2020: The Year Cloud Data Warehouses Arrived!

2020 is the year we will all want to forget as COVID and lockdowns consumed our lives. However, the move to remote working kicked public cloud growth into overdrive. Amazon Web Services (AWS) grew by 33% in the first quarter, Google Cloud experienced a 52% year over year growth, and Microsoft Azure grew a massive 59%.

Those impressive growth numbers we’re fueled in part by the strong adoption of Cloud Data Warehouses. Looking back, 2020 turned out to be a banner year for data warehousing as a service. Data warehouse offerings matured, delivered new innovations, and provided the biggest tech IPO the United States has ever seen.

In fact, so much happened I’ve summarized my top highlights for each vendor below.


Let’s start by recognizing the largest tech IPO in U.S. history. Snowflake went public on the NYSE in September with the symbol SNOW and raised $3.4 billion at a valuation of $33 billion! Qlik also was named a Snowflake Technology Partner of the Year for Data Engineering and gained many customers together.

Azure Synapse Analytics

Microsoft didn’t stand still either. In November 2019, Microsoft announced the roadmap evolution of Azure SQL Data Warehouse into a limitless analytics service called Azure Synapse Analytics. The service would combine enterprise data warehousing and Big Data analytics into a single offering with the flexibility to query serverless services or provisioned resources.

Azure Synapse spent the majority of 2020 previewing new innovative functionality and became generally available on December 3. Qlik and Microsoft also partnered to launch a global program to accelerate analytics that use SAP data and Azure Synapse.

Amazon Redshift

Amazon also announced many improvements and new features for Amazon Redshift. Amazon made it easier to move clusters between availability zones, delivered automatic table optimization, introduced data sharing previews, and provided support for native JSON data processing. Qlik and Amazon further strengthened our long running relationship by attaining the Amazon RDS Ready designation, shortly followed by Amazon Redshift Ready, too!

Google Big Query

Rounding out the cloud data warehouse vendor list is Google with yet another string of innovations in 2020. Google Big Query began the year by expanding its global reach by rolling out into more regions, including in Europe and Asia. March saw the GA of the BigQuery Storage API and scripting of stored procedures. May saw Big Query’s 10th birthday and beta functionality like hourly partitioned tables and Dynamic SQL. We also saw in October a huge BigQuery functionality update with information schemas and greater conformance to standard SQL. The last quarter of 2020 was extremely important for the Qlik and Google relationship, too. Our November release of Qlik Data Integration added BigQuery support in our Data Warehouse Automation functionality, and we announced a new program for bringing SAP data to Google BigQuery.

Despite everything, 2020 turned out to be a good year for our Qlik Data Integration platform and its support for cloud data warehouse vendors.

Choosing the Cloud Data Warehouse in 2021

Enough of looking back; now let’s look forward. Cloud data warehousing is clearly here to stay, and a recent IDG survey found that the majority of IT decision-makers plan to migrate to a cloud data warehouse or expand an existing cloud data warehouse during 2021. With so many great choices and innovations on the market, it’s naturally difficult to pick one for your analytics backbone.

The good news is that we’ve created a handy guide that compares the top data warehouses from Amazon Redshift, Azure Synapse, Google Big Query and Snowflake. What’s even better is that Qlik can support you no matter who you choose. Who knows? You may even choose to run several top contenders in tandem. No worries – we support that, too. So check out the eBook today!

Cloud #datawarehouses are becoming an increasingly go-to solution for organizations looking to optimize efficiencies; read how @cbearman thinks 2020 was an "overdrive" year of innovation


In this article:

Keep up with the latest insights to drive the most value from your data.

Get ready to transform your entire business with data.

Follow Qlik