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Data Analytics & Management

Cloud Business Intelligence Adoption Continues Its Rise

The Business Application Research Center (BARC) and Eckerson Group have joined forces to publish a study.

01 Mar. 2017

The Business Application Research Center (BARC) and Eckerson Group have joined forces to publish a study on current attitudes, issues and trends relating to the use of business intelligence (BI) and data management (DM) technologies in the cloud . It is based on a survey of 370 IT decision-makers around the world.

The study "BI and Data Management in the Cloud: Issues and Trends" reveals that adoption of cloud BI solutions has grown 50% in the past three years, from 29% to 43%. "This mirrors the growth in the use of the cloud overall and its strategic value to companies," said Carsten Bange, founder and principal analyst at BARC and coauthor of the report. "As more applications move to the cloud, companies are finding it easier to keep their data there as well. Although security is still a concern, many companies recognize that data might be safer in a shared public cloud than in a corporate data center."

Power users dominate cloud BI

Power users are twice as likely to use cloud BI as casual users. With the advent of softwareas-a-service (SaaS) BI tools, power users can easily create an account, upload data and begin analyzing and visualizing information. Outside of consuming reports and dashboards - a traditional casual user activity - users report that more than half of cloud BI activity involves exploring data and authoring reports, and to a lesser degree, preparing and manipulating data.

BARC (2)

Public cloud leads the way

Almost half of organizations using cloud BI (46%) use a public cloud for BI and data management compared to less than a third (30%) for hybrid cloud and 24% for private cloud. "The public cloud is fueled primarily by organizations that want to build BI environments that don't require on-premises data, and secondarily by organizations that use the cloud to replace legacy data warehouses,” said Wayne Eckerson, founder and principal analyst at Eckerson Group and co-author of this study. "However, we expect the percentage of hybrid BI cloud implementations to grow as more large and mid-size firms migrate operations to the cloud."

North America is cloudier than Europe

North America has higher cloud BI usage than Europe. It also has a higher percentage of companies strategically committed to the cloud in general and BI in particular. Meanwhile, Europe makes more use of private clouds, while North America is much more willing to let vendors manage and operate cloud BI solutions.

Cloud BI outsourcing is real

With the cloud, companies automatically outsource their hardware infrastructure to a third party. But many companies go further. Almost two-thirds let their BI or data management vendor host their cloud BI implementation; one quarter let them operate and manage their cloud BI environment; and 16% let them design their cloud BI environment. "Perhaps the cloud fosters an outsourcing mentality that gives organizations greater motivation to embrace managed services," commented Bange.

The full study "BI and Data Management in the Cloud: Issues and Trends" is now available as a free download thanks to sponsorship from Birst, Jedox, Qlik, SAS Institute and Tableau: