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What is Cloud BI
Jul 5, 2023
Cloud

What is Cloud BI (Business Intelligence) & How It Can Help Businesses Transform Operations

Cloud computing has significantly impacted business intelligence (BI) applications. In fact, Gartner reported that top companies are now leveraging cloud computing to establish resilient commercial foundations. Today, cloud computing is crucial to overcome ongoing strategic and economic uncertainties.  

A study by Dresner Advisory Services indicated that 54% of firms consider cloud business intelligence critical to their current and future objectives. This is due to the complexity and diversity of most business data, which makes it necessary to adopt a more affordable and effective data analytics platform.  

But people’s perceptions have shifted over time, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. It has enabled many organizations to adopt a digital business model for managing their workforce and conducting business online.  

Considering these factors, this article will dive deep into how cloud computing is instrumental to business intelligence, its benefits, and much more. Let’s get started!  

What is Cloud BI?  

Cloud BI combines cloud computing and business intelligence, which is leveraged to transform company data into insightful information within a cloud ecosystem. It’s a technology that enables online or virtual network access to BI tools.  

Cloud BI allows businesses to store and process the enormous amounts of data required for data-driven decisions without the need for physical hardware or any other hassles related to the physical storage of Big Data. This data includes KPIs, analytical dashboards, or additional business insights.   

Cloud-based products, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, online file sharing, storage (Dropbox, Box), and help desk software from UserVoice or Zendesk, are becoming increasingly popular among businesses. Business intelligence software is embracing the agility and accessibility of the cloud.  

How Does Cloud BI Work?  

When deploying BI capabilities on the cloud, businesses can leverage one of three options: Public, Private, and Hybrid solutions. While each cloud computing solution shares scalable resources across a network, they’re all varied regarding the control level over the infrastructure.  

Private  

This vendor-owned, rented data center is the foundation for cloud-based analytics business intelligence. Contrary to popular belief, privately-run cloud BI can be situated off-premises while it’s still being dedicated only to the requirements of a specific firm.  

This kind of cloud-based business intelligence software is often used by organizations with a high compliance standard that must adhere to regulatory compliances.  

Public   

Public cloud BI is accessed as an on-demand software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. Public BI applications serve many businesses and are entirely controlled by a cloud provider.  

It is often viewed as a go-to option for small and mid-sized firms with intermediate to low regulatory compliance needs because the expense is shared among all tenants.  

Hybrid  

Hybrid cloud BI solutions are the middle ground between private and public networks. Business-critical workloads are run on private clouds in hybrid cloud infrastructure, while less confidential data streams into the public cloud resources.  

Workloads can be transferred between the two interconnected environments since the two environments work together seamlessly.  

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Benefits of Cloud BI Solutions  

The global cloud analytics market is projected to reach over $86 billion by 2028, driven by the data connectivity mandates. Here are some of the significant benefits of cloud BI that contribute to its growth.  

1. Rich Integration Potential  

Cloud BI solutions can also improve data integration and management by providing businesses with a centralized platform to store and manage their data. This can reduce the risk of data silos and enable companies to make better decisions based on a holistic view of their data.  

2. Ease of Implementation  

Cloud BI scales more quickly than on-premises ecosystems because it doesn’t need any additional hardware, software installations, or cluster setups. If you are familiar with all configurations, a wide range of built-in features, modules, and governance measures contribute to the speed and convenience of deployment.  

3. Reduced Costs  

Since you don’t have to invest money in hardware, cloud BI has the potential to save costs. Operational costs are a more complex problem because various configurations are involved.  

With a dedicated team, you can save money on configuration as you perfect your cloud domain.  

4. Advanced Data Sharing  

Cloud analytics is the pinnacle of collaborative knowledge-sharing and combined workflows because it gives every team member easy access to the data estate on the go.  

Additionally, you can combine data from on-premises and cloud sources and add real-time and web-based insights to it using the infrastructure, all within a single interface.  

5. Rapid Data Processing  

Businesses can use cloud-based high-performance computing for extensive and complicated analyses. Cloud rapid data processing, available at an additional cost, may expedite resource-intensive analysis without multiple hardware while double-checking your input for maximum consistency and precision.  

6. Security & Compliance  

Nearly two-thirds of businesses consider security as the largest barrier to cloud adoption. Managing privacy and data protection in a cloud ecosystem is more complicated than on-premises, according to over 75% of IT leaders.  

As cloud providers focus on the constantly shifting regulatory landscape, cloud BI compliance benchmarks offer strong baseline security. A BI system offers solid built-in security features and compliance enablers, helping businesses handle common industry-specific requirements and local regulations.  

With data encryption, automatic security updates, multi-tiered caching, and sophisticated authentication processes, analytics tools keep you on your toes. Instead of going through guidelines repeatedly and taking independent action, it’s like having an entire team of data security specialists at your disposal.  

5 Ways How Cloud BI Helps Transform Business Operations  

Cloud BI solutions can transform business operations and refine overall outcomes in several ways. Let’s look at some of the more important ones.  

