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Will analytics & cloud drive more successful big data projects?

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Some organisations have gotten to grips with their data resources in a spectacular fashion.

There are businesses, like well-known, long-established manufacturing giants who

Bob Laurent, Vice President of Product Marketing at Alteryx

practically went to bed one night the manufacturers they always were, and woke up holders of big data. One great example of this is Ford Motor Company, and you can read about their journey toward digital transformation here. Such businesses have the great fortune to look back on customer and product data stretching back many years, and then to mine that using new big data and analytic tools.

In fact, just as all big manufacturers are now big data companies, most organisations, whether big or small, have found that they too, whatever their industry, and whether big or small, have untapped data, and as such, hold the potential to compete on analytical insights.

In fact, one of the top ten largest employers in the world uses the Alteryx analytic platform to help manage its 2.5 million employees, and help them run ethics and compliance investigations – as well as legal audits.

 

Not just for big business – the cloud equalises opportunity

But analytics is not just a game for big businesses – far from it. It just happens that bigger businesses have traditionally created, stored and managed big data repositories.

As now cost effective and very accessible cloud services have become well established, it becomes a much simpler task for a business to gather and analyse big data, even without a large, skilled IT team to help bring an organisation’s data to light.

This holds true even where there are no data scientists or quantitative analysts in the team. Most businesses don’t have them anyway – but they do have analysts in the ‘line of business’ who know the business problems the best. These are simply the people within the business who already use data within their daily roles, but don’t necessarily have advanced data/statistical, or programming skills – or are even necessarily Microsoft Excel power users.

They are the people who often have to dig deep in order to get their tasks at hand done – they want more information, they need to use what they already have more effectively, and they need ways of extracting insights that they may not have ever had any kind of training for.

This is where access to cloud-based solutions are making a mark. Designed for a new type of user, and for the speed of modern business, they enable fast and easy set-up, collaboration and management.

With cloud infrastructure such as provided by Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, it’s possible to offload the storage tasks of a big data project to a reliable and always-ready platform that meets IT’s need for control, but doesn’t require them to actively manage the processes involved.

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