Introduction to modern analytics | Academy | Dataform
Chapter 1

Introduction to modern analytics

The aim of this academy is to help you get started with Modern Analytics principles as quickly and smoothly as possible.


The modern organisation is powered by data. In today’s connected world every event is tracked, giving organisations access to huge amounts of data. And the most successful organisations recognise that harnessing that data is a requirement for success.

For the data team, this is both an opportunity and a challenge. With data being such an important piece of organisational strategy, the data team is a key stakeholder at the decision making table. But satisfying the entire organization’s demand for data-driven strategy and decision making, alongside the increasing scale and complexity of data collected and available for analysis, puts data teams in a difficult position.

The situation data teams find themselves in calls for a new way of working: we call this Modern Analytics.

  • Modern Analytics uses the technologies and workflows of software engineering to deliver the analytical outcomes demanded by the modern organisation. Modern analytics is:
    • Scaleable
    • Agile
    • Collaborative

Modern analytics has been enabled by a number of changes in the data space over the past decade. The move towards cloud data warehouses means that terabytes of data can be queried in seconds, allowing analysts to move quickly and focus on providing value to the business. The shift from an ETL approach to an ELT approach - loading data into the warehouse before transforming it - supports a more flexible and agile way of working. It also presents an opportunity for particularly technical analysts, who both know the business really well and have the technical skills to model the raw data into clean, well defined datasets, to step up (they call themselves Analytics Engineers). And the evolution of self service BI tools means that anyone at an organisation can be empowered to answer their own questions.

We’ve worked with some of the pioneers of Modern Analytics to create this academy. Our aim is to help you get started with Modern Analytics principles as quickly and smoothly as possible, so that you can ensure you’re delivering maximum value to your organisation.

Most of what you can find in this guide has already been written about in detail (we’ll point you to some of our favourite resources for further reading). But we believe that this is the first time someone has created a single resource to train Modern Analytics practitioners in the full-stack skills which are employed by today’s best data teams.

If your goal is to enable fluid, robust, and reliable data-driven decision making across your organization, this academy is for you. We start with data warehousing & ELT, move through enrichment & transformation, and end in analysis. We’ve condensed the knowledge of many individuals gleaned over decade-long careers into a concise, practical guide. We hope you enjoy it!

Next Chapter

Read on to learn more....

Moving from ETL to ELT in the cloud data warehouse

Learn about modern data warehouses and why teams are switching to an ELT approach over ETL?