Start-ups and companies just embarking on a data analytics strategy have a secret advantage: a clean slate. Organizations that entered the analytics game decades ago suffer from complex data environments that slow the time to insight. New players, on the other hand, can start fresh and avoid the pitfalls of those who came before.
Once upon a time, companies needed a different tool for every step of the data workflow: ETL to extract data from sources, warehouses to store it, search tools to find it, prep tools to get it ready, and business intelligence (BI) tools to analyze it. Today, that is no longer true.
Unified Data and Analytics Platforms (UDAPs)—such as the three profiled in Eckerson Group‘s 2021 whitepaper Deep Dive on UDAPs—present an alternative. By consolidating the entire data and analytics tool stack into a single product, a UDAP makes getting started with analytics easier than ever.
Cloud-native UDAPs, in particular, provide a complete solution for data analytics that scales with an organization as it grows. They allow companies to hit the ground running and keep up their momentum even as data needs change.
First tool, only tool
Most companies have at least six different data tools. Each comes with its own idiosyncrasies and requires additional time to get up and running.
A UDAP, by contrast, provides end-to-end functionality in a single platform, reducing the time it takes to start deriving value from data.
UDAPs provide all the features needed to connect to, model, store, and analyze data out of the box. This unified approach means fewer headaches from purchasing, learning, and integrating task-specific solutions.
Instead of spending time installing and connecting multiple products, a company with a UDAP can start using its data to run the business after a single deployment.
In addition to faster set-up times, companies reap long-term benefits from the UDAP’s consolidated model. Fusing data capabilities with analytics functionality allows data to pass more fluidly through the workflow from data capture to dashboard without messy hand-offs between third-party tools. The greater efficiency of the system means fewer folks can provide more analytics.
Finally, a UDAP creates a one-stop shop for all user types. Engineers, data analysts, and executives alike use the same platform, creating common ground and facilitating collaboration.
Grows with your business
Cloud-native UDAPs provide the flexibility that growing companies especially need. The infinite elasticity of the cloud makes it easier for young companies to scale their data pipelines as demand increases. Organizations don’t need to worry about overburdening their systems, because Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings allow them to add more capacity to their existing data solutions.
Building data systems in the cloud also improves flexibility. The multi-tenant architecture of cloud-based UDAPs allows users to construct data pipelines, build analyses, and check dashboards from anywhere.
The value of this feature is more obvious than ever in a world where most offices remain closed. Even companies once reluctant to move to the cloud are spending millions of dollars to migrate their data systems. Those that start out on the cloud, however, avoid the hassle of moving there later.
Organizations designing a data strategy from scratch have the chance to build a unified, scalable data environment from the very beginning.
A UDAP will help them start analyzing their data sooner and avoid the costs that come with purchasing and integrating multiple tools. Its streamlined workflow will also enable them to deliver new analytics solutions with fewer staff, while cloud-native architecture will scale with them as they grow.
A UDAP doesn’t just benefit those building data infrastructure from a green field, however. In my next article on UDAPs, I’ll explore the advantages of a UDAP for data-mature companies bogged down by complex data environments.
To learn all about UDAPs including how they democratize business intelligence, join me and Domo’s vice president of data curiosity, Ben Schein, on April 21, when we host a webinar titled Modern BI for All: Why Invest in a UDAP. To register, click here.