Cloud BI Applications


Cloud-hosted BI applications make business data more insightful than ever before.

Cloud Business Intelligence (BI) applications are hosted on a virtual network, such as the internet. They are used to provide organizations dashboards, KPIs and insights from various factors affecting performance. Enterprises are increasingly turning to cloud-based tools, like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications (Salesforce), online file collaboration and storage (Dropbox, Box) and help desk softwares (UserVoice, Zendesk). This trend extends to business intelligence tools that are embracing the agility and accessibility of the Cloud. Cloud computing and business intelligence go hand in hand. Business intelligence is about delivering the right information to the right people at the right time, and cloud computing provides a lightweight, agile way to access BI applications. The beauty of Cloud BI applications is that they are accessible on multiple devices and web browsers. This circumvents the traditional software barriers such as the requirement to access the application on-site. Some facts:
  • 78% of organizations are planning to increase the use of cloud for BI and data management in the next twelve months.
  • 46% of organizations prefer public cloud platforms for cloud BI, analytics and data management deployments.
  • Cloud BI adoption increased in respondent companies from 29% to 43% from 2013 to 2016.
  • Almost half of organizations using cloud BI (46%) use a public cloud for BI and data management compared to less than a third (30%) for hybrid cloud and 24% for private cloud.
Public cloud is the most preferred deployment platform for cloud BI and analytics, and the larger the organization toe more likely they are using private clouds.

Source : Forbes article

  Vendors of database, data warehouse and big data platforms are rushing to bulk up their cloud services offerings, the same goes for developers of business intelligence and analytics tools. And a growing number of user organizations are signing on to store, manage and analyze data in cloud-based systems. But there’s mixed reaction when it comes to actually doing big data analytics and BI in the cloud. Some businesses are jumping in totally; many others are keeping one or both feet on the ground. Small and medium businesses have hesitated in investing in business analytics or business intelligence since, traditionally, it has been quite expensive in terms of licensing, infrastructure and maintenance costs. But with the rise of cloud BI, the tide has shifted. For the first time, SMBs are able to afford BI software. Imagine being able to look at all your sales data for the year and immediately see clear patterns you could act upon. If you see a dip, you can easily investigate why it is and make a plan to avoid it in the future. Or perhaps you’ll see that a particular salesperson closes deals far more quickly than others – you could then put this person on a training track to groom them for a more impactful role. Business analytics enables businesses to see these and other trends in their businesses so that they can do something about it. Every CEO looks at spreadsheets, but it’s not until you see a trend mapped over time that you can point out abnormalities or leading indicators. With Cloud BI, it’s now easier for businesses of all sizes to seize opportunities provided by BI tools.

Why should I choose cloud BI vs on-premise solution?

  • Costs / up-front investment – Cloud business intelligence is easy and inexpensive deploy, ensuring faster return on investment. Also, as there is no hardware or setup expenditure, so the total cost of ownership is quite low.
  • Reliability and scalability – Cloud computing uses multiple secure locations for data storage and is ideal for recovery at any point to ensure business continuity. Cloud solutions support a number of simultaneous users without any additional costs or delays.
  • Free automated software updates and maintenance – Since the service provider owns and hosts the software, the user is free from time constraints, additional workload on IT resources and their associated costs.
  • Flexibility – SaaS solutions can be altered quickly to give users access to new data analysis and reporting features.
  • Sharing capabilities – SaaS software enables remote data access deployed over the internet thereby ensuring easy cross-location data sharing.
  • On demand performance improvements – By taking advantage of the existing hardware and software resources, users can expand their warehousing capabilities without affecting daily operations.
  • Focus on core activities – SMBs have a lot better areas to spend time and money on than maintaining software. SaaS BI vs on-premise frees up resources so they can focus on growing the business, not on making sure that software is running.

    Source : Forbes article

Cloud analytics offers a host of advantages to enterprises, however if I had to choose one key value proposition, I’d say it is the swiftness with which cloud analytics can be deployed within an enterprise. IDC has reported that speed to deploy was cited by 76% of cloud users—more than any other factor, including cost. But we see Indian enterprises taking advantage of the flexibility of the cloud, security, ease of sharing with users both inside and outside their organizations. Cloud BI has the potential to become a lynch-pin in the analytic and BI strategies of enterprises, by providing end-users with real-time access to business-critical data.

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