Given the natural progression of reporting and analysis to the interactivity and visual appeal of today’s business intelligence (BI) tools, it’s no surprise that the backdrop has been forced to evolve and expand as well.
Back when it was referred to as SaaS BI, there were browser-based capabilities, but they were typically more lightweight in functionality and performance. Now, with so many companies leveraging the on-demand technical horsepower of the cloud, these capabilities are diverse and powerful. Today, the cloud is viewed as a viable platform for a variety of analytical capabilities, three of which we’ll cover right now.
Conventional business intelligence
No matter how enticing some of the more appealing capabilities of today have become, people still need boring, old reports and dashboards. Whether managed by IT in a traditional model or owned by line-of-business users, capabilities like managed reporting and static dashboards work just as well in the cloud as they do on-premise.
Data exploration and discovery
Perhaps the biggest recent trend in analytics has been an increased interest and ownership of analytics on the part of non-technical decision makers. More users create insight rather than simply consuming it, and utilize tools and activities for data discovery.
As more applications and data sources migrate to a cloud environment, cloud-based analytical solutions are becoming more and more relevant as a way to bridge the gap between data, and create relevant insights derived from all over the organization.
As mentioned, cloud or SaaS-based solutions may at one time have been primarily lightweight, browser-based tools…but not anymore.
With more technologies offered with centralized analytical firepower (i.e. extremely large data sets, low latency query response times, advanced analytical algorithms) being delivered to an on- or off-premise client, the cloud has become the backdrop for more cutting-edge analytical activities.
Aberdeen Group’s research validates that those extending analytics from on-premise-only deployments into the cloud are more likely to exploit a variety of analytical capabilities:
To the Cloud!
From the lagging tail to the leading edge, the cloud has become a critical means of connecting employees to the decision-supporting capabilities they need. Whether solely owned and operated by IT in a formal manner or managed by a group of non-technical innovators in a “shadow IT” type of situation, so many companies today depend on the cloud to provide the architectural flexibility and broader dispersion needed to arm their evolving workforce.
While the analytical capabilities available today are more diverse (e.g. the Internet of Things, geospatial, predictive analytics), the cloud has not lost a step in its ability to house these capabilities. Top-performing companies expand their on-premise analytical activities into cloud environments to reduce reliance on IT, improve analytical adoption and engagement, and produce repeatable business results.