LexisNexis Uses Amazon Redshift to Drive Powerful Data Analytics
LexisNexis Legal & Professional (LexisNexis) has a goal to advance the rule of law around the world by delivering information and analytics. Critical to the company’s operations is its data warehousing solution, which had been hosted on premises since 1992. Because the data warehouse incurred significant licensing, operational, and maintenance costs, LexisNexis wanted to modernize by migrating to the cloud.
After evaluating potential cloud data warehousing solutions, LexisNexis engaged Amazon Web Services (AWS) to migrate its on-premises data warehouse to Amazon Redshift, which uses SQL to analyze structured and semistructured data across data warehouses, operational databases, and data lakes. With the support of the AWS team, LexisNexis completed the migration across all its global business units in only 9 months, significantly faster than many migrations of a similar size. By migrating to AWS, LexisNexis unlocked significant dollars in savings, improved its agility, and enhanced the quality of its data analytics.
Our overarching goal is to achieve a consolidated data warehouse. We want one standard warehouse, one reporting solution, and one notebook environment. Amazon Redshift is a stepping-stone to help us get there.”
Director of Software Engineering, LexisNexis
Migrating to a Cloud Data Warehousing Solution
Operating in more than 70 countries, LexisNexis is a global provider of information and insights that improve outcomes for law firms and attorneys. The company’s on-premises data warehouse was powered by on-premises hardware and software from a third-party company that provides database and analytics-related software, products, and services. By 2020, this aging warehouse was becoming costly and lacked the advanced capabilities that LexisNexis required. To reduce costs and improve performance, LexisNexis needed to adopt a modern cloud data warehouse.
LexisNexis began evaluating different cloud providers and running proofs of concept on potential solutions in June 2020. Among these options was Amazon Redshift. “In terms of price and performance, Amazon Redshift scored higher than its competitors,” says Deepak Senthilkumar, director of software engineering at LexisNexis. “We also found that using Amazon Redshift gave us more flexibility.” Additionally, LexisNexis could reduce the cost of the migration by participating in the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (AWS MAP), which helps companies accelerate their cloud migration and modernization journeys with an outcome-driven methodology. The company projected that it would save a significant amount of dollars annually by migrating to Amazon Redshift.
Of the options considered, LexisNexis realized that Amazon Redshift was the most cost-effective and highest-performing solution for its data warehouse. In October 2020, LexisNexis finalized its architecture plan and started to prepare its existing data warehousing environment. Then, in February 2021, the company began migrating roughly 32 TB of data to Amazon Redshift.
Using Amazon Redshift to Achieve a Global Data Warehouse
With the support of the AWS team, LexisNexis migrated approximately 85,000 objects to its data warehouse on Amazon Redshift, completing the project in only 9 months. By June 2021, users outside of the development team began using the warehousing solution. “By August 2021, we saw a high volume of users on Amazon Redshift,” says Senthilkumar. “We’ve seen widespread adoption for this warehouse.” To support this adoption, LexisNexis implemented customized training initiatives and incentives for its employees. LexisNexis has onboarded over 400 users who directly access and query the warehouse, and over 3,500 indirect users who view reports and dashboards in the data visualization software.
With Amazon Redshift at the core of its warehousing solution, LexisNexis can use extract, transform, load jobs to turn data into actionable insights for users. The warehouse pulls data from more than 40 source databases collected in a data lake powered by Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. LexisNexis is then able to use this transformed data to create dashboards and business reports, supporting decision-making across its organization. Since migrating to AWS, LexisNexis has reduced overall production issues by 25 percent, a trend that it expects to continue as the system matures and advances. Because the company experiences fewer errors, it can focus on the development of new features rather than on maintenance.
Through the migration, LexisNexis adjusted its data transformation process to unlock key improvements in agility and performance. “On Amazon Redshift, we simplified the extract, transform, load layer, which helps us onboard new sources of data a lot faster,” says Senthilkumar. “We can now bring other warehouses across the globe into our unified system.” By consolidating business units into a single data warehouse, LexisNexis can deliver insights at a much faster pace. Because cloud-native AWS services are highly scalable, the company can also provision capacity as needed to support new data sources and features. Compared to its fixed on-premises solution, LexisNexis’s solution on Amazon Redshift has improved the speed of onboarding new data sources by 67 percent.
Additionally, LexisNexis can refresh data much faster using Amazon Redshift, enhancing the quality of its analytics. Using its on-premises solution, the company needed to perform nightly data refreshes. On Amazon Redshift, LexisNexis can run data refreshes several times per day and is working toward near-real-time data replication. On AWS, LexisNexis can add new features and fix errors quickly, further improving the customer experience. “We have more velocity to focus on new development instead of maintenance,” says Senthilkumar. With access to near-real-time data and increasingly consolidated systems, LexisNexis is rapidly gaining a 360-degree view of its customers. This unification will help to further enhance the company’s analytics and business intelligence capabilities, supporting decision-making for customers around the world.
Exploring Forecasting and Predictive Analytics
By migrating to Amazon Redshift, LexisNexis achieved a global cloud data warehouse for its large organization. The company decommissioned its on-premises warehousing solution completely in March 2022. Now that LexisNexis has completed the initial migration, it plans to implement advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions to support forecasting and predictive analytics. To accelerate this project, the company will work alongside an AWS Partner that delivers a web-based environment for working with Apache Spark, an open-source analytics engine that provides automated cluster management and Python-style notebooks.
On AWS, LexisNexis unlocked key improvements in cost and performance for its data warehouse, improving speed to market and operational efficiency. It will continue to innovate on AWS in the future, adding new features and capabilities along the way. “We can see long-term opportunities on AWS, which we’re already working on,” says Senthilkumar. “Consolidating systems into a truly global data warehouse is a major benefit for us.”
LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world.
Benefits of AWS
- Improved speed to onboard new data sources by 67%
- Migrated approximately 85,000 objects to the data warehouse in 9 months
- Unifies data warehousing across global business units
- Reduced overall production issues by 25%
AWS Services Used
Amazon Redshift uses SQL to analyze structured and semi-structured data across data warehouses, operational databases, and data lakes, using AWS-designed hardware and machine learning to deliver the best price performance at any scale.
AWS Migration Acceleration Program (AWS MAP)
The AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) is a comprehensive and proven cloud migration program based upon AWS’s experience migrating thousands of enterprise customers to the cloud.
Amazon Simple Storage Services (Amazon S3)
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.
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