Your data can quickly get out of control when you’re working with multiple cloud storage services and applications throughout your organization. Complex cloud ecosystems can make it difficult to know what data you have, how it’s being managed, whether it’s safe, and how to use it effectively. Cloud data management platforms can stop this frustrating scenario in its tracks. You can gain control over an ever-increasing number of data sources and cloud storage services through this technology. Learn what your cloud data management options are, the importance of starting with a cloud data management strategy, and the use cases you can realize when you have full control over your data.

Don’t let important insights and critical data get lost. Without full visibility, you can’t grow your business effectively or ensure that your efforts are going to the right place. Get the full guide to find out how you can transform your organization through cloud data management and strategies, and why ETL tools are the best option for many companies.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Cloud Data Management?
  2. Cloud Data Management Advantages
  3. Why You Need a Cloud Data Management Strategy
  4. Options for Managing Data in the Cloud
  5. Cloud Data Management Use Cases

Customer Story
Customer Story
Keith connected multiple data sources with Amazon Redshift to transform, organize and analyze their customer data.
Amazon Redshift Amazon Redshift
David Schuman
Keith Slater
Senior Developer at Creative Anvil
Before we started with Xplenty, we were trying to move data from many different data sources into Redshift. Xplenty has helped us do that quickly and easily. The best feature of the platform is having the ability to manipulate data as needed without the process being overly complex. Also, the support is great - they’re always responsive and willing to help.
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What is Cloud Data Management?

Modern businesses continually expand their data storage needs as their sources, generation capabilities, and usage grows. Cloud storage offers a cost-effective and convenient method to stay on top of these requirements, but proper management is more than having a place to put the data.

Where’s the best place for your files? How many cloud storage services are in use in the organization? Are critical documents secure and compliant with regulatory measures? Do you have enough cloud storage resources to accommodate your short and long-term needs? How old are the backups? How can people access their documents and data remotely?

Cloud data management brings order to this chaos by offering a structured and organized way to work with your public and private cloud data. Common data management functionality is included, along with features that offer a cloud-native approach to getting the most out of your data.

Cloud Data Management Advantages

Whether you’re already invested in public or private cloud storage, or you want to migrate your on-premise data, you have a number of cloud data management advantages waiting for you.

  • Reducing data management costs: You have many direct and indirect cost reductions through cloud data management. Cloud-based solutions offer a lower total cost of ownership compared to on-premise options, and most of those expenses shift from Capital Expenses to Operational Expenses. The lower up-front investment makes it much easier to allocate part of the budget to adopt this solution. You eliminate many inefficiencies associated with using multiple cloud storage platforms and can choose the best in class solutions for each data set. Employees can quickly locate the needed data no matter where it’s located in your cloud ecosystem.
  • Addressing data quality concerns: Duplicated data, old file versions, and other quality issues get fixed through a cloud data management platform. You can quickly optimize databases and eliminate junk files that are taking up space and resources.
  • Centralizing your organization’s cloud data: You don’t need to track down multiple cloud storage services to figure out where files are hiding. You simply log in to a single platform to get what you need.
  • Reducing the maintenance load on your IT department: Your IT staff don’t need to stay on top of software updates, bug fixes, or other common maintenance needs of the platform. The cloud data management vendor takes care of that, freeing up your in-house team for other tasks.
  • Scaling your data management resources based on current needs: Get the exact resources required for a project and no more. By eliminating unused overhead capacity, you’re better able to control your costs and the scale that your organization needs to succeed.
  • Leveraging improved cybersecurity measures and technology: Your organization likely has many demands on its resources, which includes cybersecurity funding. If you’re not a cybersecurity-centric company or one that depends on top-of-the-line solutions for threat detection and elimination, then it’s likely you’ll upgrade your data security through a cloud data management platform. Their core business competency revolves around offering secure infrastructure, so their budget has a heavier focus on this category.
  • Empowering your remote employees with easy cloud data access: Many companies are scrambling to make their data resources available to newly remote workforces, and cloud data management platforms streamline this process. They’re built for any time, anywhere accessibility so configuring remote users is an expected and encouraged use case.
  • Creating consistency and improving compliance throughout the organization: When data goes through a centralized management platform, you can introduce standards that help to maintain compliance, as well as cutting down on silos. Collaboration is much easier when you’re not struggling with making two cloud storage services talk to one another.
  • Outsourcing disaster recovery to the vendor: Common disaster recovery functions such as routine backups and restoration processes are built-in to the platform and handled by the vendor. They happen through an automated process so you reduce the time it takes to get back to normal.
  • Receiving incremental, continual updates: You don’t need to redeploy cloud data management platforms following an update. In many cases, the updates happen in the background without any interruption. You don’t have to do anything on your end to get the system updated, and many platforms release new updates for years to come. These updates mean that you don’t need to move to a different platform as new data sources and technologies are created.
  • Specialized technical support: The vendor’s technical support team focuses solely on the data management platform and other solutions developed by the company. They have in depth subject matter expertise on the platform and how to resolve issues in a complex cloud ecosystem. You don’t need to source more cloud computing specialists for your in-house team, which can be a challenging task.

