Spotlight: Cloud Analytics

A convergence of data and cloud computing

Data analytics using cloud computing or cloud services have led to the evolution of cloud analytics, where the flexible infrastructure of cloud models facilitate data analytics in collaboration with the cloud service provider.

Why analytics in the cloud? 

Organisations rely upon legacy systems for data warehousing. These cannot always manage the explosive growth of data or convert it into useful information and insight. This gap has paved the way to exploring the cloud’s many models and capabilities for solving problems and adopting solutions for analytics.  The end-user is able to see the key performance indicators (KPIs) and retrieve useful information on a daily basis.

As cloud services are increasingly embedding analytic engines into their solutions and service delivery mechanisms, enterprises of all sizes are adopting the cloud for their solutions. With a wide choice of public or private cloud service models, free-to-use cloud service, pay-as-you-go or subscription based pricing, it is possible to leverage these services for advantages of data storage, applications and resources.

So how do you define cloud analytics? 

My favourite definition from Techopedia – what is cloud anlytics:

Cloud analytics is primarily a cloud-enabled solution that allows an organization or individual to perform business analysis or intelligence procedures. These solutions and services are delivered through cloud models, such as hosted data warehouses, SaaS business intelligence (BI) and social media analytic products powered by the cloud. Cloud analytics services work like a typical data analytics service, providing similar features and capabilities. The only difference is that cloud analytics integrates some or all of the service models of cloud computing in delivering that solution. (Techopedia)

According to Gartner’s,

“cloud analytics refers to any analytics effort in which one or more of these elements is implemented in the cloud, be it public or privately owned.” The six elements are data sources, data models, processing applications, computing power, analytic models, and sharing or storing of results”.

BoozAllen Consulting describes Cloud Analytics as

“a set of technological and analytical tools and techniques specifically designed to help clients extract information from massive data. It leverages the use of Cloud and related computing, communications, and data management and visualization technologies to quickly and more economically perform sophisticated multivariate analysis on massive centralized, distributed, and/or federated data sets to better understand and help solve complex problems”.

Popular Cloud Analytics products:

  • Cloud-based social media analytics service provides applications for social media integration, applications for harvesting the data, storage services and embedded data analytics software.
  • Cloud based hosted data warehouse offers centralized storage of enterprise data that can be accessed by users from a remote location instead of the enterprise’s own systems.
  • Cloud BI on-demand services deliver BI (Business Intelligence) applications from a hosted location with scalable customised solutions.
  • Hosted and managed Predictive Analytics in the cloud unifies disparate data sources and produces predictive outcomes on an integrated analytic platform.  These also provide niche offerings for risk management, fraud detection, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and so on.

Key Industry verticals using Cloud Analytics: banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI), consumer goods and retail, telecommunications, healthcare & life sciences, media & entertainment, government , business & consulting services, research & education, energy and manufacturing.

Key Global Statistics:

  • Overall cloud analytics market revenue – $5.25 billion as in 2013.
  • Expected to grow to $16.5 billion at a CAGR of 25.8% from 2013 to 2018
  • At present more than 13% of companies have cloud analytics and BI solutions.
  • Percentage of companies expected to use cloud analytics to reach 50%, by 2018.

The bottom-line is that Cloud Analytics helps organisations gain valuable insights from large data sets, and use the knowledge to gain business advantage at affordable costs.


Suggested reading:

SAS Cloud Analytics

IBM Smart Cloud Analytics – Predictive Insights

Related Blogs:

What you need to know about Cloud Computing

Why is SMAC the buzzword of 2014?

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