These days, simply moving your data warehouse to the Cloud isn’t enough. You need Cloud analytics to get the full advantage from your data.
Cloud-based data warehouses are becoming the go-to solution. And it’s no wonder, given how easily we can load events and files into the Cloud. And yet, despite these advantages, only a minority of businesses get the full benefit of Cloud data warehousing. Why is that? And how can you avoid their mistakes?
Why Moving to Cloud Data Sometimes Fails
One reason that companies miss the full value of Cloud-based data analytics is that they adopt a piecemeal approach to its implementation. Instead of making the leap to purpose-built Cloud solutions, they’ll try to add a layer of Cloud capabilities to their existing setup and keep using the same BI and visualization tools. This won’t work: such tools and the underlying infrastructure simply were not designed to handle the amount, speed, and variety of today’s data.
Another reason why such initiatives falter is company culture; HBR reveals that 93% of survey respondents identify company culture – specifically, people and process issues – as a major reason why analytics adoption flounders. Technology is only half of your analytics equation; people are the other half. It’s important to give business teams a Cloud analytics tool that they will use – and, vitally, one that will provide a good user experience.
The above two points intersect. You want to make your data available and easily accessible, but that won’t happen if you’re using technologies and tools that aren’t designed for it! To see the real possibility of data analytics, you have to address the end user experience.
Finally, data analytics is undergoing its own technical growth. Things like Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, machine learning, and automation are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and eliminating many of the bottlenecks formerly associated with getting data from warehouses to business users. Sticking with older tools just won’t provide the speed and flexibility needed.
Now that we’ve identified the problems, let’s talk about what you’ll gain from a successful Cloud analytics initiative.
What You Need to Successfully Implement Cloud-Based Data Analytics
Making the leap to Cloud analytics takes time, energy, and a lot of research. And after the research, it’s important to get solutions into business users’ hands as quickly as possible. Why? So, they can see for themselves how useful next-gen data analytics is to the bottom line. Using Cloud-based data warehouses and tools accelerates that process, as it allows you to get up and running – and to scale up when needed – much faster than traditional solutions.
You can also emphasize the other benefits of Cloud analytics. The Cloud gives you the flexibility to work with multiple data warehouses. The portability of its insights helps you rapidly deploy new use cases while still maintaining control over your organization’s data. Remember, the more you can show tangible, meaningful gains from a cloud analytics investment, the more people will get behind it.
In a similar vein, ensure that any analytics tools geared for business users are simple and intuitive. Why shouldn’t such programs mimic the user experience provided by the kinds of apps they already use? The goal is, after all, to get information to them without fuss or waste. Their analytics tools should make it easy for them to ask questions and get data-backed answers.
And the benefits of putting in all this work? Adopting the latest analytics tech eliminates much of the pipeline (and thus the wait times) between data warehouses and end users. It also lets you maintain better control, visibility, and governance over your data. Real-time data access means that your analytics team doesn’t have to worry about publishing schedules and updates; for business users, it means access to the most recent trends and events. They can readily and accurately adapt their approach and make effective decisions.
As mentioned earlier, Cloud-based analytics is more cost- and time-effective. Providers generally charge based on actual usage, so your company is not paying for more than it needs. Also, let’s not forget the analytics team; instead of doing endless routine tasks, they can hand that over to automation and focus on strategic work.
In short, Cloud analytics tools and data warehouses make life easier for both the technical and business teams.
A New Frontier of Data Analysis
We’re heading into a new frontier for data analysis, one that emphasizes speed and ease of use. It’s all about focusing on what’s happening right now and what will happen in the future rather than what happened in the past. Implementing a cloud-based analytics and warehouse initiative is only one step into this new frontier.
To truly become data-driven, companies will have to rethink how they use their data. They’ll have to acknowledge that analytics end users – the business team – are an important part of the entire process. And we’ll all have to work on integrating new technologies as they arise, embracing everything that is possible with data.