What do Users Look for when Choosing a Cloud Data Warehouse Tool?
In 2012 Amazon Redshift introduced the business world to the concept of cloud data warehousing and the idea quickly took off.
The savings that a business could expect by sidestepping the hardware, software and administration costs of a traditional data warehouse system made cloud data warehousing a popular alternative.
Over the years many other players have joined Amazon Redshift in the field, each differentiating itself in the features it offers and the solutions that it solves. And while prospective cloud data warehouse users now have a wide range of solutions to choose from, they also have more information to sift through and decisions to make when selecting the best tool for their business.
In order to make this decision process easier a good way to begin researching a cloud data warehouse solution is by looking to see what tools are recommended by other tech professionals.
In the IT Central Station community the four leading cloud data warehouse tools, as rated by users, are HPE Vertica, Amazon Redshift, IBM dashDB, and SAP Business Warehouse.
Keep reading to find out what makes these tools user favorites, and what users say to watch out for during the research process.
Ranked #1 with an 8.1 rating
Faster Database Querying
François Jehl, Staff Dev Lead - Analytics Data Storage at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees, identifies the difference(s) Vertica has made to his organization’s database querying practices:
“Before Vertica, we used a combination of sharded RDBMSes and Hive: the typical runtime for a query was in the hours. It's now in the seconds, with way more data than then (we're talking hundreds of terabytes).”
Business Insights Generated by Analytics
Fahd MirzaChughtai, Data Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees, describes the benefits of Vertica’s analytics capabilities:
“Its analytics has enabled Pythian's clients to get the business insights as quick as they wanted. It's lower maintenance has also improved the ROI.”
Room for Improvement
Chugthai also adds that in terms of improvements, “the documentation could be improved with more examples of commands and step-by-step scenarios.”
Ranked #2 with a rating of 8.2
JSON Format Support
Nir Wasserman, BI Manager at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees, describes how he has benefitted from Redshift’s JSON format support:
“The features I find valuable in Redshift are JSON format support. you can copy JSON to the column and have it analyzed using simple functions. Second, is the parallel off/on where you can choose if you want it to unload to split files or into one file.”
Unified and Organized DB
Wasserman also shares that “Since we have lots of data sources and high volumes, we needed a unified and organized DB that can handle these amounts and will be our one single source of truth for the organization. therefore, Redshift is the best solution.”
Room for Improvement
Gregor Ratajc, Full Stack Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees, suggests improvements be made to Amazon Redshift’s query compilation capabilities:
“Query compilation time needs a lot of improvement for cases where you are generating queries dynamically. Also, it would help tremendously to have some more user-friendly, query optimization helper tools.”
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Ranked #3 with a rating of 8.3
For one consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees, a favorite feature of IBM dashDB is that it’s built on DB2 technology: “This means that you can use all the features of a DB2 database, but outsource all the hardware and software maintenance.
Cloud solutions/services are the big thing for the future. IBM has provided users with the ability to store data in the cloud with the option to use the database as a MPP server.”
Availability on the Cloud & Integration with IBM Bluemix
Shailender Gupta, Client Engagement Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees, describes how various teams at his company have benefitted from IBM dashDB:
“Our analytics teams really like the integrated RStudio feature with which they can instantly connect to structured data and do their analysis… Now, the ETL team takes care of importing the data to dashDB and our data science team can focus on building the models. Once the model is developed, our modeling team can save the results in dashDB, which can be instantly used by our presentation apps. This is much easier and faster to work with instead of using the CSV files in all steps of data sharing.”
Room for Improvement
Scalability and uptime
Mr. Gupta added that there are two area in which he would like to see IBM dashDB improve.
“DashDB is not auto-scalable as of now. For any addition of space or computing power, we have to raise a request and there is a downtime to upgrade the instance.”
In addition, “the pay-as-you-go model is missing. You must buy a minimum instance of CPU and storage to begin
SAP Business Warehouse
Ranked at #4 with a rating of 8.0
Improved cross-departmental communication
SapBwBobc185, A Developer at a non-tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees, discusses how SAP Business Warehouse has helped with cross-departmental communication.
SAP Business Warehouse “has helped our financial transactions and the HR-related functions to communicate across our organization. All our processes such as funds management, grant, payroll transactions are processed automatically through this system and BW helps to collect the data for analytic needs of the department users and board members.”
High volume data
According to Engin IŞIK, an SAP BI Systems Supervisor at a maritime company with 1,001-5,000 employees, “getting high volume data is most valuable for us. It is really fast and it has great integration with SAP ERP or a non-sap system.”
Room for Improvement
Poor user interface
Mr. ISIK goes on to discuss a few areas where he would like to see SAP Business Warehouse improve.
“It’s not...user friendly. The user interface and its reporting tool called BEx have room for improvement. SAP Global always promotes Business Objects for visualizing.”
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