Pop quiz: Why don’t organizations run their production systems on the C drives of individual computers?
Answer: Running important production-level work on a standalone desktop or laptop can be risky — computer failure, network failure, power outages, security issues, backup issues, etc.
Yet most data analysts who deal regularly with data query and data preparation have no choice but to manually run their processes on their own computers. This can present real problems for the integrity and reliability of the resulting data and analysis — even for those data analysts fortunate enough to be using the automation features in Toad Data Point.
Centralize Your Data Preparation Automation — and Never Worry About Them Failing Again
Imagine a data analyst who runs a data preparation process to keep his company’s prospect data current. The process includes querying and blending two different in-house databases as well as pulling in some third-party data delivered nightly from an outside call center. The next part of this data prep process is to take that merged dataset and clean out duplicates and add new calculated columns. Finally, the analyst’s script saves the resulting report to a reporting database, formats a copy into an Excel spreadsheet, and emails that file out to key stakeholders.
So far so good, right?
The problem is that this analyst runs this process from his laptop. Manually. And even if he does use Toad Data Point’s powerful automation engine to automate the process, it is still running on his personal machine. That means everything will work flawlessly, unless…
- The analyst goes on vacation and turns off his laptop.
- The analyst travels for work and turns off his laptop.
- The computer fails.
- The network goes down.
- Any of a dozen other mishaps affect the analyst’s computer, network connection, VPN access, etc.
- The analyst leaves the company.
If the analyst travels for work and has to go offline for, say, a day, he could very well miss running this process — which means stakeholders could then grab an outdated prospect list and not know it.
Of course, the far larger problem is that all of the company’s data analysts and data prep teams are running production systems on their own computers. Any of these teams could lose an important cycle in a data refresh if someone goes on a business trip. And because no analyst knows or can determine what automations his colleagues are running, no one is able to step in and take over if they have to.
Solution? Centralize your team’s automations. Publish them to an always-on, always protected server — visible to anyone on the team and managed by a trusted group.
This is where Toad Intelligence Central proves itself to be an invaluable component in your organization’s data management architecture. With Toad Intelligence Central, a collaborative environment within Toad, you and your fellow analysts can publish all of your automations and workflows to a central server that’s always running and visible to the whole team.
The benefits to such a system are clear:
- You’ll never have to worry about missing a data refresh or other important automation.
- You’ll have much better visibility into all of the automations that your colleagues are running.
- You’ll be able to distribute the management of your team’s automations so there can be shared responsibility across your organization.
- You can take a vacation!
In my next post, I’ll offer another reason you and your organization would benefit from complementing your Toad architecture with Toad Intelligence Central. In the meantime, why not try the full-featured product for yourself?