Your Cloud, Your Way: Cloud Platform

Why PaaS?

The Democratization of Data Analytics

Michael Connaughton, Director,
Big Data, EMEA @MichaelConnaughton


Cloud platform – a key enabler of analytics tools, helping you plan and innovate more effectively

Intel

We all know that old saying, there are “lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Statistics can be used to justify anything and it’s a difficult claim to argue against. But statistics are also empowering. When brought together, they create information and, when well interpreted, deliver vast knowledge and insight.

Knowledge is what the services enabled by a Cloud Platform are all about. In the end, the whole point of storing data in the cloud, whether that’s private, public or a hybrid, is to widen access to it.

Michael Connaughton

Michael Connaughton, Director, Big Data, EMEA

It’s easy to lose sight of that basic, overarching premise when you’re moving to the cloud for the first time. It might start uppermost in your mind, but it’s easily lost as discussions progress and you start thinking about the various options and alternatives which a Cloud Platform can offer. This is particularly the case if you’re a non-technical lead who is not steeped in the language (some would say jargon) of more technology focused colleagues.

But in fact the team spearheading cloud strategies needs to keep the output greater knowledge about the business to drive improved innovation, performance and profitability at the forefront of its mind at all times. This knowledge comes through analytics, not through a Cloud Platform itself. A Cloud Platform is simply the means by which key elements are connected, bringing business applications and back end infrastructure together.

 Knowledge is what the services enabled by a Cloud Platform are all about. The whole point of storing data in the cloud, whether that’s private, public or a hybrid, is to widen access to it


The best Cloud Platform provides users with access to a wide range of analytics via tools which are easily understood by even the least technology minded people. End users should not have to worry about how different strands of information are brought together in new ways to provide fresh insights, but instead should be offered the chance to combine and manipulate those different strands of information through easily understandable visualizations.

This is where Cloud Platforms earn their keep in making it possible for the finance team to see at a glance whichever combination of income and expenditure they need without, for example, putting in a request to a data analyst and then waiting for a response; or as an HR team monitoring staff turnover at particular sites as and when needed; or as a C-level exec, asking questions and seeing answers within the scope of a single meeting.

 The team spearheading cloud strategies needs to keep greater knowledge about the business to drive improved innovation, performance and profitability at the forefront of its mind at
all times


Of course we can’t remove the need for deep dive, complex analysis that requires specialist skills. Indeed, the ability to undertake such work is one of the key advantages to big data that cloud analytics tools provide. But more and more we are able to serve day-to-day management information to end users in accessible, user friendly ways.

Moreover, this type of analytics is not shown to the end user as dry spreadsheets but as visually rich visual representations which can be explored, manipulated and interrogated. The best visualizations allow users to manipulate data sets in real-time, for example changing time series or adding and removing project related variables to get a rounded picture.

A Cloud Platform allows a business to develop applications which deliver information, knowledge and insight in ways which are relevant to its needs, and to change these analytics as needs evolve. Visualizations can be as easily achieved on a tablet or phone as on a laptop. And because the information is cloud based it will be accessible from anywhere, and delivered in near real-time. A good example of using a Cloud Platform for this is Oracle Data Visualization Service, which requires little more than a browser and spreadsheet of data to create visual representations.

 A Cloud Platform allows a business to develop applications which deliver information, knowledge and insight in ways which are relevant to its needs, and to change these analytics as needs evolve


The ideal scenario for this is an analytics implementation which can draw on data from any source cloud, on premises, big data repositories, Internet of Things sources and even local files. The more relevant data you can visualize, the better your decisions will be.

When the right information is put in the hands of the right people, at the right time, your business will have knowledge and insight at your fingertips, and can make appropriate operational decisions. With access to knowledge and insights democratized in this way, your organization can understand itself better, and plan effectively for innovation and growth.


This PaaS article is brought to you by Oracle and Intel®.

Intel® and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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