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Complete Guide to Getting Started with a Cloud Analytics Platform

Gyana

13 min • 14 June, 2021

The world of business software is ever-changing, and cloud-based business intelligence solutions part of it is no exception. The best cloud analytics systems, particularly those that can grow quickly to accommodate a company's evolving business models, are rapidly replacing on-site reporting systems, and it's easy to see why.

Cloud solutions enable easily customizable user interfaces, prototyping tools, and self-service Business Intelligence (BI) that traditional legacy systems lack.

Companies of all sizes face the difficulty scaling their business models while maintaining responsive and efficient operations. Consequently, cloud-based analytics solutions are beginning to bridge the gap between older systems' capabilities and what modern businesses need to compete and grow.

In this guide, we'll talk about everything you need to know when it comes to getting started with a cloud analytics platform, whether you're literally getting started with data processing, moving to a cloud-based system, or optimising your existing setup.

What is Cloud Analytics?

Cloud Analytics - The practice of storing and analysing data in the cloud to extract meaningful business insights is known.

Cloud analytics techniques, just like on-premises data analytics, are applied to vast data sets to find patterns, forecast future outcomes, and generate other information relevant to business decision-makers.

To give you an example, let's say you're a business selling gym equipment, apparel, etc. You've been operating for several years and have a substantial amount of data on your customers, including things like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Geographical location
  • Spending habits
  • Health habits
  • Jobs & careers

And so on. Now you've just run a survey to acquire a lot more data. You've got it, so what do you do with it?

Using a cloud analytics platform, you'll run your data to determine what age group your business should market to for the best results, for example. This type of process helps you make essential, impactful business decisions that are far more accurate and will bring your company far more success than simply taking a random shot in the dark when it comes to deciding what ventures you're doing next.

This will help you with everything from product design, how you market your business, your branding, your culture, etc. It can affect everything!

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Specifically, cloud analytics is often a more cost-efficient option than on-premises analytics.

This is how data was traditionally handled, but it's usually far more expensive since it requires firms to purchase, house, and operate costly data centres. While on-premises analytics solutions provide firms with internal control over data privacy and security, scaling them is challenging and expensive. On the other hand, cloud analytics benefits from cloud computing's scalability, service models, and cost savings.

In the course of their regular operations, businesses create gigabytes of data. The majority of this data, which comes from websites, social media, IT devices, and banking applications, among other sources, is now stored in the cloud. Note that this will typically happen automatically, saving a ton of time over the long term.

Cloud analytics tools and analytics software are very effective at processing these massive data sets, delivering insights in simply consumable formats, and making insights from cloud data available on-demand, resulting in a better and more simplified user experience.

Cloud analytics tools and analytics software are very effective at processing these massive data volumes, generating insights in easily digestible formats on demand, resulting in a better and more simplified user experience.

In short, cloud analytic platforms are changing the game, which is why they're becoming so popular and why so many businesses are starting to adopt these systems into their day-to-day practices.

The Advantages of Cloud Analytics

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While you've probably got a clear idea of why cloud analytics is a good thing, we're going to make it incredibly clear what the legitimate benefits are of using such a modern solution. You know that cloud analytics benefits include assisting firms in more efficient processing and reporting data results, improving collaboration, and providing decision-makers with faster access to business knowledge, but it's also so much more than just these core data-processing factors.

Let's jump right into it.

Improved Agility and Scalability

By far the most prominent advantage of cloud analytics is its scalability in terms of user and data volume. These solutions allow you access to the enhanced flexibility to ask new questions on demand.

Cloud computing allows for the addition of data storage and data analysis capability as needed. There are scalable pricing models, and pay as you go services, so you're only ever paying for what you need.

Through insights that reflect changing market conditions, firms may most efficiently scale data storage, processing, and leveraging. Even if you're small now and plan to scale up to a big data company in the future, many providers will have options that keep you using their services without issue.