1. Data Processing  

One of the most important aspects of cloud Bi tools is the ability to manage data effectively and with precision.  

This includes:  

  • Extracting data from multiple resources  
  • Filtering data for business analytics  
  • Transferring any scope of data into a readable format  
  • Data Integrity  

2. Advanced Analytics  

Nowadays, the analytical demands of any business can be satisfied by cloud BI tools and technologies. The technologies required for this vary from detailed data mining to root-cause analysis.  

3. More effective Reporting and Visualization   

Every business owner wants a clearer image of their enterprise, including all the information regarding the company’s performance. This is where Cloud BI comes into the picture, as its rich reports include structured data and better visuals.  

According to Bark, most businesses send reports and dashboards over the cloud.  

4. Collaboration Tools  

Cloud BI solutions can facilitate remote work and collaboration by enabling teams to access and analyze data from anywhere, anytime, and on any device. This can improve collaboration and decision-making processes and allow businesses to respond quickly to changes in their market or industry.  

Moreover, cloud BI solutions can provide businesses with real-time insights into their operations, enabling them to monitor performance and identify areas for improvement. This can help businesses to optimize their operations and enhance their competitiveness.  

5. Eliminate Inefficiencies  

Since cloud BI offers advanced analytical capabilities, firms can quickly identify and eliminate inefficiencies in workflows or operations.  

The elimination of inefficiencies directly impacts the productivity and performance of a company.  

Who Can Benefit the Most from Cloud BI Solutions   

Business intelligence has become a game changer for various industries over the past few years. With cloud analysis, some verticals have had more success.  

Marketing and sales are the largest beneficiaries of cloud BI, according to Statista, with 50% of respondents seeing this asset as essential for their importance.  

BI has also gained relevance in the R&D sector, with 42.5% of respondents citing its crucial potential.

Who Can Benefit the Most from Cloud BI Solutions
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Another study shows that higher education and customer service have a weighted-mean interest in cloud analytics, while healthcare and financial industries are still experimenting with business intelligence.  

This increased trend in some industries suggests a tie-in to the growth of data in the sectors, the need for better business adaptability, and the need for performance measurement at scale. 

What Makes TechBlocks Your Ideal Cloud Partner    

Your cloud initiative doesn’t need to have a big start. You can start small by testing well-known SaaS products from reputable cloud services providers.   

As an organization specializing in cloud-native engineering services and cloud-first consulting, TechBlocks helps businesses accelerate cloud BI adoption and optimize this ecosystem to fit their unique goals and data needs.   

For example, TechBlocks helped PenguinPickUp build a national last-mile delivery platform using cloud-native technology. PenguinPickUp is a last-mile delivery solution that provides consumers, retailers, and courier companies with secure and convenient package pickup and drop-off locations across Canada.  

When PenguinPickUp wanted to expand nationally, they continued to choose TechBlocks as their cloud technology partner. We developed a cloud-native platform that integrates with over two dozen retailers and courier companies like Walmart, Ikea, FedEx, and DHL to provide customers seamless checkout and delivery options.  

Learn how we helped PenguinPickUp reinvent themselves through technology consulting, cloud platform development, and managed support solutions.  

Here’s another example of how TechBlocks helped a Biofeedback Wearable Device Startup develop the first clinically validated wearable with scientifically proven touch therapy.  

The cloud doesn’t have to be complicated. Our flexible engagement models work for you. Short-term & long-term resourcing options allow you to add resources on demand or constrain costs with long-term dedicated resources.  

Contact one of our solution experts to explore how you can leverage cloud-first technology.  

Conclusion – The Powerful Duo of Cloud & BI  

The need for cloud BI solutions is increasing considerably across many industries — with most organizations integrating or deploying at least one cloud BI solution into their operation and service delivery strategy.  

It’s evident that the benefits of using cloud-based business intelligence services cannot be disregarded. If you’re seeking a reliable partner to assist with your BI initiatives, your search ends here. Our cloud engineering team at TechBlocks is ready to help you! 

About the Author

Kevin Gordon

Born in Technology, Raised in Marketing – This is the one-liner Kevin uses to describe his 20+ year career. Kevin is our Director of Marketing and joined the team in 2021, coming from technology start-up, SkipTheDishes.

Starting out in technology, Kevin has a unique blend of technical and marketing experience, with experience as a computer hardware technician, web designer, programmer, Windows & Linux systems administrator, and product development manager, which has allowed Kevin to lead a team of high-performing developers and systems administrators to build integrated omnichannel marketing & sales technology platforms used in retail stores across Canada and the USA.

In addition to his technology background, Kevin has 12+ years of progressive data-driven marketing experience in B2B and B2C industries, including legal, retail, agency, financial technology and more, with over eight years of direct leadership experience in marketing roles.

Kevin has education in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University, Business Administration and Project Management from Red River College and additional formal training in Change Management and Business Analysis.

Kevin Gordon