7 Benefits of Modern Cloud BI and Analytics
Content Marketing Manager, Sigma
Never has it been more obvious how connected the world is today. Buyers now have access to goods and services around the globe. As a result, companies must make strategic decisions quickly, and they’re looking for insights that will provide competitive advantages. Data is a key source of those advantages. The benefits of cloud analytics are many, and with the newest tools, it’s easier than ever for companies to enjoy them.
The modern cloud data warehouse is full of potential. It allows companies to store massive amounts of data since subscription models are affordable and scalable. And because it’s possible to bring a variety of data types in, companies can put data to use quickly, without spending a lot of time processing it. New cloud-native analytics tools take full advantage of the capabilities of the modern data warehouse, which drives the benefits we’re covering in this post.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is speed to insights. Because non-technical business users can query the data themselves without relying on technical team members with knowledge of SQL, they can quickly generate ad hoc reports. Analytics velocity rises dramatically. No more waiting for reports that contain essential insights, losing valuable time. When companies can move quickly, with the way forward illuminated by real-time data, they’re able to take advantage of opportunities and address problems immediately. An agile company is a more competitive company.
Break down silos
Faster insights are possible due to the way modern data tools break down silos. Non-technical users can now access multiple data sources of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. Companies like Fivetran make it simple to quickly connect to data sets, without getting IT involved. And using Sigma, business users can query multiple data sources using a simple spreadsheet-like interface to automatically generate the SQL code needed to create reports. Data of various types residing in different locations is no longer a challenge.
For a company to be truly data-driven, each team must collaborate with the others. Marketing has its own knowledge, Sales has unique observations, and Customer Success has yet another perspective. Product, Operations, and other teams can also contribute. When domain experts can use modern data modeling methodologies that help guide data exploration, they’re free to ask questions based on their expertise. And they can share interactive dashboards and analyses with others who can build upon their work. Additionally, they can collaborate in other ways to generate insights based on a full picture of data across departments — all without the need for IT involvement.
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Better security and data governance
Managed cloud data warehouses offer granular controls that can ensure only those who should see a particular data set are able to. They also make it easy to see who accessed what data when. These capabilities are invaluable in the age of data privacy. Managed cloud providers can help you more easily comply with privacy regulations, by creating a centralized access point and deploying robust security tools. With fewer access points, and the ability to set permissions so specifically, governance becomes simpler.
Ability to scale
Because all of the modern cloud tools are easily scalable, they also reduce risk. There’s no need to commit to any specific level of resources — you can pay for exactly what you need, when you need it. If your storage or processing needs slow down due to market shifts or simple dynamics, you can scale down accordingly. Or if you encounter a challenge or opportunity that requires you to bring in large new data sets, you can quickly scale up, then back down as needed.
The ROI of cloud-based analytics makes deploying these tools a no-brainer. Insights drive smart decisions, allowing companies to avoid costly problems and take advantage of opportunities. Better decisions in every area of business add up to a more profitable company. Organizations that use cloud warehouses and analytics can also benefit from reduced costs. They gain important insights without paying for a full data team. They scale storage and processing capability up or down as needed. And by using tools and providers with robust security, they reduce security-related costs.
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Improved data literacy across the organization
Last, but certainly not least, improved data literacy is a benefit of modern cloud analytics. Analytics tools are more powerful than ever, but they’ve simultaneously become easier to use. Working with a tool like Sigma that uses a familiar interface, non-technical users feel empowered. And when you free business users to get curious about data and what it can reveal, they’re motivated to get better at analytics. They learn fundamentals and best practices, making them even more effective at their work.
Ultimately, a company full of data-literate domain experts will be formidably competitive.
Benefits of cloud analytics are waiting
To take advantage of the benefits modern data analytics offers, you must be willing to let go of old paradigms related to who should access data — and you must have systems and processes in place to govern the use of data. But for those who are willing to lead the way into the future of BI, benefits abound.
To learn more about what’s possible with modern cloud BI and analytics for data warehouses, see our Definitive Guide to Cloud BI & Analytics for Data Warehouses.