Alerts & Automations

Automate Alerts on SQL Queries on Database or Data Warehouse

Varun Rangarajan

December 1, 2023

4 min read

Sample SQL Based alert from databases and data warehouses

In the ever-evolving landscape of modern business operations, there exists an intricate web of interconnected systems, technologies, and processes powering the heartbeat of organizations. Amidst this complexity, a silent yet omnipresent challenge persists - the inevitability of disruptions and unforeseen hiccups.

For operations teams charged with upholding the reliability and continuity of these systems, the mantra is clear: anticipate, identify, and swiftly address issues that threaten operational stability. This is where the twin pillars of alerting and incident management emerge as unsung heroes, essential not just in mitigating crises but in proactively averting catastrophe.

Why Alerts?

Manual processes are time-consuming, prone to errors, and also cannot be scaled to match the volume of operations once organizations grow and the individual functions expand to take on additional responsibilities. They also consistently need teams following up with different stakeholders and a lot of time is lost in following due procedures, that could have been better invested in resolving issues. This is where alerts help. A few advantages of alerts include:

  1. Timely Issue Identification: Alerts serve as early warning systems, instantly notifying teams about potential or existing issues within systems, networks, or applications.
  2. Minimize Downtime and Disruptions: Rapid response to alerts helps minimize downtime and disruptions in services. By promptly addressing issues highlighted by alerts, operations teams can mitigate the impact on users.
  3. Enhanced Performance Monitoring: Alerts provide real-time insights into the performance metrics of various systems and applications. Monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) through alerts helps teams track trends, identify bottlenecks, and optimize performance.
  4. Prioritization of Tasks and Resources: Effective alerting enables teams to prioritize tasks based on severity levels.
Advantages of incorporating alerts and automations in your business

Alerts on Data resting on your Database or a Data Warehouse!

SQL queries play a pivotal role in establishing alerts within databases or data warehouses by enabling the creation of monitoring rules. Utilizing SQL's capabilities, users can design queries that regularly check predefined thresholds or conditions, such as inventory levels, moving averages, or specific data values.

These queries are then scheduled to run periodically and when the query results meet certain criteria, such as surpassing a specified threshold, alerts are triggered, notifying teams or designated personnel through email, logs, or specialized alerting systems. This proactive use of SQL queries empowers organizations to maintain proactive monitoring and timely response to critical business issues.

Use cases of Alerts

Inventory Management

A logistics company must manage its inventory efficiently to meet customer demand while avoiding overstock or stockouts. Implementing a moving average SQL query can help with better inventory management.

Impact: Reduced stockouts, warehouse teams can quickly inform vendors for replenishment and customers on any perceived delays.


WITH MovingAverageCTE AS (
    SELECT
        warehouse_id,
        date,
        inventory_count,
        AVG(inventory_count) OVER (PARTITION BY warehouse_id ORDER BY date ROWS BETWEEN 2 PRECEDING AND CURRENT ROW) AS moving_average
    FROM
        your_inventory_table
)
SELECT
    warehouse_id,
    date,
    inventory_count,
    moving_average
FROM
    MovingAverageCTE
WHERE
    moving_average < 20;

Last Mile Delivery

A last-mile delivery company can set up an alert to notify them about all undelivered orders.

Impact: Higher CSAT as customers can be kept informed about the status of their orders, and eventually also leads to improved delivery efficiency.


SELECT OrderID, Status
FROM Orders
WHERE Status <> 'delivered';

Finance and Accounts

Accounting teams can set up alerts to notify them in case a new invoice payment from their vendors is pending.

Impact: Faster payouts, better vendor partnerships and an overall positive brand image for the organization.


SELECT VendorInvoiceID, Status
FROM VendorInvoices
WHERE Status <> 'paid';

User Engagement

An EdTech company uses SQL queries to alert them about any drop in user attendance below the scheduled threshold.

Impact: Better user engagement on the platform, leading to good knowledge adoption.


SELECT UserID, (SUM(Attendance) * 100.0 / COUNT(DISTINCT SessionID)) AS AttendancePercentage
FROM UserAttendance
GROUP BY UserID
HAVING (SUM(Attendance) * 100.0 / COUNT(DISTINCT SessionID)) < 60;

How does Locale.ai help?

Locale is an operations automation and issue-tracking solution, mainly focusing on two important steps in the operations process:

  • Automating monitoring dashboards and reports and creating a list of actionable tasks to avoid manual monitoring of data, eliminating redundant work in the process.
  • Create new incidents every time a new problem occurs and alert the right stakeholders on the operations team.

Using Locale, teams need to set up an alert once to ensure that their averages are constantly monitored and any deviation can be quickly notified to the right stakeholders, to take corrective measures and resolve problems within the desired and agreed-upon timelines.

How to set up an alert on Locale.ai in under 5 minutes?

Step 1: Connect a Data Source [Database, Google Sheets or SaaS Tools]

1.1 Connecting a Database: Locale helps connect with the major databases and data warehouses present today, and integrations are as easy as filling out a few fields and whitelisting Locale’s IP!

1.2 Connecting a Google Sheet: A recently launched feature is the ability to integrate with Google Sheets. GSheets are a major source of data in any organization and all it takes to connect is to specify the GSheet URL.1.3 Connecting to a SaaS tool via API Integration: Locale also connects with SaaS applications supporting an Open API and this helps assimilate data from the various tools that businesses use on a daily basis.

Integration of multiple data sources with Locale

Step 2: Set up Alert Configurations

In this step, we set rules to monitor the data. This starts with a SQL query or adding filters. Once you do this, you’ll be able to receive the results of the query or filter at a set frequency.

Playbooks can be set to ensure faster resolution, and automatic resolution can be enabled to ensure incidents on Locale are resolved with zero manual intervention, once they move out of the queue on your data source!Dynamic stakeholder assignments are possible for larger teams. Incidents can be configured to have labels, escalations, and playbooks to ensure adherence.

Setting up alert conditions and schedule on Locale

Step 3: Notify Stakeholders

Connect with your preferred notification streams to ensure that your stakeholders receive all updates on time! Group your notifications to ensure end users don’t get spammed and yet receive all the incidents that they need to prioritize and work on.

Setting up communication platforms to send alert on Locale

You’re good to go! Once the alert is set, incidents will start flowing in when there are new rows identified in your datasource!

Conclusion

SQL-based alerts, with their capability to proactively monitor, detect anomalies, and trigger notifications based on specific criteria, empower teams to leap into action, armed with real-time insights garnered from data held within the organizational databases.

From detecting critical performance thresholds to identifying discrepancies in financial records, SQL-based alerts emerge as the silent warriors, tirelessly patrolling the data landscape, ready to flag any deviations from the norm. Their implementation ensures that operations teams remain ahead of potential disruptions, amidst complex business setups.

Embracing this technology not only ensures swift responses to critical issues but fosters a culture of agility, resilience, and unwavering commitment to operational excellence in today's fast-paced organizational landscape.

Excited to get started? It takes less than 10 minutes to get all things set up: Try for free

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