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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

Cloud-based Business Intelligence Solutions – Why And How

Businesses of all sizes want to optimize their business processes and take the strategic decisions to new levels of value. Business intelligence helps them achieve just that. BI helps the right people get the right information, in the right format and at the right time. On the other hand, with improvements in technology, cloud computing is gaining tremendous traction and has moved from being a technological innovation to a business requirement. 

When it comes to cloud-based business intelligence, until a few years ago, it was mostly which was mostly used by startups or small companies which could not afford the costly BI tools deployments. However, today, cloud BI has become mainstream as organizations of all sizes have started embracing cloud computing for their business intelligence strategies. 

According to the BI and Data Management in the Cloud: Issues and Trends study, Cloud BI adoption has increased from 29% to 43% from 2013 to 2016 and close to 50% of the respondent companies are inclined towards using public cloud platforms for cloud BI, analytics and data management deployments.

 

Cloud-based business intelligence merges two of the most effective business technologies. Cloud computing serves as a repository for large volumes of data and creates an ideal platform to provide business intelligence applications when businesses need to gather data from a wide range of devices and sources - anytime and anywhere. With tremendous scalability and flexibility offered by cloud, it becomes an ideal match to business intelligence systems.

 

Advantages of Cloud-based Business Intelligence Solutions

 

Affordability

With Cloud, businesses don’t need to invest in expensive hardware or software and also do not have to budget for ongoing maintenance. Since the procurement, setup and management of Cloud is simple, the implementation of BI solutions is extremely rapid and it requires smaller budgets as compared to the traditional implementations of on premise BI solutions. 

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Reduced Implementation Time

Traditionally, implementation of business intelligence solutions required setting up of a complete ecosystem and hiring of experts to manage the whole set up. Today, with Cloud, businesses don’t need to spend their time, energy, and money in the set up of expensive infrastructure or worry about the system maintenance – this saves them a great amount of time and costs. Apart from this, implementation of newer features as per the business needs is extremely easy on the Cloud which makes the solution more adaptable to changing business situations.

 

Ease of Use  

Cloud BI offers anytime, anywhere access to business intelligence applications for the mobile workforce which uses different types of devices. It allows business users to extract their own reports and gather insights - without any dependency on the IT. With diagrams, charts, decision trees, and other such visual analytics features, Cloud BI solutions make business intelligence analysis simpler and faster – allowing the stakeholders to have better insights into sales, marketing, and customers.

 

Data Optimization   

With Cloud BI, enterprises can ensure that all the enterprise data is stored at a single location and there is no duplication of the data. With reduced data volume and enhanced data quality, stakeholders across the organization gain better business insights using a single data source and there is no scope for confusion.

 

Data Security

It’s a big myth that Cloud-based solutions are less secure. With a host of data security protocols and features, cloud-based BI solutions are extremely secure. Most of the analytics solutions leverage data encryption, data segregation, security patches, multi-tiered caching, and offer regulatory compliance. The solutions also make use more advanced protocols such as user fingerprint and voice recognition authentication to ensure data security.

 

Ease of Integration

With Business Analytics in the Cloud, it is easier to integrate the solution with other programs and databases and allow the data to flow easily. The more advanced BI solutions are also recognizing the value of social network data and allow users to build “sentiment analyses” by pulling the real-time social media data.

 

In Focus: Azure Business Intelligence Solution

Microsoft Azure helps businesses make better business decisions by analyzing vast amounts of data from different sources, in real time. It helps them to improve business efficiency, lower operational costs, increase revenue, and enhance customer engagement through intelligent business insights – at right time, in the right format. 

On one side, Microsoft offers a cost-effective option for storing the data in the cloud and on the other hand, it offers powerful tools to help business owners perform data analysis. There are several analytics tools offered by Microsoft Power BI which allows users to perform analytics. 

For one of our clients, which is a leading physician hospital organization (PHO), we developed a cloud-based solution which allows extraction and transformation of a tremendous amount of healthcare insurance data from various payer contracts to the data warehouse. This data warehouse, in turn, addresses the needs to generate analytical reports across all the payer contracts. If you would like to know more about this, do connect with us.

With cost effective BI tools and applications, Microsoft is set to empower startups and small enterprises and help them grow their competitive advantage. Small businesses can better manage their data without incurring huge costs and improve their business responsiveness.

Would you like to know how your business can use the power of Microsoft Azure and Business Analytics? Talk to our Business Intelligence and Cloud experts, today!

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