It’s no big secret that cloud analytics hasn’t taken off as some people had predicted. Those of us building cloud analytics solutions have heard all the excuses: concern for data security, not enough bandwidth, proximity, on-premise data sources, and so on. In turn, cloud analytics vendors responded with data encryption, standards based certifications and on-premise data synch agents. But it’s obvious now that those additions didn’t bring on the rapid adoption seen in other areas of cloud software such as Sales Force Automation, Human Resource Management and Campaign Management. The simple reason is because these were all just excuses. The truth is that – with a few exceptions – cloud analytics hasn’t delivered true business value. Sure, we’ve removed the need to install and configure servers, but the complexity of business intelligence such as data modeling, ETL, semantic enrichment, content development and maintenance still exist.
Show me the fire
If I asked a CMO if she would like to have a 360 degree view of marketing campaign effectiveness combining enterprise sales data, social media sentiment analysis and website traffic on a mobile device she would say, “Why not?” If I were to add, “Would you like to set that up in a couple days?” She would respond, “Of course.” If I offered to roll that out in stages and have her pay only when users adopt the solution, she would say, “Heck yeah!” The need for self service departmental BI that solves a specific pain point in a timely and cost effective fashion is tremendous.
I see sparks
Fortunately, cloud analytics vendors are now feeling this need and responding with solutions that can truly deliver the sought after business value. At SAP, we are excited for the upcoming launch of project Photon. The solution works natively with SAP Visual Intelligence and is built on top of the SAP HANA Cloud, which together promise to deliver the foundation for a true departmental self-service BI offering. The solution enables data analysts and power users to discover data and easily publish this data and associated visualizations to their peers using the project Photon cloud service. Executives, managers or field workers can explore, view and search through this data in an intuitive web or mobile interface. With native integrations coming for many LoB transactional solutions, we’re finally seeing a cloud analytics solution with true potential.