All Your Data in One, Unified Place

Cloud analytics solutions bring your data together and allow it all to be accessed quickly and easily in one place. This means the decision-makers within your business can get quick access to critical business data they need when they need it most.

This includes access to various sorts of data as well as data from multiple sources. You can effortlessly examine, test, and review data to uncover critical insights that help your business instantly, regardless of your questions.

What's more, since most cloud providers have optimised their UIs over the years, you'll have access to straightforward dashboards where everything is accessible in one place.

A Nice and Simple Approach

When you're running your own internal data analysis systems, you need to make sure you have the staff on hand to manage everything, including employees who can maintain the software and hardware you're using. It's not uncommon for things to get very complicated very quickly.

Instead, using remotedata science software tools based in the cloud means you get to benefit from the specialists that the third-party providers are working with who have the experience to handle everything on your behalf. In short, you don't need to worry about a thing since they'll take care of everything.

You're investing for them to take the complexity out of it all. You only need to focus on your data and how you're using it.

Complete Data Silo Management

When a company uses cloud analytics, it can successfully achieve cross-organisational data integration. This means that if you have data coming in from a vast range of different sources, this could be incredibly complicated to handle and organise manually, especially with the risk of human error.

Instead, a cloud-based solution will take data from all your preferred sources, such as your website, social media pages, account software, and so on, storing and analysing it all in one place. It's a simple matter of connecting accounts.

Having access to these on-demand, comprehensive insights give your company the competitive advantage you're looking for.

Data saved and analysed in the cloud also allows employees the power to easily access data and share insights, facilitating effective communication, collaboration, and decision making. Since it's cloud-based, this data can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

It's Fast. It's Effortless.

We don't really need to say more here. Since cloud-based solutions are always on and are powered by some of the most capable computer and network systems in the world, all your integration and insight analysing happens in real-time.

Maximised Collaborative Opportunities

Since a cloud analytics platform allows you to store and access your data from a centralised location, anyone who has access in your company can do so as and when it's needed or proactively given. This means overall collaboration in your company is indefinitely boosted.

Improved Data Governance & Security

A cloud-based analytics platform provides a centralised and secure data access point. This improves data governance by providing more granular access controls for who has access to what data as well as audit tools to determine who accessed what data.

In other words, the security of your data is simplified yet maximised, especially since it's a priority for modern-day companies to provide the highest level of protection possible to their customers.

Any Disadvantages to cloud analytics tools?

It would be irresponsible to talk solely about how amazing and game-changing cloud analytics is without notifying you that there are, in fact, some downsides you'll want to be aware of, which is what we'll explore in this section.

Downtime

By far the most cited disadvantage of any cloud-based solution is downtime. Since you're on a centralised system, if they are experiencing downtime for any reason, so are you. This is why it's crucial to choose a service that has you back and will notify you when the system is going down for upgrades or maintenance, allowing you to plan ahead.

Fortunately, if you're using a reliable survive, they will offer something around the 99.9% uptime mark, so this will very rarely be a problem, but it is one you're going to want to think about.

Security

While improved security is a benefit, there will always be disadvantages to using a third-party service like this. While it's a priority for cloud services to maximise their security, let's say an employee logs onto the cloud from a remote location and leaves themselves signed in, your data is then compromised.

As you should be doing when introducing any new service or process to your business, you need to ensure you're training your team to use this service correctly and without risking the security or integrity of your business.

This is especially important in this context because you'll be handling sensitive user and business data. If there was ever a leak of customer data, this could cost your business millions in fines (the GDPR in Europe will fine you up to 4% of your annual profit), so this is essential.

Limited Control

While cloud services will do everything they can to offer a flexible, scalable service that makes things easy to use, giving you more resources to focus on analysing your data and doing what's important, you get less control because you're always confined to what the cloud service provider has to offer.

Now, this will never be a problem for the vast majority of businesses because you'll simply choose to work with a provider that can fit your needs. However, if you're looking for a custom solution, then you may find a provider limiting.

