Unlike other cloud apps, cloud-based business intelligence (BI) requires extensive infrastructure. That means that the database behind it can’t just be any database; it needs to be a powerful database that’s capable of on-demand analytics and multi-user access to key performance metrics, dashboards, and visual metrics.
Because of this, ClicData now offers several choices for you to implement your company’s BI strategy. For example, if your organization doesn’t have a large volume of data, then our shared plans might be more than enough to meet your needs at a very affordable cost.
If your organization maintains a high volume of data or your data requires frequent updates, on the other hand, then you can choose a higher tier or even a dedicated database.
In this blog, we will describe the differences, the pros, and the cons of both types of databases, as well as describe the best criteria to select the optimal tier for your needs.
3 Options To Host Your Company Data with ClicData
Shared Data Warehouse
Before we say anything else, it’s important to clarify that the term “shared data warehouse” does not mean that your data will be viewed or accessed by any other customers or users besides you.
It just means that you will be using shared resources—such as hardware or database software—but the data itself is siloed and can only be accessed by you. We sometimes refer to this as a multi-tenant approach—where you own the apartment in the building, but the building’s common areas are shared by multiple tenants.
The great thing about this approach to data warehousing is that the infrastructure consists of fairly high-powered configurations—with lots of RAM and CPU and fast disk access—since there are many users. So, if you are able to do your data processing or analysis during less busy times, you can get all that power to yourself. However, when there are many users accessing data at the same time as you, you will only get a slice of the available power.
At ClicData, we make a point of trying to optimize and equitably distribute the resources that everyone has access to in order to ensure that everyone has as smooth and productive experience as possible. But the platform also provides advanced and powerful functions—and with power comes responsibility. With the help of statistics and machine learning, it works to identify the most efficient configurations at different times of the day, week, or month. Still, it can’t always be perfect since we continue to include more customers and data volumes change constantly. Plus, user access is rarely consistent or predictable.
But since the cost of access to these super-scaled resources is shared across numerous tenants, it becomes a very affordable way of doing things. Still, it is only scalable up to a point. If and when a data warehouse requires more storage space or more power or has more users, the shared solution can end up with multiple challenges. Predictability of performance, dashboard responsiveness, data refresh frequency, and overall performance are the limits we impose on the tiers we offer to ensure that all accounts get a fair slice of the data warehouse’s power.
Dedicated Data Warehouse
Launched in 2019, our Dedicated Data Warehouse has gotten great reviews from our customers because they have private and direct access to their data. Beyond just being able to use ClicData connectors to easily import their data into a central repository, the data is stored in a commonly used Azure SQL database format that is accessible with tools such as SQL Management Studio, ODBC, and even Excel.
So, our Dedicated Data Warehouse is ideal when data volume is greater than 50 GB, and when advanced statistical analysis and power is required and/or frequent data refreshes are needed. It is also the best choice when consistency and predictability of response are a high priority for you since others using the database and its infrastructure won’t affect your access to it. That means you can plan your data extractions and data refreshes during non-work hours, freeing up your dashboards to give their highest performance during the day.
As mentioned above, you can use any Microsoft SQL Server or ODBC-compatible tool to access the data directly from your computer when you’re using a dedicated data warehouse. That means you can do custom development on the data, do analysis against the data—or even stream data to other applications directly—in a more native way than using our API.
On-Premise Data Warehouse
For the last four months, ClicData has been testing a new hybrid model that allows our customers to host their own database—either on-premises or on any Cloud provider, such as Google, Amazon, Azure, and so forth.
As long as the database meets certain requirements, the model has been working quite well. It opens up a new set of possibilities for our customers, where internal and external regulations require them— and not ClicData—to own the “keys” to the database.
This new option is a hybrid because the application is still in our own Cloud (using Microsoft Azure), but the database is in your own Cloud or internal network.
We offer the On-Premise Data Warehouse at a standard price, independent of the amount of storage used or the power and capacity of the database and server. We only charge per number of users and refreshes. As a result, the cost to our customers is greatly reduced.
The tradeoff is that our customers will no longer be supported by our staff, backups, maintenance, optimization, and hardware, and license costs are not included and are their responsibility. Our Terms of Service or Service Level Agreements are also modified and simpler versions since we are no longer able to meet them independently of the database server for which we have no control.
For companies that are considering hosting their own data themselves but want to take advantage of our awesome platform to connect, manage, and visualize their data, this approach is highly flexible and cost-effective.
Which Approach Is Right For Your Company?
Which one is best for your organization? Answer: it depends, of course. Here’s a summary of the most important factors to help you decide:
ClicData is an incredible platform. It is highly versatile, and it includes all of the modules that are necessary for Business Intelligence—from data connectivity, management, and visualization to publication, embedding, and alerts. It can continually grow as your organization grows, fitting your needs via custom connectors and custom visualization widgets. And now, with our Dedicated and On-Premise Data Warehouse offerings, you even have the choice to host your data within your own infrastructure, within the Cloud, or on-premises.
For more information, contact us at sales[at]clicdata[dot]com.