Using Cloud Analytics to Corral Big Data

Strategic Big Data and Actionable Analytics are two of the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013, according to Gartner.

Yet only 12 percent have a big data strategy that governs their daily operations, a recent survey of 339 data management professionals by SAS and SourceMedia found.

In my view, this gap is the result of years of unfulfilled promises from a previous generation of business intelligence and data integration vendors who failed to provide organizations of all sizes with easy-to-use solutions to address their escalating needs.

That was then. Today the number of tools available to make sense of Big Data is only growing, and that’s a good thing, because the need is deep.

Big Data, Big Fail

Ninety-three percent of the 1,064 respondents to a recent survey commissioned by Domo said they relied on business information to do their jobs well, but only 43 percent felt they had access to the information they needed to perform effectively.

Eighty-four percent of the respondents said real-time business information was vitally important to their success, but 62 percent said they were unable to access the information they needed in a timely fashion.

It’s no wonder, then, that 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies likely will fail to exploit big data effectively for competitive advantage, according to Gartner.

The good news is that a growing assortment of cloud-based analytics tools and platforms are demonstrating that they can respond to today’s Big Data challenge.

GoodData is building a portfolio, or Bash, of analytics reports, metrics and best practices delivered via a single, cloud-based platform users can employ to address a specific set of business use cases.

The Bashes can collect and interpret information from a variety of data sources including business applications, social media, mobile devices and legacy systems. Time Warner Cable rolled out the GoodData platform to its 4,000 employees in just four weeks to help them better utilize their sales data.

The Bright Side

Established players are seeing the success of the emerging upstarts and quickly responding with their own cloud-based BI solutions. For instance, MicroStrategy claims its cloud solution is “10x More Agile. And 10x More Cost Effective.”

SAP is touting its HANA in-memory data platform, which is now deployable as an on-premises appliance or in the cloud. The platform can support an organization’s data warehousing, operational reporting and predictive analysis needs.

The National Basketball Association is using HANA to power, a destination site that enables fans to analyze player and team statistics from the latest games and all the way back to the league’s founding in 1946.

Gathering the Troops

Although the latest cloud analytics innovations boost tremendous technological functionality that wasn’t fathomable a few years ago, organizations can still expect that they’ll need expert help and advice to successfully employ these exciting new tools.

Independent consultancies and application development firms, such as CorSource Technology Group and SoftServe, have created dedicated teams to help enterprise clients and independent software vendors (ISVs) embed today’s leading cloud analytics platforms into their operations and solutions.

THINKstrategies is looking forward to showcasing these exciting developments and more customer success stories at our upcoming Cloud Analytics Summit on May 4 in New York City.

Jeffrey M. Kaplan

Jeff Kaplan is the managing director of THINKstrategies, founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace, and and host ofthe Cloud Innovators Summit conference series. He can be reached at [email protected].

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