At this point in the game, you can find an excellent data app for almost anything under the sun. As industries like SaaS have grown and intertwined themselves in the daily operations of businesses around the world, data apps have become more common than ever before. With this in mind, software and data engineering teams are tasked with creating increasingly powerful applications.
While crafting a data app isn’t too much of a challenge, the real issue arises when we attempt to expand the complexity of the app itself. As the volume and diversity of data that the app deals with begins to grow, the strain on the architecture behind the application equally increases.
In this article, we’ll turn to the best practices that you can use to successfully build data-intensive applications. No matter the function or field you intend to launch the app in, this list will describe the best tactics you can use to create a flawless final product.
What Makes an App Data-Intensive?
Not all apps are data-intensive due to the same reason. While the obvious issue may be a data-heavy backend, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all data-intensive apps suffer from this problem. Here are two other common reasons that apps become data-intensive:
- Array of Features – An application that has 100 features is significantly more complex than one that has only five features. As your app scales in terms of functionality, it will have to produce, manage, and operate with more data.
- Complex User Interface – If you’re running a complex UX, there is naturally going to be a large amount of data continually being produced from your application.
With these reasons in mind, some industries naturally are prone to having a data-intensive application. Think about any financial services platform, just the sheer number of features that are available will begin to take a strain. Equally, a digital marketing data app has to integrate with potentially hundreds of third-party sources, creating a network of added complications.
Luckily, just because your data apps fall into one of these categories doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to overcome them.
Top Four Tips for Success When Building Data Apps
When creating data-intensive applications, there are a range of factors that you can take into account. Beyond the major technical considerations, there are a number of select tips that we can give you.
Here are our four main tips for success when building a data-intensive application:
- Storage Solutions Are Everything
- Streamline the Focus
- Regulate Continuously
- Plan for Scalability
Let’s break these down further.
Storage Solutions Are Everything
If you’re producing and collecting data, you’re going to need a place to store it. As with most problems, the more data that you’re managing, the bigger of an issue that this will become. Before you begin scaling or bringing customers on-board en masse, you should be sure you have considered where you’re going to be sending your data to.
While local servers might work during development, they simply won’t allow you to keep up with the demand of a data-intensive app as you grow. Be sure to browse through the various cloud data warehouse that you could use, looking for a provider that meets what you’re looking for.
At the beginning, you can opt for a hybrid data storage pathway in order to save money. However, the flexibility and ability to scale that a cloud data warehouse provides will help you immensely as your app begins to grow.
Beyond just storage, having all of your data in one centralized location also gives you full visibility over that data. You’re able to then conduct analysis on your data and generate valuable insights going forward. For storage and functionality, find a cloud data warehouse that works for you.
Streamline the Focus
One surefire way to reduce the load of a data-intensive application is to streamline the app as much as possible. Consult the data that your app is generating and find out which features are most popular.
From there, you’ll be able to curtail your offering to hone the app on a few select features. This approach will reduce the overall functionality of your app. However, if there are a few features that are hardly ever used, then you’re able to cut them or decrease their size without impacting your customer base.
By streamlining the focus of your data app, you’ll, in turn, be able to reduce the overall strain on your system.
Compliance is a word that you should already be familiar with if you’re building a data app. Especially if you’re based in the United States or Europe, there are strict regulations that you need to comply with. After the tightening of cybersecurity due to Biden’s May 2021 EO, the standards that you must keep to are now clearly defined.
Understanding the need to regulate your application is vital if you want to take it to market. As your app grows, this will only become more complicated. To get ahead of potential problems, we recommend that you keep compliance a core factor while you’re building.
Data-intensive apps will often take data directly from customers. This isn’t a strange occurrence, yet it is one that needs user approval in order to occur. If you don’t have permissions already integrated into your app, you could be making major mistakes without even realizing it.
Plan for Scalability
Data apps that can navigate data intensity demonstrate that their internal infrastructure is as solid as can be. Instead of having a system that strains and breaks under the additional pressure, an app that can manage to be data-intensive shows the makings of one that will last long into the future.
Especially when it comes to scaling a data app, sound infrastructure is vital. One way that you can build a preemptive level of data intensity into your app is to plan out possible routes of scalability you might take. If you know what capabilities you’ll need in the future, you’ll be ready when they arise.
If you want to raise the bar of what your applications can offer to users and businesses, then investing into data infrastructure is one of the best ways of doing so. Whether your app has lots of useful features or an incredibly complex user interface, creating strong underlying infrastructure will help it to run smoothly.
By incorporating our tips for success, as well as moving through our considerations, you’ll be much more prepared to successfully build a data-intensive application. We hope to have demystified the process and helped you along with the process.