The advent of the cloud has led to rapid and far-reaching changes in the technology industry, creating entirely new forms of services and sprouting new occupations and technology specializations in the process. Cloud analytics is a quickly emerging field that involves the execution of data analysis and associated services on a private or public cloud. Cloud analytics solutions are delivered via cloud models such as SaaS Business Intelligence or cloud-powered social media analysis products. At its core, cloud-based analytics enables users to undertake complex analysis on massive federated, distributed, or centralized data sets.
While cloud analytics is a relatively new and emerging concept, individuals, businesses, and organizations have been quick to embrace it and market trends suggest that the adoption of cloud analytics will continue to grow significantly for years to come. According to IT research firm IDC, cloud analytics have measurably and significantly contributed to the growth of enterprise software in 2013. Perhaps even more tellingly, a report from prominent IT publication Network World shows that data analytics were responsible for 47% of the growth experienced by the top 50 publicly owned cloud companies. The eagerness of individuals, businesses, and organizations to adopt and integrate cloud analytics is further evidenced in a study conducted by research firm Research and Markets that predicts a 26.29 % growth in the global cloud analytics market from 2014 to 2019. It is unlikely that this trend of increasing cloud analytics adoption will fade anytime soon due to the sheer efficacy, practicality, and advantages of cloud-based analytics solutions.
This rapid increase in cloud analytics adoption rates has been driven by the substantial benefits that it brings to organizations and businesses when compared to in-house analytics solutions, such as:
Cloud analytics and cloud-based data solutions have been proven to provide firms with better and more effective data security. Data is by and large already fairly accessible on public networks such as telephones as companies have deemed public networks a secure means of transferring sensitive information, provided that appropriate safeguards are in place; for example, most banks will allow customers to pay bills and review their transaction histories over the phone after asking a few security questions. Cloud analytics offers users a plethora of security features such as tokenization, malware detection controls, and searchable strong encryption that ensures that data is adequately protected and cannot be accessed by unwanted third parties. Additionally, cloud analytics providers are subject to rigorous regulatory standards (e.g., ISO27001) that are more demanding and stringent than the ones most in-house systems are subject to.
The Cloud is Convenient
While data security is undoubtedly a primary concern for any organization or business, the ability to effectively and efficiently access that data is as well. Data that is difficult to access significantly lowers its practical value. Unlike in-house analytics solutions, cloud-based data can be retrieved and analyzed from anywhere in the world on virtually any device. This allows individuals and firms that employ cloud-based analytics solutions to use their data more efficaciously as they are no longer constrained by locational concerns and can easily access information whenever and wherever they may need it.
The Cloud Facilitates Information Sharing
The sharing and distribution of relevant information and knowledge is important to the health and productivity of any business and this is doubly true in the technology industry where the sheer scope and size of projects demands efficient lines of communication amongst employees and team members. In-house data analytics solutions require companies to individually give employees permission to come inside their firewalls and access company data. Cloud-based analytics solutions simplify and streamline this entire process by allowing companies to give employees an account (with customizable access permissions) to their cloud analytics solutions provider and with that, access to all of the data that they need. Cloud-based analytics solutions allow employees to access insights generated by cloud-based analytics programs immediately and individually, saving firm’s valuable time and money.
The Cloud is fast
In the field of data analytics, speed is incredibly important to the practical utility of data analytics information. In addition to the convenience, accessibility, and security of cloud-based data solutions, cloud analytics allows users to access analytics information in real-time. In order to obtain insights from in-house data analytics, an individual must specifically request them and as a result, time delays are inherent to in-house data analytics solutions. With cloud-based analytics solutions, users can process data as it enters their applications and receive real-time analytics and seamless data delivery to Hadoop clusters and NoSQL databases. The real-time data analytics information that cloud-based analytics solutions can provide greatly increases the efficiency and productivity of whatever organization is using them.
Cloud Analytics is more Cost-Effective
As discussed earlier, cloud-based data analytics solutions can save companies significant amount of money via the efficiency gains they produce. Cloud analytics is also a more cost-effective solution because cloud services are often cheaper to acquire and implement when compared to in-house data analytics solutions. Purchasing the necessary hardware, software licenses, and maintenance procedures of in-house data analytics incurs a substantial cost to businesses and organizations and the subscriptions fees for cloud-based analytics solutions are often much lower.
Cloud analytics, or business intelligence and data analysis solutions that are hosted on the cloud, offers users better security, more convenience, greater accessibility of data, faster service, and a more cost effective approach when compared to in-house data analytics solutions. While some view cloud analytics with a measured degree of scepticism due to the fact that the technology is fairly new, there are a wide array of technology consulting companies that can assist businesses in effectively selecting and implementing cloud analytics solutions that match their specific needs.