Sir – We are finding that although many of our customers are sitting on the fence waiting for some clarity around the elusive concepts of ‘big data’ and ‘business intelligence’ (BI), many are eagerly trying to make sense of it all and tie these technology concepts into a concise IT roadmap.
Do the concepts of big data, BI and cloud computing collide, do they overlap or are they even related? In my view, it is certain that the drivers for big data and cloud adoption go hand-in-hand with BI.
BI drives the requirement for current and historical data, which often drives ever growing data repositories. BI also drives the demand for scalable and ‘burstable’ analysis and reporting infrastructures, which in turn drives the adoption for cloud technology.
However, it is worth reminding ourselves that a BI solution really should be about delivering the ability to gain better and more trustworthy knowledge in order to make faster and better-informed decisions.
Start you project with a quick reality-check – what reports and self-service features will be most valuable to your organisation? Identify the real questions and the real requirements to ensure your project is based on real business cases and real value.
Our advice is to go for pragmatic solutions using battle-tested Microsoft technology for BI as well as for managing large datasets and large volumes of data. For example, HDInsight, which is Microsoft’s Apache-compatible Hadoop distribution, on Microsoft Azure is an excellent example of ‘BI meets Big Data meets Cloud’.
For those people who have been drumming up a BI story for years, the technology is finally available and accessible to most organisations within a reasonable budget and it doesn’t need to take a decade to get some value out of it either.
Director & co-founder, ClearPeople