Analytics and the data cloud: How are they linked?

Businesses are turning to BI (business intelligence) and analytics in a bid to understand their customers better. The pressure is on marketers too, with CMOs today expected to contribute more be it in terms of generating more sales leads or being asked to justify the effectiveness of ad spending.

Fortunately, cloud technologies has dramatically reduced deployment complexity and costs, even as it offers greater flexibility without the need for an on-front investment. If anything, this explains the popularity of marketing-centric cloud services such as those found on the Adobe Marketing Cloud and Oracle Marketing Cloud.

The cloud is inevitable

When it comes to analytics, JY Pook, the vice president of Tableau in the Asia Pacific, says that users are also turning to cloud data warehousing technologies. While the cloud is something that users traditionally turn to in order to bypass IT roadblocks, the situation has reversed with IT often being the chief sponsor of a cloud transition these days.

For example, hosted environments offered by Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers are becoming a real alternative to setting up physical servers when enterprises want to set up or extend their ‘in-house’ cloud. Alternatively, organizations with more complex requirements can look to the likes of AWS for capabilities such as Redshift to set up their data warehouses.

Pook also argues that enterprises are likely to adopt a more hybrid data architecture in order to support both cloud and on-premises data. While Pook could certainly be biased in this stance given how his company offers support for hybrid deployments, the rationale is logical when one considers how many industry verticals are bound by compliance rules or concerns about data privacy.

Regardless of how you dice it, it means that the cloud is inextricably linked to how we do analytics today. Of course, one effect of BI and analytics users turning to the cloud for their data warehousing is a blurring of the lines between where data is stored and where it is being analyzed, noted Pook.

The benefit is that instead of building silos of compute clusters to process and analyze data, organizations can move the most massive of data assets can be moved into high-compute data processing pipelines today, for everything from data discovery to the heaviest of data transformation jobs.

Don’t forget ease of access

Ultimately, there is no question that data is the starting point of analytics, which plays a pivotal role in business decision making today. With technology increasingly falling under the remit of the CMO, it is important that they look to solutions that also allows their team and organization the ability to access pertinent reports.

“Even more important for an agile business is to let today’s mobile workers have access to data and analytics, not just at their desk in the office, but also when they are on the move or working remotely,” said Pook. “The advancement in cloud and data security technology is making this even more of a reality.

“Data is already becoming an essential driver of business decision making, and it is crucial that enterprises empower workers of all levels to have access to data and analytics,” he said.