The State of Data Analytics in the Cloud

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The use of cloud-based analytics is gaining widespread adoption, according to Ventana Research. In a recent survey, almost half (48%) of the 214 companies surveyed are using cloud-based analytics while 19 percent plan to begin using it within 12 months, and 39 percent of organizations plan to move to cloud-based analytics but they’re not sure when, according to Ventana’s Data and Analytics in the Cloud Benchmark.

Although employees in various business units use cloud-based analytics, people in marketing, sales and other front office areas rate it important more often than finance, accounting and human resources workers, notes Tony Cosentino, vice president and research director at Ventana Research. The front office areas where cloud-based analytics is most often viewed as important are forecasting (mentioned by 51% of respondents) customer-related (47%) and sales-related (33%) information.

Cloud-based analytics help organizations be more competitive because they deliver data and analytic results directly to end users allowing them to make better business decisions.

“More than half (53%) of organizations said that making cloud-based analytics available has helped their customers, partners and employees by improving the quality of the presentation of data and analytics results,” Cosentino says.

Increasingly, this is being done using mobile technology. More than half of the organizations (57%) that responded to the survey said that it’s important or very important to provide access to data and analytics through mobile devices.

Due to the concern about data security, the largest percentage of organizations (66%) use more secure private clouds to deploy analytics, while 38% use public clouds and 30% used hybrid clouds–although a number of businesses use more than one type.

Organizations in more regulated industries such as finance, insurance, real estate, and government where data privacy is a key concern use private and hybrid clouds more than companies in the services and manufacturing sectors, according to the survey.

“Our new research reveals some key insights on the role of business and IT,” says Cosentino. “It’s still the case that a minority are able to work with cloud-based systems and analyze data without involvement from IT (40% vs. 53% needing IT).”

However, businesses that don’t rely on IT are much more confident about their abilities to use cloud computing for analytics (77% vs. 44%), and those organizations are also more satisfied with their cloud-based analytics (74% vs. 58%), he notes.

“This research also points to the need for business to do a good job of preparing data for analysis, which is the task in which organizations spend the most time,” Cosentino says. “Fortuitously, new methods and tools are making this critical enabler for use of cloud-based analytics a reality.”

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