Going from Data-Driven to Insights-Driven with a SQL Query Engine

Published: October 25, 2022
Last Updated: April 7, 2023

Today, every company is a tech company and tech businesses are moving at an incredibly fast rate. Part of it includes keeping up with feature releases, new competitors and buzzwords — enough for a full-time side gig. Fancy frameworks aside, at its core, today’s digital-first business is comprised of professionals that ask data-driven questions to further their business goals. Unsurprisingly, it all revolves around data.

Today, data comes in a myriad of formats, and in an endless stream. As a matter of fact, the majority of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years alone. The irony is that while we all face compounding amounts of information, making sense of data is a different story. Ultimately, it is the businesses that have harnessed the power of data and storytelling that create a competitive advantage with greater profit margins.

Digital-first organizations understand datasets generated through operational and analytical data, and this sets them apart from the competition. This aspect grants data-backed perspectives into customers as well as insights into optimizing organizational processes. This is a leg up that can’t just be bought off the shelf.

Ultimately, data is a means, not an end. The goal of companies should not be to become data-driven, but to become insights-driven. Insights are the epiphanies that come from effectively leveraging one’s data with the help of a SQL query engine via a single source of secure data access.

Querying for data-driven insights with a single source of access

A query engine is a layer that sits on top of a company’s data sources (databases, the cloud, etc.) and allows folks in the business to query against (or ask questions) that data. It is the bridge to go beyond being data-driven and become insights-driven.

SQL is nothing other than the lingua franca for writing queries to retrieve insights to drive internal value through creating new revenue streams, reducing costs, and managing risk.

In addition, the sheer volume of data that surrounds us and the customer expectations that arise from it call for a different model from a single source of truth: a Single Source of Access (SSA).

This alternative offers companies a window into their wider data estate, enabling them to query their data wherever it lives, without having to move it anywhere.

But what does this mean for businesses? It means:

(1) Quicker speed-to-insight without migration

Processing data without having to move it allows companies to reduce their insight generation process. In turn, they become more nimble in leveraging their unique competitive advantages and bring value to customers.

 (2) Radically new insights while meeting compliance requirements

Certain types of data are very challenging to access. Factors like data locality laws, or mandates against data leaving physical premises affect companies’ querying capabilities. Because a SSA does not require data movement, it enables companies to federate queries across all types of data (i.e. customer behavioral data that might be in a public cloud and/or customer billing information that resides on-prem). These new combinations of data allow for new insights that were previously out of reach.

 (3) Future-proofing your business

A SSA approach is future-proof and accounts for myriad ways in which an organization may store data. As such, it accommodates changes within the technological landscape of a business and champions optionality.

What does this look like in practice?

  • Glovo. Leading European food delivery platform selected Starburst to underpin self-service analytics across the company to empower its business units and optimize its marketplace.
  • Zalando. Key European online retailer leveraged Starburst to maximize the value of its Data Lake while reducing its overall TCO & architectural complexity.
  • Priceline. Global travel brand reduced its storage costs by 5X-10X and accelerated its time-to-insight for personalized recommendations to millions of travelers worldwide.

As volatility, complexity, and ambiguity make the future harder to predict, the only certainty out there may well be that the path forward is paved by the ability for companies to ask truly data-driven questions and become insight-driven.

Find more about the great work we do here at Starburst, the analytics engine for all your data.

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