Expert: Cloud computing, big data are a match made in heaven

Studies and analysts have been predicting the demise of business intelligence (BI) for years, but so far the technology continues to do just fine. 

The reason for that could have a lot to do with the rise of other technological innovations, such as cloud computing

"I had thought interest in cloud had gone sideways this year, but it actually increased," Howard Dresner, an independent industry analyst, recently told Datamation regarding the continued explosion of cloud-based BI.

According to a recent survey from Dresner Advisory Services, more than half of organizations plan to adopt cloud business intelligence in some form by 2014. The respondents included a mix of decision-makers and IT professionals, the latter of which comprised about one-third of the 1,200 people polled. 

Three-quarters of respondents labeled cloud-based BI as an important business component, with approximately one-sixth claiming it to be critical. Both numbers represent marked increases from a year ago.

Even more telling is the fact that interest in the technology has become widespread across the workplace. Usually it's IT departments driving new projects forward, but in the case of cloud-based BI, salespeople, marketers and managers are just as interested, if not more. 

"Whenever there is a constituency underserved by IT, those departments will be among the first to seek out a cloud/SaaS solution," Dresner told the news source. 

Cloud, big data inevitably colliding
Overall, the worldwide cloud-based business analytics market is expected to achieve a 25.8 percent compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018, according to a study from MarketsandMarkets. A number of new challenges have piqued the interest of decision-makers, including:

  • Struggles with data warehousing
  • Challenges when it comes to monitoring influxes of information
  • Difficulty sharing that information

These and other factors are prompting organizations across the globe to invest heavily in cloud business analytics – particularly in cloud-based big data tools. 

In a recent blog post for Wikibon, a technology market analyst for The Wikibon Project, suggested that the cloud and big data are essentially made for each another. For one thing, he noted the supreme cost- and time-saving capabilities that result from leveraging these tools to store internal information produced in the cloud. This is often the first required step before gaining business insights, and one that many companies are struggling with.

At the same time, big data applications provide the opportunity to analyze information that's produced outside the organization's infrastructure. This will enable companies to truly tap into predictive analytics and other capabilities that, so far, have eluded them. 

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