More and more, we see companies getting comfortable with leveraging cloud-based services, applications, and infrastructure for managing applications and data. Business Intelligence (BI) projects are similarly following this trend to the cloud, and I think there are some great advantages and trends to be found while embracing this transition.
The first certainly has to do with data. As mission-critical sources of data move to the cloud, BI tools and applications should be capable of working with both on-premise and cloud-based data sources, equally. Finding the right BI tools that support working with a wide variety of data sources, and allow for highly flexible, cloud implementations.
Second, we need to look to users and overall BI adoption. Web-based, high availability, cloud architectures for your BI applications mean that more users can have access to their reports, dashboards, and analytics when they need them. Cloud implementations can also help to enable your mobile workforce and deliver interactive content directly to the user’s device of choice – whether it be tablet, touch device, or laptop – whenever they need it.
Third is scalability. Cloud elasticity is changing the way we can think about how to scale applications to meet the increasing demands on performance, data volumes, and velocity. The ability to work with larger volumes of real-time data for analytics is becoming an absolute necessity as users are leveraging additional sources of both cloud and on-premise data to respond to business problems.
With any BI implementation, whether it be in the cloud or on-premise, successful BI projects still require a combination of both software tools, and solid project leadership, user buy-in, and a good understanding of data, and data best practices. So whether you choose to leverage the cloud to implement your BI project goals, make sure you know what you’re getting into.