2017’s most important trends on business intelligence and analytics in the cloud
- 78% are planning to increase the use of cloud for BI and data management in the next 12 months.
- 46% of organisations prefer public cloud platforms for cloud BI, analytics and data management deployments.
- Cloud BI adoption increased in respondent companies from 29% to 43% from 2013 to 2016.
- Almost half of organisations using cloud BI (46%) use a public cloud for BI and data management compared to less than a third (30%) for hybrid cloud and 24% for private cloud.
These and many other insights are from the BARC Research and Eckerson Group Study, BI and Data Management in the Cloud: Issues and Trends published January 2017 (39 pp., PDF, no opt-in). Business Application Research Center (BARC) is a research and consulting firm that concentrates on enterprise software including business intelligence (BI), analytics and data management. Eckerson Group is a research and consulting firm focused on serving the needs of business intelligence (BI) and analytic leaders in Fortune 2000 organisations worldwide. The study is based on interviews completed in September and October 2016. 370 respondents participated in the survey globally.
Given the size of the sample, the results aren’t representative of the global BI and analytics user base. The study’s results provide an interesting glimpse into analytics and BI adoption today, however. For a description of the methodology, please see page 31 of the study.
Key insights from the study include the following:
Public cloud is the most preferred deployment platform for cloud BI and analytics, and the larger the organization toe more likely they are using private clouds. 46% of organizations selected public cloud platforms as their preferred infrastructure for supporting their BI, analytics, and data management initiatives in 2016. 30% are relying on a hybrid cloud platform and 24%, private clouds. With public cloud platforms becoming more commonplace in BI and analytics deployments, the need for greater PaaS- and IaaS-level orchestration becomes a priority. The larger the organization, the more likely they are using private clouds (33%). Companies with between 250 to 2,500 employees are the least likely to be using private clouds (16%).
Dashboard-based reporting (76%), ad-hoc analysis and exploration (57%) and dashboard authoring (55%) are the top three Cloud BI use cases. Respondents are most interested in adding advanced and predictive analytics (53%), operational planning and forecasting (44%), strategic planning and simulation (44%) in the next year. The following graphic compares primary use cases and planned investments in the next twelve months. SelectHub has created a useful Business Intelligence Tools Comparison here that provides insights into this area.
Power users dominate the use of cloud BI and analytics solutions, driving more complex use cases that include ad-hoc analysis (57%) and advanced report and dashboard creation (55%). Casual users are 20% of all cloud BI and analytics, with their most common use being for reporting and dashboards (76%). Customers and suppliers are an emerging group of cloud BI and analytics users as more respondent companies create self-service web-based apps to streamline external reporting.
Data integration between cloud applications/databases (51%) and providing data warehouses and data marts (50%) are the two most common data management strategies in use to support BI and analytics solutions today. Respondent organizations are using the cloud to integration cloud applications with each other and with on-premises applications (46%). The study also found that as more organizations move to the cloud, there’s a corresponding need to support hybrid cloud architectures. Cloud-based data warehouses are primarily being built to support net new applications versus existing apps on-premise. Data integration is essential for the ongoing operations of cloud-based and on-premise ERP systems. A useful comparison of ERP systems can be found here.
Data integration between on-premises and cloud applications dominates use cases across all company sizes, with 48% of enterprises leading in adoption. Enterprises are also prioritizing providing data warehouses and data marts (48%), the pre-processing of data (38%) and data integration between cloud applications and databases (38%). The smaller a company is the more critical data integration becomes. 63% of small companies with less than 250 employees are prioritizing data integration between cloud applications and databases (63%).
Tools for data exploration (visual discovery) adopted grew the fastest in the last three years, increasing from 20% adoption in 2013 to 49% in 2016. BI tools increased slightly from 55% to 62% and BI servers dropped from 56% to 51%. Approximately one in five respondent organizations (22%) added analytical applications in 2016.
The main reasons for adopting cloud BI and analytics differ by size of the company, with cost (57%) being the most important for mid-sized businesses between 250 to 2.5K employees. Consistent with previous studies, small companies’ main reason for adopting cloud BI and analytics include flexibility (46%), reduced maintenance of hardware and software (43%), and cost (38%). Enterprises with more than 2.5K employees are adopting cloud BI and analytics for greater scalability (48%), cost (40%) and reduced maintenance of hardware and software (38%). The following graphic compares the most important reason for adopting cloud BI, analytics and data management by the size of the company.
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