How to use cloud BI and analytics to drive innovation

New research report highlights three imperatives for organizations seeking to drive innovation with cloud BI and analytics.
Written by Doug Henschen, Contributing Writer

Exploit cloud advantages and data from on-premises, external sources as well as cloud stores to drive deeper insight, innovation, and new business models.

The center of data gravity is shifting outside the walls of the enterprise. In fact, Constellation estimates that by 2020, at least 60 percent of the data that organizations consider to be mission-critical will live outside the four walls of the enterprise.

The move to cloud computing is the leading contributor to this trend, and it will change how organizations handle business intelligence (BI) and analytics. But don't make the mistake of thinking that cloud-based BI and analytics options are just for data that's created in the cloud. Rather, these systems are ideal for the increasingly common scenario in which organizations are gaining insight from data from a multitude of sources.

​Data explosion by 2020

Data explosion by 2020

Yes, it will be a hybrid world, but that's not a binary choice between data that's in your corporate data center and data born or uploaded into your cloud stores. Some of the data you need will be in software-as-a-service applications, some in partner networks, some in social networks, some in mobile apps running on cloud infrastructure, and some in third-party sources, such as weather feeds, demographic enrichment sources, and government data sets.

As I discovered while conducting research for the report, Three Imperatives for Innovating with Cloud BI and Analytics, an opportunity exists to take advantage of cloud flexibility, ubiquity, and architecture to tap into many sources, support important new analyses, and surpass the old barriers of BI. That advantage isn't just reduced initial cost and administrative overhead (you can achieve that through hosting of conventional software, but that's not what Constellation would call true, multi-tenant cloud BI and analytics).

Three priorities for organizations driving innovation with cloud BI and analytics:

  1. Make the most of cloud advantages including flexibility and elasticity, so you can quickly tap new data sources as they emerge, wherever they emerge. Further, with cloud services it's easier to embed insights into applications and expose them externally to partners and customers.
  2. Take advantage of external data. As the balance of mission-critical data shifts, cloud-based BI options are well suited to blend and analyze data from myriad external sources, including SaaS apps, social networks, mobile apps, sensor networks, and third-party data providers as well as on-premises sources.
  3. Advance innovation and create new business models. Think beyond dashboards and reports. Innovators are using analytics to drive insight-based differentiation, data brokering and data-monetization. Connected-car and predictive maintenance applications, usage-based pricing, performance benchmarks, insight services, and predictive recommendations are just a few examples of the kinds of innovations that are creating value and opening up new sources of revenue.

Learn more about the research report and its findings here: Three Imperatives for Innovating with Cloud BI and Analytics. The 21-page report includes two figures, a table depicting Constellation's view of the evolution from mass personalization systems to cognitive intelligence systems, and a listing of five styles of cloud-based BI and analytic products and representative vendors.

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