Managing and Analyzing Data in the Era of the Cloud

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

Leveraging Analytics to Gain Competitive Business Advantage

Cultural issues rather than the technology itself are the biggest impediment to the adoption of analytics.

The trouble with applications, whether they are running on premise or in the cloud, is that the more there are of them, the harder it becomes to correlate any useful information.


To solve this problem, IT organizations have been building data warehouses and applying analytics as part of an effort to provide their organizations with valuable business insights. But with the advent of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, the time and effort needed to gather and correlate all the relevant data needed to provide those insights has become too complex for many IT organizations.

To address this issue, the folks at GoodData have come up with a business intelligence service in the cloud that allows IT organizations to more easily aggregate data and apply sophisticated analytics against a data warehouse managed on their behalf by GoodData.

According to GoodData CEO Roman Stanek, this approach takes all the heavy lifting associated with building and maintaining a data warehouse and its associated analytics applications off the shoulders of the IT department. Built on top of an implementation of the open source Hadoop data management framework and PostgreSQL database, Stanek says the entire service is specifically designed to help organizations easily aggregate all the data that has become sprawled across any number of SaaS applications.

At a time when data has never been more valuable, the conundrum that many organizations face today is that their data has never been more distributed. It resides within hundreds of applications inside the enterprise, and there is almost just as much valuable corporate data residing in a third-party data center that is being managed by a SaaS application provider. The challenge facing IT organizations today is to organize that information in a way that allows them to more easily apply analytics software.

For that reason, Stanek says it was important for GoodData to not only provide the data warehouse in the cloud, but also the analytics and business intelligence software that end users would need to make sense of all that data. What GoodData has done, says Stanek, is create a place where one data store model can be used across the entire application value chain.

Perhaps just as importantly, adds Stanek, this approach allows IT organizations to regain control of their data, which today is locked up in any number of applications both inside and outside of the enterprise. Data from the GoodData service can be shared with any application, which ultimately makes it possible for IT organizations to replace any application without losing control of their data.

As more organizations come to realize that data is an asset to be exploited rather than just a burden to be carried, it's becoming clear that more aggressive approaches to centralizing the management of that data are going to be called for. Consolidating applications, of course, is a step in the right direction. But the business reality of the situation is that there will be always be multiple applications, which means IT organizations need to focus more on managing the actual data versus the application it happens to reside in at any given time.

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