So far in our 5 W’s of Data Preparation series, we have explored the questions of what Data Preparation is, Why it is such an important activity, Who performs it , and When it is done. In this final installment, we will discuss an equally important question, Where is Data Preparation performed?
As we’ve discussed throughout this series, data preparation is performed by a large number of people within an organization across many different processes. As a result, data preparation happens in a variety of different ways. These range from rudimentary methods like a spreadsheet with formulas and macros, to data warehouses with extensive SQL code, to purpose-built applications that enable data preparation activities for a specific technology. Each of these methods has its benefits and costs.
Excel is one of the most widely used applications in the business world because it’s intuitive, flexible, and easy to use. The flexibility of Excel is also its biggest disadvantage. There is little to no version control or audit, security is difficult to manage at scale, and data integrity is always questionable due to formula errors and hard coding.
Data Preparation activities performed in a data warehouse are more reliable than those performed in spreadsheets. These processes also offer better processing performance for large data sets than a spreadsheet generally can. That said, data warehouses and their associated processes are generally subject to far more rigorous control as they are often managed by a centralized team. The impact is that data warehouses cannot often respond to rapidly changing business environments such as M&A activity or business impact from COVID.
Next, let’s consider purpose-built applications that focus on data preparation activities for a specific enterprise system. The strengths of these applications are that because they are purpose-built, they tend to address the requirements of the data preparation for that system reasonably well. They usually have auditing and security provisioning capabilities that make for a more reliable process than a spreadsheet and provide more flexibility than a data warehouse. Conversely, the major liability of these purpose-built applications is that they generally cannot be utilized for applications and processes for which they were not specifically designed to interface with. The result is a collection of various technologies being deployed throughout the organization. This results in a fragmented and inefficient set of processes that require multiple resources to support and administer them. Each person supporting an application needs to develop a set of skills that relates to that particular application and it may not overlap with skills needed to support other applications. The human cost of these purpose-built applications can become incredibly high.
At OneCloud, we realize that our customers need a better solution for data preparation. We understand that customers demand an application that is intuitive and easy to use, feels familiar and provides recognized functionality, supports audit and security requirements, can rapidly be updated to respond to business events, performs well, and can be used across the entire enterprise application landscape. We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new application, OneCloud Data Prep (ODP). ODP was designed with the business user in mind. The application delivers an elegant interface that guides business users in their data preparation activities. An Excel-like experience allows users to define both simple and complex relationships between different data models. ODP provides a number of prebuilt transformations that address the most common data preparation activities. In addition, ODP offers a novel capability of embedded Excel functions. This unique capability allows users to leverage their deep knowledge of Excel to further power data preparation but in a more controlled and scalable solution. These are just a few of the unique value propositions of OneCloud Data Prep.
You can also sign-up for our upcoming webinar introducing OneCloud Data Prep (ODP). Register to learn how you can harmonize data in an intuitive and interactive manner.
If you have any questions, we are here to help! Contact us to learn more about OneCloud .