Editor’s note: Is cloud-based data analytics a viable option for your business? To help you answer this question, Maryna dwells on what cloud analytics is and its benefits and shares a list of best tools for data analysis in the cloud according to ScienceSoft. And if you need assistance in enabling your cloud data analytics, feel free to resort to ScienceSoft’s data analytics consulting services.
The size of the global cloud-based business analytics software market is expected to reach $57.055 million by 2023, as more and more companies start to acknowledge that the cloud is the best place to run enterprise-scale analytics. As a BI consultant, I see many reasons why cloud analysis is beneficial for companies nowadays, so let me explain the essence of cloud analytics and share these reasons with you.
Cloud analytics and its types
With cloud analytics, data analysis and the related processes (data integration, aggregation, storage, and reporting) are fully or partially conducted in the cloud.
Based on the cloud environment, where data analysis is performed, you can define three types of cloud analytics. All of them offer such advantages as the absence of hardware-related costs, scalability, and high fault tolerance, so your choice will depend on your budget, business and compliance needs:
- Analytics conducted in the public cloud
Public cloud is the cheapest way to conduct cloud analysis, as infrastructure costs are split among cloud tenants. I recommend you to use a public cloud to handle big data workloads, store huge data sets, and leverage such innovative technologies as machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc.
- Analytics conducted in the private cloud
In case you seek enhanced control over the IT infrastructure to meet your data compliance or data security objectives, you can opt for private cloud analytics. To allow meeting such particular needs, a private cloud is physically located either at your own data center or at a cloud provider’s site with hardware and software dedicated to your company solely. Naturally, this option is the most expensive one.
- Analytics conducted in the hybrid cloud
If you cannot afford data analysis fully conducted in the private cloud but still need to meet your data regulatory requirements (HIPAA, GDPR, GLBA, etc.), a hybrid cloud for data analysis will satisfy your demand. By keeping some parts of an analytics solution (for example, a storage of sensitive data) in the private cloud and the rest in the public cloud, you can significantly reduce analytics costs due to cloud computing while staying compliant with internal and external regulations.
The benefits that’ll make you stay in the cloud
The cloud deployment allows you to easily meet your demand in upscaling by simply buying storage and compute resources from the cloud provider whenever you need them. It is a great advantage over hosting your analytics solution on-premises, which implies an expensive upgrade of the existing IT infrastructure in case of demand in additional storage capacity.
Usually, security concerns are the main deterrent for companies to deploy analysis in the cloud. However, I can assure you that such fears are void. These days, leading cloud providers (Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform) apply advanced security measures to ensure high security level in the cloud. As for security measures that you can take, I advise you to fortify your analytics solution with data encryption, set up admin control, and conduct regular vulnerability assessment and penetration testing.
Leading cloud providers guarantee 99.999% of service availability. With high-availability and fault-tolerant systems set up in the cloud, there is near-zero possibility of your analytics solution disruption even in case of unplanned downtimes due to power outages, natural disasters, etc.
A web-based nature of your data analysis allows delivering insights to any device connected to the internet for you to benefit from them from anywhere and at any time. Additionally, cloud deployment contributes to increased collaboration among colleagues, who can share and view analytics results across a cloud-based analytics platform with the help of self-service software.
ScienceSoft’s top 5 of cloud analytics tools
At ScienceSoft, we are sure that cloud analytics software has to connect to multiple data sources, have ample data preparation and visualization capabilities, support advanced analytics, be easily manageable, secure, and much more. So, with these characteristics taken into account, we’ve chosen the top 5 cloud data analytics tools:
- Microsoft Power BI
Services: Power BI Pro, Power BI Premium, Power BI Mobile, Power BI Embedded, Power BI Report Server.
Key features: Content packs of pre-built dashboards and reports, natural language processing, custom visualization, secure data governance, embedded analytics and collaboration, integration with Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics, support of 5 languages (DAX, Power Query, SQL, R, Python), etc.
Pricing: Power BI Mobile – free, Power BI Pro – $9.99/user/month, Power BI Premium – starting from 4,995/dedicated resources/month.
Demo: Power BI
Services: Tableau Prep, Tableau Server, Tableau Online, Tableau Data Management, Tableau Server Management, Tableau Mobile, Embedded Analytics.
Key features: Unlimited data connectors, augmented data preparation, real-time access, natural language processing, time series analysis, role-based permissions, embedded dashboards, secure collaboration, etc.
Pricing: Tableau Creator – $70/user/month, Tableau Explorer – $35 or $42/user/month (depending on the deployment model), Tableau Viewer – $15/user/month.
- Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC)
Services: Data Visualization Cloud Service, Data Visualization in OAC (any edition), Business Intelligence Cloud Service, Business Intelligence in OAC (Enterprise Edition), Mobile apps Day by Day and Synopsis.
Key features: Self-service data discovery; augmented analytics; natural language processing; analytics dashboards; mobile exploration; integrated data preparation, collaboration, and publishing; governed enterprise analytics; embedded analytics, etc.
Pricing: Pricing is not publicly available.
- IBM Cognos Analytics
Services: IBM Cognos Framework Manager, IBM Cognos Cube Designer, IBM Cognos Transformer.
Key features: Built-in data management and data governance features, automated data modeling, natural language-powered AI, etc.
Pricing: On Demand Plan: Standard user – $15/user/month, Plus user – $35/user/month, Premium user – $70/user/month.
Services: Qlik Sense, QlikView, Qlik Analytics Platform
Key Features: Built-in data preparation and integration, drag-and-drop visualizations, smart search feature, real-time analytics and reporting, data storytelling functionality, secure real-time collaboration, etc.
Pricing: Qlik Sense Business – $30/user/month, Qlik Sense Enterprise: Professional User – $70/user/month, Analyzer User – $40/ user/month.
Make the most of your data with cloud analytics!
As data volumes are growing exponentially, I believe that the cloud is the future of data analytics. Cloud analytics implies a quicker time to value, agility, and the pervasive use of analytics across your company, meaning more employees make timely data-driven decisions, which is a vital component of a company’s success.
With all that, deploying and conducting cloud analytics still requires dedicated efforts – starting from choosing the cloud type and cloud provider to setting up and administering analytics software or choosing a reliable vendor in case of analytics as a service. So, if you feel in need of qualified assistance with building, upgrading, supporting or outsourcing your cloud analytics solution, my colleagues at ScienceSoft and me are always ready to share our hand-on data analytics expertise, just let us know.
Are you striving for informed decision-making? We will convert your historical and real-time data into actionable insights and set up forecasting.