Cloud Based BI Tools are increasing rapidly in popularity – many vendors have moved to provide cloud SaaS based BI solutions. and toolsets to meet the growing demand for off-premise cloud based solutions.
These solutions can be cost efficient and fit for purpose where data volumes are small (e.g. less than one terrabtye). However, for larger enterprise scale BI solutions or where the source data cannot easily be commoditised then a cloud based BI solution may not be viable.
For example data from standard CRM and ERP solutions does lend itself to the cloud based BI model (e.g. SAP, Saleforce, CODA, Sugar CRM) since skills are widely available for data modellers who understand the data structure and layout of these software solutions.
However, if your source system contains large data volumes then you will have to push this out to the cloud based BI providers. Your source solution may also be bespoke hence the vendor will need knowledge transfer in order to understand your data.
Too often cloud and SaaS based solutions are touted as the answer by vendors – the reality can often be different and pose many challenges as well as increased cost compared to on premise Business Intelligence.
The main benefits of Cloud Based BI Tools and solutions include:
- Fast access to scalable application servers
- Easy to get started
- Rapid configuration deployment
- Lower entry costs
- Centralized administration
- Vendor support
Overall Cloud Based BI Tools offer a number of enticing options from an infrastructure , cost, maintenance, sustainability and availability standpoint.
Cloud Based BI Tools
Some of the main Cloud Based BI Tools can be summarised as:
Oracle BI Cloud Platform
SAP Cloud Platform (formerly SAP HANA Cloud Platform)
Hadoop MapReduce / hive
The gold standard for Big Data in the cloud is Hadoop, which is an open-source software framework that Apache designed specifically to query large data sets stored in a distributed fashion (meaning in your data center, the cloud, or both). Not only does Hadoop let you query Big Data, it lets you simultaneously query both unstructured as well as traditional structured data. In other words, if you want to query all of your business data for maximum insight, Hadoop is what you need however this can require huge investment both in technology and skillsets.