Traditional Business Intelligence usually depends on the company’s IT department and, consequently, on its hardware and software infrastructures, so when services need to be scaled up or down, for whatever cause, there can be major economic and social disruptions in the company itself. Business Analytics and, in particular, Data Analytics are the key tools to assist in decision making. Data analytics in the cloud is growing at a great speed since the cloud offers, as we will now detail, great advantages.
The use of servers in the organization itself, as well as the software applications installed on them, currently implies, for their maintenance, initial investments and resources that will not only be economic, but in many cases will require specialized personnel. Similarly, the costs of having a data warehouse or a storage server with your own data can be saved if you have them in the cloud and with maximum security if it is a reliable and quality provider.
Business Intelligence in the cloud is a set of applications that are hosted in the cloud (virtual networks available in the data centers of cloud providers). Thus, applications such as data sources in information systems, Data Analytics tools, control panels or dashboards to measure performance indicators will be hosted in the cloud and not on the company’s premises.
The cloud offers a light and agile method to access Bl applications, since one of its great advantages lies in the fact that Business Intelligence applications in the cloud are ubiquitous, and can be accessed from multiple devices (especially mobile), web browsers, anywhere and at any time they may be needed.
Advantages Of Using Business Intelligence in the Cloud
The advantages are innumerable and we highlight some of the most outstanding ones:
- The availability of data and software in the cloud allows great cost reductions in initial investments and management or administration.
- Expenses are more balanced, since with Business Intelligence platforms in the cloud you only pay for what you need and consume, so you can customize the applications and start using the basic versions and contract advanced versions as needed.
- Having the software in the cloud, instead of having it installed in the organization, facilitates real-time access to critical business data.
- Enable a significant improvement in the speed of deployment of Business Intelligence components, since no additional hardware and software installations are required; the company’s existing ICT infrastructure will normally suffice.
- High scalability and elasticity properties. Cloud tools allow rapid scaling to adapt to an increase in the number of company users or in their processing or data storage capacities.
- Possibility of storing large volumes of data at low prices.
- Greater speed at the time of making reports, queries, etc., since access to cloud applications can be made at any time and place, and with any device, as long as there is access to the Internet and to the Business Intelligence platform.
- BI’s new application tools facilitate the rapid creation of reports in a simpler and more agile way, along with real-time queries and ease of data analysis that may be required in real time.
Use of Cloud Services
One of the most significant advantages of Business Intelligence in the cloud is the ease of use of its applications and services. To make use of the service you only have to subscribe, pay a monthly fee -like any other company service, such as electricity, water or heating-, which will depend on the number of users and the volume of information required by the client and the applications offered by the Business Intelligence platform contracted.
Most Business Intelligence providers, whether traditional with proprietary software (IBM, Oracle, SAS, SAP, Microstrategy, Microsoft) or open software (Pentaho, Jaspersoft) or new solution providers such as Birst or Good Data, offer portfolios with Business Intelligence solutions in the cloud.
Traditional database and data warehousing systems cannot handle large volumes of data (B/g Data) well in addition to the cost and time consumption they require and the other great features such as variety and speed of B/g Data; on the other hand, they are not flexible and take a long time to respond to queries and requests by users when they require decisions in a matter of hours or at most days.
In addition, unstructured and semi-structured data are difficult to manipulate by traditional tools, thus requiring the integration of Big Data techniques into classic software solutions, such as Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, Google Analytics, etc. Cloud software solutions are facilitating the resolution and integration of Big Data tools such as Hadoop, Spark, MapReduce, Hive, and so on. Google BigQuery is a tool that facilitates the integration of Bl tools with Big Data. The same situation is occurring with the integration of Business Intelligence tools and applications with NoSQL and “in-memory” database architectures, which connect with all kinds of information in-house (on-premise) or with existing information in other partner, customer, sponsor, external clouds.
Data Security: Risks
Migration to the cloud in companies has reached great heights of penetration in all types of applications and services. The alternative of Business Intelligence in the cloud is becoming a priority for all types of companies.
However, the cloud also offers risks when it comes to its acceptance by the enterprise. There are still companies that consider the risks of moving their data and applications to the cloud to be high. Indeed, these risks do exist, although cloud services tend to have security ratings that, in most cases, are much higher than on-premise.
The best alternative for an organization or company to follow when migrating its services to the cloud is to choose a reliable, quality cloud provider that offers all the Business Intelligence services required by the company and that rigorously complies with all national and international data protection and privacy regulations.
Business Intelligence in the Cloud
Business Intelligence trend predictions for 2023 and 2024 published by large multinational consulting firms, Business Intelligence solution providers etc., consider in a very outstanding way the great advantages of cloud solutions.
Tableau, one of the large Business Intelligence software providers and a leader in data visualization tools, publishes every year a series of reports on the forecast of technology trends for the coming year. In the case of Business Intelligence, the report highlights as an emerging and key trend that “the transition to the cloud accelerates in 2022.” Tableau believes that “hybrid cloud models are coming to all organizations and Data Analytics is moving to where the data is. The advantages of speed, scalability and pay-as-you-go, as well as savings on on-premises infrastructure, point to the trend of deploying Business Intelligence in the cloud.”
The transition to the cloud by enterprises is a growing trend in 2022 and, in particular, in the case of Business Intelligence in the cloud. The success of Business Intelligence in organizations and enterprises depends, to a large extent, on the company’s incorporation into the cloud.