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FinOps Foundation Insights

Why a Reliable Data Lake Is Critical to FinOps Success

Date: April 12, 2024 Video: 5 minutes

Key Insight: FinOps success results from getting FinOps practitioners, product teams, and engineers to think cost-first with architectural decisions, and that starts with clean, reliable data.


One of Tim’s biggest challenges is bringing so much data together for analysis. Walmart built a data lake where they store several years of raw data in object storage so they can go back and re-parse it in different ways. Developing SQL queries to run on their data is how FinOps Practitioners can creatively solve business problems.

FinOps Practitioners need to be good at building hypothetical models with this data to show what would have been spent if FinOps practices had not been implemented. Leadership will easily recognize the difference between what was actually spent and what could have been spent as capital to reinvest in the business.

Tim recommends approaching a role in FinOps with the goal of getting everyone around you promoted. If you approach it with the idea that you will take credit for all the savings, you will undermine an aspect of FinOps that is required for its success: collaboration.

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