As the modern society is becoming more digital, the amount of data being generated and collected is also growing significantly. For most organizations, analyzing this huge amount of data using traditional analytical tools is definitely a challenge, and therefore, innovation is required to bridge the gap between data generation and effective data analysis.
Organizations today have the facility to use Big Data tools and technologies to be able to analyze data efficiently, understand customer preferences, and grow their business. Many organizations are now leveraging the cloud computing to create and deploy big data applications. Amazon Web Services AWS is offering a big platform of managed services to help its customers build and scale end-to-end big data applications with complete ease. AWS claims to provide its customers all the infrastructure and tools that they would need to tackle their next big data project.
Cloud computing has played a significant role in cutting down the cost of storage and processing data. However, this is just one of the many benefits of the cloud, alongside faster time to adoption for emerging technologies, developer agility, reduced infrastructure management overhead, etc. In recent years, cloud users have seen an explosion in number of approaches being introduced for storage, processing and analyzing data in cloud and hosted services.
451 Research, a research firm, has published a new report – “The Cloud-Based Approach to Achieving Business Value from Big Data” – which shows how cloud is helping lots of organizations get measurable value from big data. 451 Research created the report after conducting six in-depth interviews with Big Data users whose primary deployment was cloud based. These companies included a mobile application platform provider; a mobile technology analytics platform provider; a technology consultancy; a financial services regulator; a marketing strategy firm; and a mainstream financial services firm.
These interviewees revealed they were using a variety of f AWS offerings, such as Amazon Redshift for data warehousing, Amazon S3 for cloud storage, and Amazon’s Elastic Map Reduce (EMR). The EMR is a Hadoop-as-a-service offering compatible and interoperable with Presto, Hive, and other Hadoop-related projects. Some Interviewees said they were also using – along with other cloud services – Hadoop distributions on cloud infrastructure and Amazon’s DynamoDB NoSQL database and Relational Database Service in production or test and development. 451 Research analyzed in detail the results of interviews and then combined with ongoing customer and market analysis to create the report.
The report reveals that benefits of big data cloud services are often measurable. One organization observed 400-fold improvement in data queries to the cloud compared to on-premises-based queries. Another company observed a 98% improvement in terms of time taken to execute a business-critical risk threat analysis compared to on-premises systems.
All six enterprises that were interviewed also discussed potential challenges and roadblocks to cloud-based big data. It was revealed that big-data cloud users have still been facing some of the similar challenges faced in on-premises deployments. The lack of personnel with the appropriate skill is the challenge that is most often mentioned by organizations.
In total, the report identifies 5 fundamental ways in which cloud is enabling organizations get value from big data.
Faster Time to Market
The report finds faster time to market as a key benefit for startups and emerging industries adopting big-data cloud services. Using big-data cloud services, organizations have the liberty to move from concept to production without a need to spend their energy on designing, procuring, configuring and maintaining on-premises infrastructure. Moreover, scalability within the cloud enables a mobile technology analytics platform provider to be more responsive to peaks in demand. Cloud also attracts engineers and developers, enabling companies to hire and retain talent. The mobile application platform provider interviewed by 451 Research revealed that availability of out-of-the-box services with built-in scalability in cloud big-data services enables it to develop and launch its offering more quickly.
Faster time to market was by far the most important aspect. Being able to leverage these out-of-the-box, hands-on services that have built-in scalability and reasonable cost allowed us to create our service much more efficiently”
explained mobile application platform provider firm.
The marketing strategy firm interviewed revealed:
“We could have an idea in the morning and then be developing it in the afternoon if need be. We’ve had things where we’ve turned around a full solution in 24 hours. It was unheard of before.”
Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
The report reveals that bigger and established big-data users find cloud services attractive because they help organizations reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies. A financial services firm was able to achieve cloud’s cost-reduction benefits by shifting from an on-premises data warehouse to a data warehouse service at roughly 40% of the cost.
“We definitely realized a substantial cost reduction when we moved that warehouse from on-premises [to the cloud]. It was 57% savings.”
revealed financial services firm.
The company also discovered that it could reduce costs by 12-14% annually by constantly evolving its cloud services and take advantage of innovative new services and technologies.
Reduced Management Overhead
The report cites reduced management overhead as one of the major benefits of cloud big data services. For the marketing firm, the key performance indicators (KPIs) were found to be specific to the system and included uptime, cost, security and application performance. For the mobile analytics platform provider, the KPIs are related to the business itself, and include the number of customers using the service; the amount of customer data being handled; and how much value the firm can deliver to customers.
New Revenue Opportunities
The report finds that faster, easier access to analytics is helping organizations unearth new revenue opportunities in quick time.
Improved Developer Agility
The report also reveals that for the mobile application development platform provider, the ability to modify and expand its platform in an agile manner is an important factor while choosing between on-premises deployment of application or using cloud services. Agility plays an important role in supporting new business initiatives. The report also reveals that improved agility is a benefit of cloud services for both the operations team as well as the business analysts.