In 2018, the public cloud services market stood at $182 billion. In 2019, the market is expected to grow 17.5% to reach $214 billion according to Gartner. The cloud is the operational standard for many applications today for a multitude of reasons: cost, efficiency, performance, availability, and agility topping the list.
Yet a frequently overlooked benefit of cloud computing is the added value of improved analytics. Analytics are the beating heart of a strong business. Improvements in storage and compute allow businesses to store, transfer, and use data more efficiently; yet, it is cloud computing that enables more strategic synthesis of a business’ collective “big data” to draw validated business intelligence.
Many cloud-based applications today offer self-service analytics’ dashboards so users can have a simple view into data-based insights. Cloud analytics improve business intelligence by bringing millions of data points together, allowing the people that power your business to improve overall decision-making.
Here are three ways cloud analytics improve business intelligence today:
1. Cloud-Based Technology Can Diminish Data Silos
The Chief Marketing Officer wants to know how many current customers bought produce X. Human Resources wants to know how the company’s financial portfolio is performing. The CIO needs to know if employee A has access to application Z.
Too often, business units are siloed from the information they need to make informative, timely decisions. Cloud analytics can remove these barriers (note: “can”) and deliver the requisite data straight to the person who needs it.
While each business unit may specialize in a type of information, organizations where employees are empowered to query and synthesize data from across the business to inform more specialized strategy are more successful.
Cloud analytics also help all departments understand the bottom-line impact of their decisions. As organizations grow, it can be harder to connect employees to business realities and broad organizational goals. The cloud can help to remove these barriers across the business.
2. The Cloud Increases Decision-Making Speed
Agility is hot in today’s market because that’s what businesses need to be competitive. Some start-up companies are built on the premise that time is money, both for customers and the business.
When a business is sluggish in making decisions, they lose out on opportunities and possible financial returns. Oftentimes, this sluggishness can be attributed to a lack of access to information.
When an executive team attempts to determine a specific strategy, they rely on the data shared and collected by internal teams. If that data is difficult to access, difficult to query, or distributed across the organization, they may not have the time, resources, or even question-asking insight to gather the data needed to make an informed decision.
Cloud analytics helps to overcome these barriers by bringing the data directly to those who can use it. When the data is accessible and easy-to-synthesize, business leaders can make speedy decisions about investments and opportunities that will deliver real results.
3. The Cloud Offers Context
One of the inherent risks of data mining is that data can frequently be used to tell a convenient, though not necessarily truthful, version of events. Most high school graduates can tell you that correlation does not equal causation, and this is just as true in the era of “big data”, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Cloud analytics improve business intelligence because they share data in the context of which it was gathered and processed. By integrating data across disparate sources, business intelligence units can synthesize data sets from across the business to build a contextual understanding.
In Pete Schlampp’s clear-cut example, “a business analyst could move well beyond aggregate measures like average store profitability and on to the fine-grained drivers of profitability by specific product lines within specific stores.” By taking a granular view of the business in the larger framework of operational integrity, businesses make better decisions.
Using Cloud Analytics To Improve Business Intelligence
Business intelligence used to come from shrewd MBAs and careful readings of the Wall Street Journal. While these are still valuable, a sleuth with a paper will only be successful when tied to the insights gained from real-time data.
In 2018, almost 80% of enterprises have a portion of their enterprise computing infrastructure in the cloud. This number is only expected to rise. As organizations around the globe use cloud analytics to synthesize the data stored and collected in the cloud, competitive business will have to adopt cloud analytics to make informed business decisions.
Will you be ready?
Find out how you can use the cloud to build business intelligence your organization can use. Our experts can assess your current environment, make recommendations for cloud-based solutions, and help you identify the analytics you need to minimize risk and grow your business.
Talk to one of our experts today in a free whiteboard session.
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About The Authors
Mike Czerniak is the Cloud Practice Manager at Mindsight, an IT Services and Consulting firm located in the Chicago area. With 20 years of experience in information technology and the cloud, Mike has helped hundreds of organizations with architecting, implementing, and deploying cloud solutions. For the last 5 years, Mike has focused on providing Mindsight’s customers with guidance in approaching – and managing – the cloud. Mike is AWS, Microsoft Azure, VMware certified, and remains deeply invested in providing an agnostic, consultative voice for organizations on their cloud journey. In his free time, Mike enjoys biking with his 9-year old son, recently completing a 50-mile bike ride!
Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s reading and writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.