In the business world, there has been much conversation and buzz around the need to move towards a cloud-based system. As we examine the forces behind this trend, we shouldn’t simply question what the cloud is, but rather, what it does for users. A recent article published by CIO Dive does an amazing job at answering just that. Author Samantha Ann Schwartz used research findings to explore this shift towards the cloud and the use of predictive analytics, outlining why businesses are gravitating to these tools.
Predictive analytics provides companies with a new way to succeed and a leg up against competition, all while improving internal operations in the process. However, this complex process has traditionally been restricted to the hands of data scientists, excluding other employees from reaping the benefits on their own.
The CIO Dive article cites a report by Ventana Research that found only 40% of organizations have staff capable of performing data analysis without additional expert assistance. But since the use of data analytics tools has increasingly demonstrated inherent value to businesses, providers and companies alike are striving to overcome such barriers.
The cloud and embedded analytics – better together
As the article also outlined, nearly 75% of companies are employing the use of embedded analytics tools. Such tools contribute to efforts aimed at the democratization of the data analysis process for employees working outside IT. While integrated analytic tools combine processes to make it simpler and more automated, embedded analytic tools are those that come built into an application system, such as the cloud, and allow employees to experiment on their own.
These complex tools that are typically used to conduct data analysis have now been incorporated in the cloud system. The benefits?
- A main attraction of the cloud resides in its convenience, as the self-updating platform also acts as a central data hub.
- Since the data analysis takes place in the same digital space in which the data is stored, the accuracy of results is strengthened because there is the implicit guarantee that no data will be overlooked or excluded, which allows for an easier automated application of meaning.
- With the data already prepared with the integrated analytics tools embedded within the cloud, the analytic process is simplified and accelerated before it technically even begins – saving both time and money.
Overcoming barriers to adoption with integrated analytics tools
As the Ventana research showed, some companies are still facing barriers to the plethora of benefits that these tools have to offer. The good news is that providers are offering assets such as integrated analytic tools that can bridge the gap.
SAP has always strived to provide products that help users isolate the relevant data from the irrelevant data (guiding their focus where it’s needed) with the ultimate aim to provide a lens through which people can understand issues clearly. Now, SAP is working to level the playing field by providing all users with the ability to navigate and analyze data independently – no data scientist required.
And the next step in making it easier for businesses? Machine learning and automation capability in the cloud. As CIO Dive noted:
“’Having [integrated analytics] tools helps shape the context in which data can improve overall company functions, but machine learning is guiding the way to the “new” frontier of predictive tools,‘ said Nic Smith, VP of product marketing for SAP Analytics Cloud. ML works to scratch away any ‘hidden meaning’ manual data scraping can leave unintentionally ignored.”
The cloud is a powerful tool that enables easier and faster data analytics so users can make smarter decisions in a rapidly evolving business world – and its benefits are for every business, large or small.
Read the full CIO Dive article to learn more about how these tools are paving paths to success for businesses.
This article originally appeared on the SAP Analytics blog and is republished by permission.