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2019: Accelerated cloud data migration will fuel modern BI adoption
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January 22, 2019 Blog

 by Leslie Ong, Southeast Asia Country Manager, Tableau Software

Modernising your data strategy often means rethinking where your data is stored. In the fourth of Tableau’s 2019 predictions, we look at the impact that the movement of data to the cloud is having on Business Intelligence (BI) practices—and the benefits being opened up for organisations across the region.

More companies are seeing the benefits of moving their data to the cloud, including added flexibility and scalability at a lower total cost of ownership. The cloud makes it easier for companies to capture and integrate different types of data. This means moving away from an environment where all data resides in a highly-structured, on-premises warehouse and into a more scalable, flexible infrastructure—either a full-cloud or hybrid solution.

This brings us to data gravity, a concept suggesting services and applications are pulled in the direction of where the data resides.  As more organisations move workloads to the cloud at an accelerated rate, this data gravity is pulling analytics processes to the cloud as well. “As companies move to Google Cloud, we’re seeing leaders rethink their entire data analytics strategy and how the cloud can impact their business and bottom line,” explains Sudhir Hasbe, Director, Product Management at Google Cloud.

The driving factors behind this gravitational shift are latency—the amount of time required to perform an action—and throughput—the number of times an action can be performed or result achieved per given unit of time. When data, applications, and services are closely aligned, there is a decrease in latency and throughput, resulting in increased efficiency. Naturally, when data resides in the cloud, these applications and services will start to follow.

As organisations asses their broader data strategy, they are also rethinking their analytics model, moving from traditional to modern BI. McKinsey notes that the value of the cloud comes when companies approach cloud infrastructure and systems “not as one-off tactical decisions but as part of a holistic strategy to pursue digital transformation.”

Traditional business intelligence relies on IT departments to provide answers to questions, creating bottlenecks and keeping analytics separate from the business context. In the same way, traditional BI deployments are often built on a rigid on-premises model meant to support this mode of enterprise reporting.

In contrast, cloud analytics offers a variety of benefits, including the opportunity to think about new deployment models—and leaders are eager to leverage these opportunities.

This includes pushing out mobile dashboards to employees in the field so they can access data without first having to clear a firewall. The cloud also enables secure dashboard sharing with partners or customers, creating one source of truth that goes beyond internal processes.

Although not all companies are prepared to move all of their data to the cloud, many are experimenting with hybrid solutions to take advantage of diverse data sources. As a result, companies are assessing modern BI platforms on the premise of whether or not they can support a future transition to full-cloud analytics.

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