Business Intelligence Needs the Cloud and Big Data

The big in big data refers to the volume. Companies see rapidly increasing amounts of data available, including transactions, social media, and all the data that will be coming through the so-called Internet of things

Taking advanced business intelligence courses will help you keep pace of a lighting fast industry. With tough competition and increasing customer needs – business leaders need to quickly access, interpret and disseminate real-time analysis from all kinds of data – internally and externally-  from the cloud.

Business intelligence is a tricky subject. On one hand, it’s vital for managers and executives to have access to the information that will help them make good decisions. This is a subject that is essential to doing business. Often, people who obtain MBA degrees learn about business intelligence during their studies.

BI, though, is a tricky subject. Usually executives and managers are expected to focus on the products of technology and not to care about how they get the data that IT can provide. But when it comes to business intelligence, it’s impossible to completely divorce the useful information from the technology that supports it. In particular, there are two technical trends — big data and cloud computing — that deeply affect what BI can provide and how businesspeople should approach it.

Not that a manager needs to take up coding software or running servers and networks. But understanding the limitations and possibilities of big data and cloud computing can influence how to interpret the resulting information and the limits on what you can do with it.

Start with big data. The concepts behind the term started to emerge in the early 2000s as a combination of data velocity, volume and variety. The big in big data refers to the volume. Companies see rapidly increasing amounts of data available, including transactions, social media, and all the data that will be coming through the so-called Internet of things, as all sorts of devices and equipment will generate massive volumes of things that can be analyzed. The information comes faster than human thought and it can come in many ways, whether the contents of databases, documents, video or third-party data streams.

Many companies that consider using big data assume that they will look at information in their existing IT systems. But managers have to think more broadly. Consider all the forms of data that might offer some insight into your strategic considerations.

Cloud computing is another important technical trend because of how it can aid the actual analysis. By using cloud services, a company can have access to virtually any scale of computing that it might need. The ability to bring in massive resources when needed, in a matter of minutes, and then to release them and incur no further expense allows companies to undertake types of business intelligence that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive, slow and clumsy.

Paying attention to both big data and cloud computing trends lets managers know how they can more effectively use business intelligence and achieve strategic goals in ways they — and their IT departments — may not have thought of.

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