As you may have noticed, analytics is a pretty hot topic at Dell. If you’ve been fortunate enough to hear Michael Dell talk about the trends most impacting IT right now, then you’ve undoubtedly heard him talk about The Data Economy and how leveraging analytics to transform data into insights is the defining business opportunity of our time.
You may have seen media coverage of our recent 1-5-10 Series Big Data Discussion, in which numerous media and analysts joined Dell executives for an in-depth discussion that largely centered on the transformative power of advanced analytics. Or perhaps, you read my recent blog in which I predicted that 2015 would the year of analytics.
Clearly, we love talking about the power and potential of analytics – no one more so than me. Lately, however, I find it increasingly difficult to talk about analytics without also talking about the role of cloud. Given the distributed nature of data – many companies have as much data emanating from cloud-based sources as they do from their own data centers – you really can’t overstate the importance of analytic tooling that seamlessly connects to data regardless of where it resides. Nor, as Dell Software president John Swainson pointed out in his recent blog, can you ignore the opex and scalability benefits cloud delivers to analytic environments.
EMA survey shows Dell Statistica leads the way
Against this backdrop, we were thrilled when the results of a just-released study on “Analytics and Business Intelligence in the Cloud” by the outstanding analyst research firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) revealed that Dell Statistica was identified as the most popular analytics solution used in association with cloud-based analytics projects. According to the survey, 36.5 percent of respondents’ projects that utilize a platform to perform analytical workloads implemented Dell Statistica as part of their analytical environment.
The survey, which assessed 841 cloud-based analytics and BI projects, is a significant one for Dell, for two reasons. First, it provides validated, third-party proof that Statistica is the tool of choice for companies that needs to connect with diverse sets of data, including and especially cloud data sets. More importantly, when you combine Statistica’s prowess with that of Dell Boomi, which consistently ranks as the industry’s top integration solution, as well as Spotlight Essentials, Dell’s unique collective intelligence engine that places essential components of a complete SQL monitoring and diagnostics solution in a single place, you can clearly see how Dell is well positioned to help customers deal with the impact cloud is having – and will continue to have – in the data management space.
That impact, according to EMA’s research, is nothing short of significant. According to John Myers, Managing Research Director of EMA’s BI/DW Practice, “The aim of this research project was to provide an excellent view of cloud-based analytics and business intelligence strategies around the globe in terms of strategy, project implementation, and horizontal infrastructure. The extent to which respondents indicate that they are already actively engaged in cloud-based analytics project, combined with their growing level investment in this area, shows that cloud continues to play a critical and expanding role in the world of analytics and business intelligence. Going forward, companies looking to maximize the ROI on their analytics and business intelligence expenditures need to make sure they’re investing in cloud-aware tools that can connect to disparate data sources and manage the complexity of a distributed data environment.”
The full report is loaded with interesting findings, so I highly recommend giving it a read, but here are some of the findings and trends that I thought stood out most:
- 56 percent of respondents have cloud-based analytics projects in flight that they consider either essential or important to their organization, while 40 percent indicated that have five or more different cloud-based analytics projects ongoing. In other words, companies aren’t just experimenting here. Cloud’s impact on analytics is real and it’s ongoing.
- Not surprisingly, companies identified security as the aspect of cloud-based analytics implementations they consider most critical, with reliability, performance and cost benefits following closely behind.
- Budgets are growing. More than 56 percent of respondents indicated that their budgets for cloud-based analytics projects fell between $1 million and $25 million, with more than a quarter of those same folks indicating that this represented an increase of between 10 and 25 percent over 2013. Most interestingly, more than half of the organizations surveyed indicated that they received at least some budget from sources outside of IT. If it wasn’t already abundantly clear, the need for strong collaboration between IT and line of business is obvious.
- As legendary football broadcaster John Madden was fond of saying, speed kills (in a good way). That’s absolutely true when it comes to analytics and BI. The faster companies can get projects implemented and get insights delivered, the better. According to the EMA study, primary business driver behind implementing a cloud-based project is to decrease the time to delivery of analytical and business intelligence. In others, to speed things along.
I’d like to close by echoing John Myers’ sentiments: The role cloud plays in the world of analytics is only going to grow larger and more critical in the months and years ahead. As the saying goes – resistance is futile. Companies that embrace this reality and invest accordingly will those that benefit most.
Tunnel photo courtesy of Geoff Livingston/356 Full Frame.
Chart image courtesy of “EMA Analytics and Business Intelligence in the Cloud,” January 2015.