

Traditional data warehousing was the on-premises solution, but new cloud-based solutions allow your business to scale, pivot, and compute faster. What happens when you decide to convert to the cloud, but your legacy system is in place?

A data architect could help make the transition easier and clearly define the solution. When you’re converting from a massive yet outdated system, you could benefit from a point person that builds the transition steps, understands the framework for the migration, and can train staff and other stakeholders in the new system.

If you’re moving to a hybrid system, this could be even more critical. A data warehouse architect can outline the structure needed to implement the best of both worlds without causing a massive shutdown. 

Are You Starting from Scratch?

Starting from scratch doesn’t necessarily warrant the need for a data warehouse architect. Small startup companies that don’t rely on big data just yet to provide a product or service may not need to leverage the sophisticated capabilities of a massive data warehouse. As you build your solutions, a done-for-you service could benefit your first steps.

That said, if your organization is ready to use big data as the pivotal point in your business decisions, you may need to find talent to fill in knowledge and skills gaps. A cloud architect can use expertise to offer solutions for governance, build a secure system for sensitive data, and maintain a working knowledge of ever-changing regulations.

A data architect can also give advice for utilizing cloud resources. In a recent survey of cloud users, it was found that enterprise users are wasting as much as 35% of their cloud spend. A data warehouse architect can help reduce that waste, and design solutions for scale that take full advantage of cloud solutions.

Is Your Team Focused on Other Things?

When your organization uses data for research and development, your data team may be occupied doing other things. A data warehouse architect can help make decisions for defensive data strategies and free that team up for the offense.

Offensive strategies include money-making, innovative approaches. That team is focused on creating solutions for customers that generate revenue and build up to scale. They don’t have time to handle the difficulties of implementing a solid data warehouse.

It isn’t migrating data into the cloud warehouse that’s the issue. Integrating that data back with your company’s workflow is. A data warehouse architect can build the pipelines that your research and development team needs to access quality data regularly.

A data warehouse architect can also build in quality assurance through standardization. If you’re dealing with large amounts of unstructured data, you’re going to have repeats, missing fields, and a host of other problems that only muddy the water. Once your team has a functioning architecture in place, then that provides secure data solutions to support your overall business mission.

Choosing a Data Warehouse Architect

Building a data warehouse using hybrid or cloud solutions is tough. Maintaining an on-premises solution is tough. If you find that your current team is losing a lot of hours (and sleep) over maintenance and migration, it could be time to bring in an expert for building your pipelines and overseeing governance.

A data warehouse architect can be the point person for your defensive data strategies, helping to maintain the integrity of data and ensuring security. Even if you’ve got a done-for-you solution, the architect can still work with the third party to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

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Your business may not be ready for this position yet, but if you’ve got an eye on scale and you understand the amount of return you can get on quality data insights, you might consider writing this position into your future business plan. Business is only getting more data-hungry, and your solutions are only as good as the data and the pipelines you’ve got in place. Calculate your ROI, and you could find the expense of a data warehouse architect worth it.

Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace, ODSC

Elizabeth is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for startups. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do. Connect with her on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethawallace/

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