May 23, 2024

Supermetrics Storage vs. your own data warehouse: which one should you go with?

3-MINUTE READ | By Laura Määttä

Data ManagementData Storage

[ Updated May 23, 2024 ]

At Supermetrics, we’ve always been big advocates of storing marketing data. We believe all marketers should have control and ownership of their data, not only to keep it safe but to get more value out of it.

In this blog post, we compare our new product feature, Supermetrics Storage, to setting up and managing your own marketing data warehouse. Supermetrics Storage is part of the Marketing Intelligence Cloud. The Cloud product includes all features of the Supermetrics platform, enabling you to connect, transform, and centralize your marketing data in one place.

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Supermetrics Storage: Speed up your reports and own your data

Marketing teams come in many sizes and shapes, and not all teams have the technical resources or know-how to set up and maintain a marketing data warehouse. But, we argue that all teams would still benefit from having one.

That’s why we created Supermetrics Storage to make it easy for marketers to begin storing marketing data without the hassle and learning curve of building a data warehouse from scratch. The idea is that marketing teams can level up their reporting and centralize their data without needing an in-house data engineering team.

Benefits of Supermetrics Storage

Supermetrics Storage is designed to handle large amounts of data. It’s especially useful when your Looker Studio reports are slowing down or even crashing or you find yourself with row limits in Google Sheets. With Supermetrics Storage, you instantly benefit from the following:

  • Your marketing dashboards will load significantly faster as the data is pulled from Supermetrics Storage rather than directly from platform APIs. This also shields you from platform API outages that could otherwise impact the availability of your data.
  • As you gain ownership of your historical marketing data, you’re no longer dependent on third-party data policies such as data retention. For example, Google Analytics 4 has a 14-month data retention policy. After this period, you won’t have access to your data. You can read more about third-party data policies in our support article.
  • Your reporting is powered by Storage, enabling efficient processing of large amounts of data. YoY analysis and trend analysis are examples of what you can do more efficiently. 
  • As an agency you’ll be able to better cater to more complex reporting needs of large customers. You can easily pull data from multiple different sources or blend those sources together using Supermetrics data blending. The blending feature allows you to map fields automatically together and get a comprehensive view of your client’s performance across channels. 

Supermetrics Storage is an opt-in solution that allows you to choose the data sources you want to connect and the data you want to store. For example, if you have data about your clients, including personal information, you can choose to use encrypted direct connections instead of Supermetrics Storage.  

Unlike with data warehouse products, you don’t need to worry about the setup, maintenance, or costs associated with a data warehouse. Adopting Supermetrics Storage is more automated and doesn’t require technical expertise or the use of consulting services. All you need to do is create and handle the transfer creation and management. 

Limitations of Supermetrics Storage

With Supermetrics Storage, you don’t have direct access to the raw data within the storage. If you need to query raw data using SQL, Python, or other programming languages, an owned data warehouse is likely a better choice.

Similarly, if you want to have the ability to do maintenance, join tables, and create views, among other things, you may find more value in an owned data warehouse solution.

Lastly, the number of users you have for Supermetrics Storage is tied to your Supermetrics license. You can choose how many users you need, and these same users will have access to Supermetrics Storage along with all other Marketing Intelligence Cloud features, such as data blending and custom fields. Meanwhile, with an owned data warehouse, you’re not limited by the number of users.

An owned data warehouse solution: Gain full control of your data

With Supermetrics Storage, you can quickly achieve the benefits of data centralization, such as ownership of historical data and faster report loading speeds. But what more can you achieve by owning and managing your own data warehouse?

If you want to compare different data warehouse options, read this marketing data warehouse 101 guide, where we discuss different options. Our team is also available to help you choose the most suitable tool for the job.

Benefits of owning a marketing data warehouse

Owning a data warehouse enables more advanced use cases. A dedicated data team will be able to take full advantage of the capabilities and features of a data warehouse. 

With access to raw data, data engineers, data scientists, and developers can carry out data manipulation, management, complex calculations, or any other data science needs your data team may have. 

Additionally, by owning a data warehouse, you have the freedom to store not only marketing data but also other business data. This means you can build whatever you need on top of the data you store. From blending marketing data with other business data to building advanced models, such as marketing mix modeling, a data warehouse will be the starting point. 

With a data warehouse, you’re also not limited by the amount of users since you own the solution and manage access. 

Limitations of owning a marketing data warehouse

A full-fledged data warehouse solution typically requires dedicated technical resources to set up and maintain. With that comes additional business processes and, in many cases, delays in getting access to your data. For marketers who want to use data to power their next step, speed of decision-making is a critical factor to consider when deciding how to use your data. 

We’ve written extensively about choosing the right tool for the decision you’re trying to make based on how frequently you need to make decisions and how much data is required. Read more about that in data-driven marketing decisions: how to choose the right tool for the job.

In some cases, the wider business may predetermine your choice of data warehouse. If other departments are already using a specific data warehouse, you may be inclined to follow their lead and use Supermetrics to bring your marketing data to your company’s data warehouse. 

If you’re building a data warehouse on behalf of a client, they may require you to use certain tools or technologies based on their existing data commitments.

Which one is right for you?

In short, Supermetrics Storage allows you to get started quickly without requiring technical resources. On the other hand, your own data warehouse gives you full freedom and control over your data for more advanced use cases.

It boils down to two things—your current resources and how you’re planning to use your data.

Your team’s starting point and resources

Supermetrics Storage is especially suitable for teams struggling with the speed of their reports and lacking experience with data warehousing. Many marketers store marketing data in Google Sheets, for instance, and quickly reach its limitations. In that case, Supermetrics Storage is an efficient way to alleviate the pains that growing data volumes bring to reporting.

To get started with Supermetrics Storage, you need a technical marketer or an analyst who can set up and maintain the data transfers, run backfills, and build dashboards.

On the other hand, teams that have data engineering resources may be better off owning a marketing data warehouse and using Supermetrics to pipe and transform the data. This gives you full control and freedom over managing your data. If you already have a data warehouse solution in place, we recommend that you continue with that if you have the required resources to maintain it and make use of its advanced capabilities. Supermetrics integrates with all common marketing data warehouse solutions.

How are you planning on using your data?

Before making a decision, you should think about the expected outcome. Do you need to be able to build models on top of the raw data, or are you rather looking to make your reporting more efficient?

For basic reporting needs, Supermetrics Storage is a great solution for improving efficiency and reliability. It’s a great first step into data centralization with minimal effort and a high level of security.

However, for more advanced use cases, we recommend looking at an owned data warehouse solution. Supermetrics Storage is part of the Marketing Intelligence Cloud product. Speak to our team to get started with a trial for either Storage or a data warehouse of your choice.

Need help with centralizing marketing data?
From choosing the right solution to getting started with Supermetrics Storage or setting up your data warehouse, we can help.
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About the author

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Laura Määttä

Laura is a Demand Generation Manager at Supermetrics. With a background in performance marketing, she relates to the Supermetrics audience and delves into customers’ challenges with a data-led approach.

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