Customer Story
Customer Story
Keith connected multiple data sources with Amazon Redshift to transform, organize and analyze their customer data.
MongoDB MongoDB
Amazon Redshift Amazon Redshift
David Schuman
Dave Schuman
CTO and Co-Founder at Raise.me
They really have provided an interface to this world of data transformation that works. It’s intuitive, it’s easy to deal with [...] and when it gets a little too confusing for us, [Xplenty’s customer support team] will work for an entire day sometimes on just trying to help us solve our problem, and they never give up until it’s solved.
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Why You Need a Cloud Data Management Strategy

Procuring a cloud data management platform is not the first step in this journey. You need a solid strategy so you can get the best technology for your organization’s cloud ecosystem, and to get the most out of the system you select.

If you already have a data management strategy, you can adapt it to a cloud environment. The most common changes you need to address in this circumstance include remote user access, the necessary level of security for different data types, regulatory requirements, and data standardization.

If you’re creating a cloud data management strategy from the ground up, some of the most important questions it should answer include:

  • What are your organization’s business goals?
  • What data do you need to manage to support these goals?
  • What type of data are you working with?
  • What data sources do you use?
  • What data sources do you plan on using in the future?
  • How will you meet regulatory compliance requirements for your data?
  • Who needs to access this data?
  • What cybersecurity measures are needed to protect this data?
  • What disaster recovery options are available?
  • How do you collect data?
  • How do you analyze data?
  • How do you transform data?
  • How do you clean data?
  • What data privacy measures do you need?
  • How transparent are you with your data management?

When you establish your cloud data management strategy, you can better evaluate solutions so they can fulfill all these requirements. You avoid costly wastes of resources from platforms poorly suited to your organization’s data ecosystem, or that are unable to provide critical functionality for meeting your business goals.

Options for Managing Data in the Cloud

Cloud data management platforms come in three major categories.

Extract Transform Load (ETL) 

ETL solutions such as Xplenty automate many processes associated with moving data between your applications. This category centers itself on managing data integration and transformations, so you end up with efficient data repositories.

You can quickly handle high-volume data integration and management requirements through ETL solutions. A no-code ETL solution allows many end users to set up the data pipelines that they need to get access to the necessary data. You don’t need a data integration specialist to handle each request or configure the pipelines for these users.

The biggest benefit of ETL cloud data management platforms is that it offers an excellent way for companies to scale. You can effectively manage, transform, interpret, and analyze your data to support your organization’s goals. ETL platforms have broad applications across the board, especially in sales, marketing, development, and customer support analytics.

Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) 

IPaaS solutions provide a way to connect enterprise applications in many ways in real-time, instead of focusing on data integration alone. It streamlines the process for connecting applications commonly used in your organization, along with helping on-premise applications communicate with one another, and with cloud-based applications.

IPaaS solutions come in many forms and complexities and have their own integration libraries that dictate which resources you can connect. You end up dealing with a lower volume of data overall. Low or no-code options are fairly limited in IPaaS solutions, so you need data integration specialists to help you get the most out of it.

Custom Solutions

Large enterprises and organizations with highly specialized cloud data management needs may consider fully custom solutions. The benefit from this approach is having a completely unique and purpose-built platform, but it also brings many disadvantages. The biggest problem with custom development is the cost and resources required. Not only do you need to fund the development of a complex piece of software, but you also need sufficient specialists to create and support it.

You could end up putting in a lot of work on this project and end up essentially reinventing the wheel of other cloud data management providers. APIs of the cloud storage services you use may also have limitations in place that stop you from doing what you want in a custom solution. For many organizations, even large ones, it simply makes more sense to go with a pre-established cloud data management platform.

Cloud Data Management Use Cases

When you’re working with large volumes of data in your cloud storage services, ETL solutions are the better choice for a management platform. IPaaS has its place in other parts of your organization, but using a highly-specialized data integration tool instead opens up many powerful use cases. Here are a few examples of ways you can use ETL for a cloud data management platform in different parts of your organization.

Marketing

Get full visibility into your marketing campaigns by integrating your data from all applicable sources. You can leverage your cloud data to better understand how well your audience receives your efforts, whether you’re improving compared to other campaigns, what sources are generating the most engagement, and maintaining data accuracy.

You get more frequent updates because you don’t waste time hunting down the data you need. If you have a campaign that’s doing much better than expected, you can allocate more resources to it in the moment. Likewise, if your tactics are falling flat, you can troubleshoot the issue before it eats into your budget. Enrich your data, segment your customers, and develop personalized outreach efforts with this integration.

Sales

The more you know your customers, the better you are at selling to them. Today’s consumers want highly relevant and personalized interactions with the brands they do business with. You can use ETL cloud data management tools to have the most up-to-date prospect information, easily check your sales metrics, find new opportunities, and discover chances to upsell.

You can keep track of the buyer’s journey and the stages in your sales funnel to better communicate with your prospects. Provide them with the right content at the right time, and you can help move them closer to a sale. Targeting prospects and improving sales numbers becomes much easier when you get a big picture view from all of your available data.

Customer Support

The customer experience is everything these days, and your customer support efforts need to deliver in a big way. Robust cloud data management and integration allows you to scale this experience without compromising on the quality. Customer support staff have a full profile of the customer and can quickly provide the assistance needed to keep them satisfied. They can personalize each step and help improve loyalty and repeat sales.

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