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I love LinkedIn. I think the reason I love the platform the most is because it provides access to groups full of like-minded individuals in the data analysis industry. We share discussion and favorite thought leadership pieces in our groups; and one gem I stumbled upon was a discussion about whether or not cloud technology has made Business Intelligence as a whole any stronger.
Based on a Nucleus Research survey, almost all analytics providers are in the cloud. A favorite LinkedIn discussion of mine posited the question, even though everything is in the cloud, does that necessarily make BI better, or are we simply spreading the costs around?
Let me explain my take on this:
In theory an "as a service" vendor has cost advantages from economies of scale and expertise in operating their software. This is great for customers, but running a service is also more complicated than running a single server. Since we provide this for specific business processes - T&E, Purchase Cards and Accounts Payable - we've progressed down the learning curve which provides cost advantages that we can pass on to customers. At this point we know the ins and outs to efficiently curate data from a wide range of source systems as an example.
An "as a Service" vendor can provide additional levels of value above and beyond just providing access to the software. Our company, Oversight Systems, provides "Answers as a Service". It's a turnkey solution for business users that begins with curating data and ends with answers/recommendations for the client.
An example of this additional leverage are the statistics and patterns identified across our customers to deliver richer answers. In our case the “as a Service” model is both better and cheaper. We're more cost efficient and can deliver a higher level of value. In my opinion, cloud technologies can be better, especially for analysis.