The Hidden Costs of Cloud Data Lakes

This blog series from Cazena's engineering team investigates the hidden costs of cloud data lakes. Learn the top three hidden costs of cloud data lakes!

Read the Blog Series

14 West

A Cazena SaaS Data Lake is helping 14 West modernize and transform, by empowering a wide variety of self-service analytics.


SaaS helped a small, strategic IT team deliver a cloud data lake quickly and cost-effectively, with no new staff required.


Empowered self-service analytics across a wide variety of tools and use cases, from faster operational reporting to advanced ML/AI.


The SaaS Data Lake is the foundation for growth and digital transformation. SaaS makes it easy to add capabilities for real-time data streaming and complex data pipelines. 

About 14 West

14 West, the business services arm of The Agora, uses the Cazena SaaS Data Lake to deliver easy access to data from all of their media operations and business systems. Cazena delivers data access to  business users, analysts, and data scientists to deliver deep insights and drive revenue opportunities. 

14 West is the business services arm of The Agora, a network for more than 40 of the world’s most innovative media and marketing companies. 14 West operations focus on sending emails to subscribers and potential subscribers sending out about 14 billion pieces of content to its customers yearly. The content and delivery methods create mountains of useful data that can is  used to deliver the right message at the right time via the right channel for subscribers.

The 14 West IT team saw an opportunity to consolidate data from siloed operational systems — CRM, email, web logs, and more — to make it more accessible and available for advanced analytics. The data volumes, variety, and vision dictated a modern platform, with capabilities for advanced analytics beyond SQL. 14 West chose the Cazena SaaS Data Lake to help with this data-driven transformation.

The Challenges: Modernize and Deliver Self-Service Analytics with a small team. 

Consolidate company-wide data in a single Data Lake accessible to marketing intelligence, business users, network affiliates, and other groups

Expand beyond SQL to add advanced analytics, streaming data for machine learning, and a solid foundation for data monetization

Add new capabilities quickly, without adding new IT resources, major training requirements, or expensive consulting

The Solution: A SaaS Data Lake with Flexibility

The Cazena SaaS Data Lake with Cloudera on Amazon AWS delivered the ideal solution, with built-in automation and security. With Cazena, the 14 West team were able to move quickly since there was no need to hire a team to maintain the environment. Instead, they focused on hiring thought-leaders and strategic analytic professionals to drive value from the data lake.

The primary success metrics have been availability and time. In a matter of weeks, the team implemented game-changing self-service analytics for a variety of stakeholders, delivered in the format of their preference. The timeliness of data has also made a major impact with more frequent reports and relevant data at key decision-making points.

By using the Cazena SaaS Data Lake, 14 West is able to keep up with their affiliates’ needs and operate at the speed of their business.  The Data Lake multiplies impact across its network by offering its affiliate companies more data, more analytics capabilities, and easier access. Now, affiliates see data from many sources in one place and more stakeholders at different skill levels benefit from advanced analytics and data capabilities.

A SaaS Data Lake Means More Efficient Teams.

“We didn’t want to take on the burden of standing up a Hadoop environment and maintaining it. At my past organization, we had about ten folks working on it full-time. We felt there wasn’t value in that. Now Cazena can do this for us.

SaaS was also a lower risk way too to see if a data lake would meet our needs. We were able to get an environment for advanced analytics up really quickly, without needing to hire a team.”

Reid McLaughlin Chief Information Officer, 14 West