Shipping Data Products Faster with dbt Cloud at a Large Food Distributor

How a top food distributor is using Hakkoda and dbt Cloud to ship data products faster and scale its data innovation initiatives.
August 30, 2023
data products

In a world where data isn’t just a buzzword but a driving force, shipping data products at the speed of thought has become the ultimate agility test for CIOs and CDOs. We don’t just need data–we need it now, we need it organized, and we need it accessible across an entire organization. Few arenas make this demand more apparent than supply chains.

Consider a food distribution colossus, supplying hundreds of thousands of restaurants across the U.S. while attempting to adjust their supply chain to accommodate rapidly shifting consumer patterns and product availability. In a market that requires supply chains to dance to dynamic demand, the modern data stack offers a long sought answer. Insights that wouldn’t have been possible only a few years ago are now infinitely achievable with the right technology stack. What’s more, these insights have become the new baseline–an expectation that businesses need to meet to remain competitive in an economy that’s spent the last year tightening its belt. 

By fusing seamlessly with advanced ETL tools and cloud-native data warehouses, organizations can transform raw data into a bespoke model that predicts trends even before they emerge. No more tedious hand-stitching of data points; a modern data stack is essential to keeping up in the dynamic demand landscape. 

Learn how industry pioneers are leveraging exceptional technology like the Snowflake Data Cloud and dbt Cloud to ship data products and build business models that not only keep up with demand, but deliver powerful competitive advantages.

Growing Business Demands Require Turnkey Data Transformation

One of the most harrowing challenges companies face when trying to get the most out of their data platform investments and thrive in a dynamic market of supply and demand is scaling their data infrastructure to meet the needs of their growing businesses. 

Offerings like Hakkoda’s scalable teams and platforms like dbt Cloud are ready to meet this challenge head-on by centralizing and standardizing an organization’s data with logic, testing, versioning, and documentation practices that can keep up with the gargantuan scale and complexity of enterprise-level data production while remaining accessible and interoperational across departments and verticals. A well-oiled data machine, prepared to pivot in real time to help solve new challenges in the market, helps these organizations mobilize quickly and recognize emerging trends faster than their competitors, giving them split-second advantages where they matter most.

How to Leverage dbt Cloud to Scale Your Data with Enterprise Tools

dbt (data build tool) is a powerful transformation workflow designed to enhance productivity and improve the quality of analytical outcomes for businesses while helping them keep a competitive edge in a data-driven economy. dbt Labs’s offering comes in two versions: dbt Core, an open-source tool that facilitates data transformation on the command line, and dbt Cloud, a full-suite, enterprise-ready platform that allows businesses to ship high-quality data while scaling output to meet their growing business demands.

Hakkoda’s engineers leverage dbt Cloud to support a variety of enterprise use cases. In addition to allowing engineers to build within a fully-supported, hassle-free workflow, dbt Cloud also offers a robust array of powerful, seamless 3rd-party integrations across the modern data stack and an arsenal of features including version control, modularity, and auto-documented datasets. These kinds of tools are essential for dealing with large or rapidly growing volumes of data, and, in the hands of data transformation teams like those at Hakkoda, bring both flexibility and scalability to the table for large data transformation projects.

Transforming Data Architecture to Ship Data Products Faster

Imagine a state of chaos in which our friend, the large-scale food distributor, recognizes that it must reengineer its entire data pipeline to reconcile fundamental differences in logic across its many verticals and departments. The possibility of interoperability across the organization, let alone actionable insight, is lost in a kaleidoscope of conflicting legacy logics. Their objective isn’t as simple as a one-to-one migration of its data from an Oracle-based legacy server to a modern platform; the data needs to be fundamentally reengineered to meet modern standards while also implementing a set of coding, testing, and documentation practices that will allow for the easy ingestion of new data as customer demand and the availability of products continue to evolve. 

In order to build a sustainable solution to the client’s problem, Hakkoda recognized that tremendous efficiency gains could be cleared through partnership with dbt Labs. Unlike other ETL tools in the space, dbt Cloud would allow the Hakkoda data team to centralize metric definitions and centralize Snowflake as the core logic. It would also allow our client to utilize game-changing testing and documentation features to gauge the success of their data integration.

Better Testing and Documentation Makes for Better Data Products

One of dbt’s key advantages is how simple it makes documentation and testing code for data integrity prior to integration: a simplicity that, in the hands of a team that understands the modern data stack and can put it to use, saves time and eliminates unnecessary hassles when “buttoning up” a data product.

As explained by Hope Watson of dbt Labs, “dbt Cloud makes it so easy to scale, document, and test your data that you don’t have any excuse not to do it.”

Adherence to these best practices of the industry eliminates tedious, frustrating processes at the tailend of your development pipeline and, even more significantly, improves the likelihood that finished data products will work as intended and not cost the organization precious hours of debugging and additional testing. 

The ease and flexibility dbt’s testing and documentation features give data teams helps to build trust around the data they produce, which gives high-volume enterprise data users like the large food distributor in the example above the ability to quickly and efficiently control for data quality while shipping products faster.

Building Powerful Data Pipelines with Hakkōda

Data talent is scarce. Hakkoda is a modern data consultancy built to harness the power of data to drive actionable insights and lead the charge for business innovation. Our team is certified across the modern data stack, which means they walk into every project with hands-on knowledge of tools like dbt Cloud, Snowflake, Fivetran, Sigma, AWS, and more. Data innovation is built on the right technology stack. Hakkoda delivers a team that not only understands how to leverage individual tools, but how to make these tools work together to achieve incredible data use cases. From migrations to BI modernization to exciting new applications of generative AI, the Hakkoda team is your partner in driving innovation. Need support for your data projects? Let’s talk.

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