Why Big Data Analytics in the Cloud's Time Has Come

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2016-04-15
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - Why Big Data Analytics in the Cloud's Time Has Come 
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    Why Big Data Analytics in the Cloud's Time Has Come 

    Organizations need to become data-driven faster, and turning to the cloud will help get them there. Here's why the timing is right for this to occur.
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    2 - Spending Shifted From the IT Department to the Business Side
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    Spending Shifted From the IT Department to the Business Side

    Gartner predicted that by 2017 more than half of tech spending would occur outside the IT department. Cloud providers are both enablers and beneficiaries of this trend. Cloud solutions make it possible for business users in sales, marketing, HR and elsewhere to make their own decisions about applications. In general, those deployments have had a high success rate, higher than the enterprise deployments of the past, making both individuals and companies more aggressive and keen about choosing cloud-based alternatives for new application needs.
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    3 - Cloud-Based BI Eases Data Integration Challenges
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    Cloud-Based BI Eases Data Integration Challenges

    Data integration has been one of the most commonly cited issues slowing cloud BI adoption. Unlike other software categories' move to the cloud, BI comes with unique challenges as it is predicated on the integration of data flooding from multiple sources, such as ERP, CRM and other operational systems. According to a report from Ventana Research, the majority of organizations surveyed (55 percent) spend the most time prepping data for analysis, followed by reviewing data for quality and consistency issues (48 percent). Cloud-based tools can slash that time by creating a single data set for analysis and by accommodating large data sets with varying transformation and analytic requirements more cost-effectively. While the integration issues around cloud-based BI and analytics still exist, they are on the decline.
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    4 - BI, Analytics Tools Can Handle an Onslaught of Unstructured Data
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    BI, Analytics Tools Can Handle an Onslaught of Unstructured Data

    According to Ventana Research, increased cloud adoption is driven by the need to handle unstructured data. The beauty of cloud-based systems is that they can be architected to handle varying analytic workloads and storage requirements. In some circumstances, such as regulatory requirements, data must be stored and easily accessible, but speed in accessing it is not a priority. In other scenarios, such as analytic sandbox environments, data only needs to be stored temporarily, but must be quickly accessible. With cloud-based tools, organizations have the flexibility to manage and analyze different types of data sets to fit their needs.
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    5 - Security Conversation Shifts in Favor of Cloud
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    Security Conversation Shifts in Favor of Cloud

    Previously, data security gave companies pause, especially when data analytics involved a company's most important and sensitive data assets, but this conversation is shifting. The high-profile breaches of the past few years at companies like Anthem, Sony and Target have nearly all been associated with on-premise systems. Organizations are becoming more confident in the security of cloud-based tools, and industry analysts increasingly note that the security of a top-tier cloud provider may be superior to what organizations can—at least economically—deliver internally.
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    6 - Pressure to Deliver Insights Quickly
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    Pressure to Deliver Insights Quickly

    Today's market is fast moving and competitive. Five years ago, the Harvard Business Review described "adaptability as the new competitive advantage," suggesting that companies need to use data to inform the development of better frameworks for detecting changes in market conditions and better processes for quickly adjusting to those changes. The cloud makes it easier for organizations to deploy such solutions quickly. With cloud-based applications, organizations can deliver full production deployments in less time than it would take them to procure hardware for an on-premise deployment.
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    7 - The Skills Shortage Is Real, and the Cloud Alleviates It
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    The Skills Shortage Is Real, and the Cloud Alleviates It

    Beyond the classic drivers of cloud adoption—faster deployment, lower total cost of ownership and lower switching costs—there is one issue that is unique to big data analytics. Big data skill sets are scarce, and as a result, hiring someone with those skills comes at a high cost. Cloud-based analytics tools enable business people to do their own analytics-related work without having to rely on experts for help. Organizations can rely on a cloud BI provider to manage more and more of these tasks, such as system backup and disaster recovery, with little or no support from IT, to get around the skills shortage.
 

While CRM software and applications like payroll and expense reporting have moved steadily toward the cloud, business intelligence (BI) and big data analytics have been slower to follow the lead. But as the cloud becomes more mainstream, all signs point to "go" for analytics to get out of the shadows and step into the cloud. Research firm Forrester predicts that by mid-2016 nearly three-quarters of companies will use cloud-based BI. While on-premise analytics deployments will continue for the foreseeable future, the tides are changing when it comes to organizational comfort with moving business-critical functions like BI and analytics to the cloud. Whether the decision to move to the cloud is instigated by economics or the ever-increasing speed of business, organizations need to become data-driven faster, and turning to the cloud sooner rather than later will help get them there. eWEEK recently spoke with Stefan Groschupf, founder and CEO of big data analytics provider Datameer, to glean six reasons why now is the prime time for BI and analytics to step into the cloud spotlight.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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