Cloud Data Warehouse Migration a Group Effort for UK’s Co-op – Datanami

It’s not unheard of for customers to spend several years and tens of millions of dollars trying to migrate from one data warehouse to another. It’s also not uncommon for these exercises to fail. But for the Co-op Group in the UK, the migration from a Teradata warehouse to Azure SQL Data Warehouse not only came in on time and under budget, but also amid the worst pandemic in a century.

The Co-Op Group is a cooperatively run organization in the United Kingdom that was originally founded in 1844. Today, the Co-op (as it’s known in the UK) spans more than 7,000 locations across the country, providing an array of grocery, retail, insurance, legal, and funeral services. In 2020, it generated revenues of £11.5 billion (or $15.4 billion at current exchange rates) and had 4.3 million active members.

Like any modern organization, the Co-op relies on a mix of IT to automate its business processes. For years, it has used a Teradata data warehouse to inform decisions in its retail operations. The system held 25 years’ worth of data detailing the who, what, how, and when of Co-op’s customer activities.

“It was pretty much the engine that ran our retail operation,” says Co-op’s Director of Data, Digital and Loyalty, Charlotte Lock.

However, the on-prem Teradata system was approaching end-of-life for Co-op, and so the organizations data team started exploring new options in the 2018-2019 timeframe. The cloud loomed large for Co-op, as it has for many companies that are looking for more flexibility and the power to scale up their data warehousing operations in a short amount of time.

“The decision to migrate was to take advantage of the cloud,” Lock tells Datanami. “So really, processing speed, cost, and storing the data that’s been maintaining on prem systems, but also to be able to crunch millions of rows of data–billions of rows of data sometimes–in a fraction of the time that we would have needed to do that in our on-prem solutions.” Read the full article here.

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