The world is moving towards automation. From self-driving cars to extended manufacturing assemblies producing hundreds of thousands of products every day, companies looking to innovate and achieve new levels of productivity and revenue generation have found great success in automation. Aside from the obvious benefits of increased efficiency and reduced costs, automation can also help businesses adapt to ever-changing market demands better and enhance collaboration with both internal and external stakeholders.
Why Does Your Business Need Automation?
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” – Bill Gates
Think of automation in the context of your own business. You might have several different departments, each of which focuses on a number of primary functions. Interestingly enough, there’s a high chance that automation can help you maximize value and increase return on investment in several ways in each one of these departments.
To dive deeper, let’s take the example of the customer support department of a food delivery service. Providing automated customer support with the help of a chatbot can not only improve customer satisfaction levels but can also prevent problems from escalating further due to the lack of timely responses.
Embracing automation in customer support and service can also reduce the burden on customer support representatives, increasing employee satisfaction.
Similar benefits can be achieved in other areas as well. Marketing automation, for instance, may give you greater insight into the behaviors and patterns of your customers and prospects, all while helping you generate higher quality leads. Automating your business processes can also help you manage your employees working in different time zones better and reduce the amount of manual effort involved in menial and repetitive tasks.
In recent times, growing businesses have also started giving a lot of thought to data warehouse automation owing to the unique benefits it offers. Unlike the traditional approach to data warehousing, which involved spending days and weeks in gathering business requirements and objectives and typing long lines of complex code, modern data warehouses are built to facilitate automation, allowing businesses to get a complete view of their data for quicker analytics without all the effort spent manually building ETL pipelines, creating physical data models, and managing updates/improvements on an ongoing basis.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the data warehouse automation process and how you can choose the right data warehouse automation software.
The Data Warehouse Automation Process Explained
Data warehousing is an intricate concept that involves several different steps. Creating efficient and reusable data models and deploying them is at the core of every good, functional data warehouse. However, before this step, it’s essential to determine your business objectives and understand them in the framework of your business processes and functions.
Once this has been done, you need to ensure you have access to all the data sources from which data needs to be extracted and which transformations will make this data better-suited for your data warehouse.
With data warehouse automation, you can remove the requirement of manual intervention in the planning, modelling, and deployment steps to expedite data analytics and reporting. With inherent features and capabilities for everything from improving data quality to orchestrating jobs, data warehouse automation software allow businesses to reap the full benefits of a data warehouse without spending days on end doing the grunt work to extract valuable insights.
Modern DWH automation tools also facilitate data integration and ETL processes with the help of built-in bidirectional connectors to popular data sources including databases, visualization tools, and cloud platforms. This eliminates the need for repetitive data mapping and manually executing projects and processes.
These data warehousing solutions also embrace agility and efficiency by allowing users to quickly build a dimensional model that incorporates everything from Facts and Dimensions to primary and surrogate keys, allowing you to define the structure of your model while maintaining integrity. When building such dimensional models, you also have the option to leverage slowly changing dimensions, ensuring that only relevant and up-to-date data is being processed for analytics. This, ultimately, also allows businesses to ride the wave of dynamic business environments, giving them an edge over their competitors.
Game-Changing Benefits of Data Warehouse Automation
Data warehouse automation offers businesses the following game-changing benefits
- Quick integration of data sources: Building a functional modern data warehouse will not be possible without access to the right data sources. Data warehouse automation (DWA) software often come with connectors to all major file formats, databases, and cloud applications to ensure that you can import data to your data warehouse with ease. Most of these software also support no-code data mappings, allowing users to integrate their data sources quickly.
- Increased developer productivity: With an automated data warehousing solution, developers won’t have to worry about spending long hours coding ETL scripts or managing data warehouse processes manually. This allows IT teams to focus on improving performance and optimizing processes for better and quicker results.
- Faster time-to-production: Automating data warehousing allows businesses to complete the entire process from gathering and identifying business requirements to deployment of data models quicker. Data quality rules, validation checks, and other features focusing on improving data quality also allow users to track the lineage of different datasets brought into the data warehouse to ensure that nothing is out of place.
- Supercharged reporting and analytics: With data warehouse automation, businesses can extract analytics from accurate and cleansed data in real-time to improve their analytics and reporting. Most major data warehouse solutions also allow businesses to integrate their data with visualization tools such as PowerBI to increase visibility into business processes.
- Increased transparency for data compliance: Data compliance and governance are important issues that businesses need to be mindful of when processing data. With increased transparency of processes, data warehouse automation makes it easier to monitor tasks and data pipelines, allowing businesses to remain compliant.
How to Select the Right Data Warehouse Automation (DWA) Software
Every business and its requirements are different which is why there can’t be a one-size-fits-all data warehouse automation software that works for every organization. That said, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when you’re on the hunt for a data warehouse automation solution to ensure that you make the right choice for an efficient and functional data warehouse.
Ideally, you should look for an automated data warehousing solution that supports the scalability, agility, and flexibility needs of your business. The automated data warehousing solution you choose needs to have connectors to all major file formats, databases, cloud applications, and cloud storage facilities to ensure that data can be extracted and integrated with ease.
You should also look for a data warehouse automation solution that’s based on the metadata-driven approach to make it easier for both business users and more tech-savvy team members to use and understand data models with ease. The metadata-driven approach also makes it easier to monitor tasks and processes as and when they are executed, increasing visibility and transparency.
Your data warehouse automation software should also minimize the need for manual intervention of employees when building data pipelines by supporting reusable data models. This will allow both your IT and business intelligence teams to focus on more important tasks and optimization that will maximize throughput.
To promote collaboration and ensure that business users are also able to reap the full benefits of your data warehouse, your data warehouse automation software should also come with an intuitive, code-free interface so that your non-technical staff does not get overwhelmed with the complexities of coding and deploying data models.
Astera DW Builder Makes Data Warehousing Easy
Following a metadata-driven approach, Astera DW Builder makes end-to-end data warehouse development simple and easy. The product features a drag-and-drop designer that makes designing, developing, and deploying your data models a breeze. With metadata as its driving force, Astera DW Builder also makes it easy for users to identify errors in processes and propagate changes across the board without compromising on the efficiency of the deployments.
Want to experience the power of metadata-driven data warehousing firsthand? Request a demo or talk to our experts about your use case to see how Astera DW Builder can reduce project timelines while turbocharging productivity.