Overview
Modern Data Warehouse

What is a modern data warehouse?

A modern data warehouse uses cloud infrastructure to combine all kinds of data into one place for storage and analysis, allowing for data access at any scale required by the customer.

What are some examples of a modern data warehouse?

The most commonly used modern data warehouses today are Snowflake, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, and Azure Data Lake.

What makes a modern data warehouse “modern”?

The biggest key is that the modern data warehouse separated its storage and computer functions, optimizing a company’s infrastructure investments and vastly reducing the total cost of ownership. They’re unified, single platforms capable of handling multi-structured data, devising innovative ways to help companies manage their data in the most performant and cost-effective way.

When did the modern data warehouse become a thing?

In 20212, Amazon RedShift ushered in the era of the modern data warehouse, introducing columnar data storage and massively parallel processing (MPP) design to deliver incredibly fast query speeds on large datasets. And in 2014, Snowflake’s innovative approach allowed storage and compute to scale independently, reducing costs while enhancing performance.

What does a modern data warehouse have to do with marketing?

It’s a good question, because MessageGears is not a data warehouse. In fact, we’re roughly the opposite of a data warehouse because we don’t store any of your data; we’re the only ESP that comes to wherever your data is so you can use it, live and in real time, to help marketers build cross-channel messaging campaigns.

So, if we’re a customer marketing platform that helps you send more personalized marketing messages and doesn’t store any of your data, what does a modern data warehouse have to do with that? The modern data warehouse is the most efficient and cost-effective way to store your data in a highly performant and accessible manner. If you do that, it makes a tool like MessageGears far more effective because we’re going to live wherever your data lives. You don’t make copies of your data and send it up to us for building audiences and campaigns. Our philosophy is that you shouldn’t do that. It causes data friction. It wastes your time. It causes confusion. And it costs you tons of money you shouldn’t be spending.

What does a modern data warehouse have to do with marketing? Combined with MessageGears’ direct data connection, a modern data warehouse is the best tool your company can invest in if you want to maximize the impact of the data you’ve collected and empower your marketing team to unleash their creativity and build the personalized, high-ROI messaging campaigns you all expect to see.

Do ESPs connect directly to modern data warehouses?

In most cases, they don’t. The common remote ESPs (i.e., Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Campaign, Iterable, Braze) keep all their functionality in the cloud, requiring enterprise customers to copy segments of their data and send it out to the cloud in order to build audiences and create campaigns. None of them allows a brand to utilize their data as it sits, live and in real time, inside their modern data warehouse. This is one of the biggest advantages that MessageGears offers its customers. Because all of our products are schema-agnostic light software installs — using the cloud only for the heavy lifting of sending — that live right alongside your data, brands can take full advantage of their investment in a modern data warehouse by putting all that data to work as it updates in their own system.

Is it expensive to get a modern data warehouse?

While it can seem like it would be a daunting financial lift to invest in this sort of technology, if you’re an aspiring data-first organization that’s prepared to put your data to work in personalized cross-channel campaigns, the long-term (and even short-term) benefits are going to far outweigh the costs when it comes to increased customer engagement, loyalty, and marketing ROI. With Snowflake, for instance, their innovative technology even controls costs further with their ability to scale up to whatever level a customer needs it and then back down when the service isn’t being used, vastly reducing the overall financial burden on brands. In addition, they separate charges for storage, computing, and services while still natively integrating all three, helping to result in a 612% ROI, according to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Report.

What sorts of companies would benefit the most from a modern data warehouse?

A wide range of companies could see some benefit from a modern data warehouse, but that benefit certainly scales up along with organization size and data maturity. The ones that will benefit the most will be:

  1. Large organizations with millions of customer records, sending at least 1 million marketing messages each month. Smaller and medium-sized companies are less likely to suffer from as many data lag or silo issues, and may not be operating at the scale and size to see quite as quick or significant an ROI.
  2. Companies that have the personnel and strategy in place to unleash their customer data to send highly personalized cross-channel marketing campaigns. If you’re ready to maximize the value of your customer data in this way, a modern data warehouse is going to make everything you want to do more streamlined and financially feasible.

Why trust your data in the cloud rather than having an on-premises data storage solution?

Cloud data storage solutions have become the ubiquitous choice among most large organizations, but it’s worth considering the best option for you. On-premises data storage can provide some advantages around security and cost, but those are nowhere near absolute, and the cloud’s advantages significantly outweigh those of on-premises at scale:

  1. While the idea of keeping all your data on premises can be comforting from a security perspective, that doesn’t actually mean it’s less susceptible to a breach. The leading modern data warehouses have sophisticated security features in place that allow them to be confident storing massive amounts of personally identifiable information (PII) for their customers, and they have data center teams dedicated specifically to maintaining the security of your data. Whereas, if you’re relying on your own internal I.T. team for on-premises security, they could have other tasks that take them away from that vital need. And as a cloud provider adds enhancements, they’ll continue to beef up their own firewalls and encryption abilities in order to ensure the security of your data.
  2. Many people believe that cloud data warehouses’ ability to scale large and fast can mean that costs can get out of control, while on-premises solutions make it easier to keep costs down. But Snowflake’s decision to scale their service up or down based upon a customer’s need virtually eliminated that problem. They use automation to optimize the resources they put toward managing your data, and they’ve invested a tremendous amount in making sure their architecture is set up efficiently so that the price-performance of their cloud data storage will match up well with any on-premises solution even before taking into account the maintenance and upkeep costs of on premises.
  3. The advantages to using the modern data warehouse’s cloud for data storage are numerous for most large data-centric organizations. Finances are one of the biggest, with reduced I.T. involvement, reduced capital investment, and the modern data warehouse’s ability to adjust a plan to fit your budget. In addition, scaling up is significantly easier with cloud storage. Adding a couple of terabytes to your storage is as simple as a few clicks of a mouse to upgrade your plan. No new hardware. No painful months while you wait to get access to the expanded storage you need. And the modern data warehouse will always perform regular backups, built in to the service itself, ensuring you don’t lose valuable data when a computer goes haywire or files get accidentally deleted.

If I have a modern data warehouse, do I also need a CDP?

Many brands do combine both, but there definitely is no reason that you need to couple a modern data warehouse with a CDP in order to get the most out of it. Because CDPs focus on customer data, there are some advantages for marketers in putting one to use. A CDP can give customers a single customer view in a way modern data warehouses alone aren’t going to do.

But CDPs can also create new data silos, with customer segments and journey touchpoints cordoned off in various teams’ systems, and the CDP often doesn’t have access to secure internal data that’s stored in the modern data warehouse. A customer marketing platform like MessageGears can help to solve this problem by providing the connective tissue between the modern data warehouse and CDP, ensuring the CDP has access to all the live and real-time data.

Of course, the expenses can add up with all those solutions, and the fact is that, if you don’t already have a CDP, MessageGears Segment can essentially serve that role for you, allowing you to use the modern data warehouse as the single view of the customer. This means you’re working with your live data to build dynamic audience segments, personalizing them based upon any data points you’ve collected in your database with just a few clicks of the mouse.