In the age of Big Data, your business needs the right tools to keep up with the competition.
An effective data pipeline can revolutionize the way your company collects, stores, and processes data. It can even speed up your data analytics so that you’re able to make the best possible business decisions right away.
In other words, a good data orchestration solution can give your company the agility it needs to meet customer demands and stay on top in today’s tricky business landscape.
What exactly does all this mean? To help put it all into perspective, let's look at six possible use cases for data orchestration.
First, the Big Picture
Sometimes it’s useful to start at the beginning and remember why data orchestration is so important in the first place.
Let’s imagine that you run an online clothing boutique. Since you’re online, the shop is open around the clock, and customers visit the website at all hours of day and night. In fact, you have customers from all around the world.
Logistically, this means that you need the capability to process data-rich transactions constantly and quickly. You’re processing credit card data, sales orders, and billing information.
At the same time, you’re collecting information about customer preferences, trends in various parts of the world, and patterns of behavior. You’re storing and analyzing all of this valuable data, too. Of course you are! In modern business, this is as good as gold.
An effective data pipeline is what makes all of this activity possible. Your data pipeline allows you to collect, store, process, and analyze data at the level of speed and accuracy required in today’s environment.
Building a Better Business with Data Orchestration
There are nearly limitless ways for data orchestration to transform your business. These opportunities range from the ultra-granular to the sweeping. Here are just a few of the solutions that can be put in place.
1. Importing Data
If you’re like most businesses, you’re constantly intaking data and storing it in a range of different locations. Data orchestration automates the data-ingestion process so that you can move your files directly into your database quickly and without the risk of human error.
If you’re collecting a high volume of data that was created with Google Analytics or Google Ads data dumps, for example, then you can use your data orchestration tool to move those files out of Google Cloud Storage and into your database.
If you tend to use Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox to store your important business documents, you can use Shipyard to download your files and upload them straight to your database.
And that's just the beginning. When it comes to importing data with Shipyard, as our clients have seen, the possibilities are almost endless.
2. Generating and Sharing Reports
All too often, teams fail to issue timely reports. Or else, thanks to human nature, reporting turns into a dreaded chore that gets put off.
Fortunately, there are tech solutions that can make reporting a breeze. Shipyard’s data orchestration tool, for example, allows you to run any SQL query against any modern database (like Snowflake, Bigquery, or Redshift) in order to create a CSV with the resulting data set.
Then, just send the file to Slack in whatever format works for you (via DM, private channel, or public channel). Or, if you prefer, you can have the same report sent as an email attachment.
Just like that, generating and sharing reports turns from a hassle to a breeze. You can easily make sure data is always being delivered into the right hands.
3. Storing Data Processing Logs
Shipyard’s data orchestration makes it easy to run data processing packages and store their logs for later analysis. Wouldn't it be nice if you could have a long-term record of how your data pipelines ran over time? It sure does make troubleshooting issues a whole lot easier.
Whether you’re using dbt, Dataform, Great Expectations, or another common data package, the ability to store logs for easy access is invaluable. You can even store the logs that Shipyard generates whenever you run a workflow.
4. Transferring Data
It’s typical for businesses to take in massive data dumps from all of the different SaaS tools they use. With connections to tools like Fivetran, you can easily get this data into your own personal database.
But what about when others need your data? That new marketing vendor you just signed up for needs a list of your active products. Your agency wants access to your website analytics to better understand their marketing efforts. The finance teams needs daily sales in their system. Merchants needs purchasing behavior to better order items for next season.
Shipyard can easily take any data that’s sitting in your database and move it to any other database or data storage system. Whether your final destination is cloud storage, an SFTP, or yet another database, you can easily port entire tables or extract a subset of data with views. Your data will be generated as a CSV file, which you can then import directly or use to transform further, depending on your needs.
The entire process takes place in a matter of minutes, without the need to reach out to IT along the way. This kind of time-saving measure can make a big difference to your whole business.
5. Analyzing Data
Real-time analytics can take place right in the data pipeline, and it’s hard to understate just how transformative this can be. Real-time analytics means applying simple algorithms to your data as it’s in the process of ingesting. This is a natural extension of agile philosophy, since it depends on an iterative, small-batch approach.
In practical terms, real-time analysis means that you can build and deploy a machine-learning model that can respond to the rapid inflow of information. This kind of model can be used across many applications, including price optimization or measuring changing levels of consumer interest in your product. Really, when it comes to use cases, the industry as a whole is only getting started.
With a data orchestration tool like Shipyard, you gain the ability to immediately act on your data and deploy advanced solutions that can transform your operations.
6. Verifying Data Availability
There are times when your teams will have to rely on external systems to load data into your data warehouse. In these cases, you’ll need to verify that the data has been correctly loaded. This can be an exhausting process — but Shipyard makes it simple.
Shipyard allows you to orchestrate thousands of SQL queries at once to verify that new rows of data are fully loaded and data is accurate, checking against timestamps and IDs. If anything is found to be wrong, you can shoot off an email or Slack message to the right team to initiate troubleshooting and to other teams to let them know there will be a data delay.
Having this data testing process live in your data orchestration tool gives you the power to prevent downstream jobs from delivering bad reports, deploying inaccurate models, or worse. You can rest assured that your organization won't be losing money or trust due to constant bad data.
Once the data has been appropriately verified, you’ll be able to run dbt models, refresh Tableau extracts, and deliver your daily reports. Data orchestration means that you won’t have any unplanned downtime when the data is accurate, because you will be able to ensure that your business critical processes run as soon as the correct data is loaded into your system.
Fill in the Blank
Yes, this list was supposed to stop at six. But, the truth is, there are way more than six great uses for data orchestration.
Once you get into the habit of thinking about it creatively and systematically, there are countless ways that data orchestration can improve the way your team interacts with your data.
Want to hear even more? The experts at Shipyard can help you think outside the box and discover new approaches to growing a data-driven business.
Take advantage now and sign up for a free 14-day Shipyard trial. With the trial you can quickly build complex workflows, create flexible triggers, share your work with others, and get your data moving where you need it to go.