The Best Cloud Analytics Platforms You Need to Know

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Once you're convinced that cloud analytics is for you and you're ready to reap the benefits for your business, you'll need to make one crucial decision, and that's choosing which platform you're going to work with.

To help you make this decision, we'll explore some of the best cloud no-code data scienceanalytics platforms you need to know.

Gyana

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Call us a little biased, but Gyana is the first and foremost platform to consider.

One of the most modern solutions in the market, if you're looking for an easy to learn, simple to understand, yet incredibly powerful and comprehensive analytics tool that handles everything in the cloud on your behalf, Gyana is for you.

This no-code business intelligence approach is ideal for small to medium-sized businesses; all you need to do is sign up, click a few clicks, and your data will be automatically imported from any data sources you're working with and analysed in one place.

Let's say you're working with Hubspot, Google Sheets, some accounting software, and Instagram. Import everything and use the one-click AI to provide you with real-time insights into the condition of your business. It's that easy.

Features

  • No coding knowledge required. Just a simple, click-through workflow
  • Full five-star reviews from their beta testing program
  • A pay-as-you-go pricing model. Only pay for the scale you need
  • Featured in publications like Business Insider and CNBC

Try it now for free!

Zoho Analytics

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Zoho Analytics provides users with an easy-to-use dashboard. It is part of Zoho's software suite, although it also functions as a standalone application. The UI is simple to use. Users can access a support centre, a snapshot tour, a range of data samples, and live chat from this page, so if you need assistance learning how to use the setup, it's there.

Zoho Analytics users can also load data into their reporting centre with just a few clicks. The automation functionality generates reports based on the data you submit without prompting. Users can collaborate on tables and reports by sharing data.

More detailed reporting is available, although you'll need to be experienced to use this feature fluidly.

Features

  • Comprehensive, in-depth reporting features for decent insights
  • An outstanding support team to help with any issues you encounter
  • A simple drag-and-drop organisation feature
  • Multiple pricing packages to choose from

You can check out Zoho Analytics on their website.

Qlik Sense

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Qlik Sense is known for its wide range of analytics solutions for hybrid and multi-cloud environments and is regularly featured at the top of many 'best-of' lists. You can explore the many configuration options provided to allow you to process your analytics and show them at varying levels of sophistication.

Qlik Sense also makes use of AI to suggest insights and automate tasks. Natural language searches are possible, and real-time analytics are offered.

An API allows you to integrate the platform into your projects and apps, and statistics may be made available both offline and online. Overall, this is an effective cloud-based solution, as long as you're willing to invest the time in learning how to use it to its full potential.

Features

  • An incredibly flexible solution
  • Considered one of the leading, traditional cloud analytics platforms
  • Easy for any employees to pick up and learn to create data visualisations
  • Robust AI systems that provide comprehensive business insights

Here is Qlik Sense's website.

AWS Analytics

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AWS Analytics for Amazon Web Services provides a comprehensive range of analytics services, encompassing every feature of the powerful cloud platform based on the data you wish to analyse.

The SQL-powered analytics can be used without the need to set up virtual servers for interactive analytics. However, you can utilise different Amazon services to compare other storage platforms based on your needs.

Features

  • Supports a growing range of programming languages
  • Breakneck data processing speeds
  • Offers a surprisingly impressive number of insight tools
  • Very compatible with open standard APIs

Visit Amazon's website to check out AWS Analytics.

Final thoughts on cloud analytics platforms

We hope this guide has helped you understand the fundamental basics you need to know when it comes to cloud analytics platforms, and you can put your best foot forward when it comes to beginning your data analytics journey.

Remember, it's vital to assess the personal needs of your business to see what targets you're trying to fulfil.

Specific cloud analytics businesses have different benefits and drawbacks with each solution. These solutions may not be the greatest fit for your firm – that is why we recommend conducting a thorough search based on your specific needs.

Then, rather than comparing platform features and pricing based on what the industry believes you want, you can compare them based on what you actually need.