• Bookshelf

  • All-in-One Guides

  • Cloud business intelligence: A guide to cloud BI technology and trends

    For many years, cloud business intelligence was primarily the domain of startup vendors offering Software as a Service (SaaS) BI tools as alternatives to the traditional on-premises software sold by the BI market leaders. But cloud BI is becoming more mainstream as increasing numbers of corporate users embrace the cloud computing and SaaS models as part of their business intelligence strategies: About 25% of organizations surveyed by consulting firm Enterprise Management Associates Inc. in 2011 said they were using BI applications in the cloud, and only 2% said they weren’t considering or interested in cloud BI technology. Top BI vendors are responding to the increasing interest among users by focusing more attention, and development resources, on SaaS BI and cloud analytics.

    Cloud BI’s potential benefits are similar to those offered by cloud computing technology in general: reduced data center and IT management costs, faster deployment times, increased flexibility as business needs change. In many cases, though, cloud BI deployments are still relatively low-end in nature – for example, departmental applications or users looking to do analysis on sales data. Other organizations are using the cloud for proof-of-concept projects that later lead to in-house deployments of BI software, according to analysts and BI vendors. Among the issues that are holding companies back from adopting or expanding cloud-based approaches to BI are data integration complexities and security concerns about sending sensitive business data beyond the corporate firewall for storage.

    This cloud BI guide is designed to provide readers with comprehensive and up-to-date information on SaaS BI technology, trends and issues. It also covers cloud analytics and SaaS corporate performance management (CPM) technologies. If your organization is considering an investment in cloud BI tools, or looking at broadening an initial deployment, use the information resources below to make sure you have a full understanding of the benefits and challenges of BI in the cloud.

  • 2011 business intelligence (BI) challenges survey

    BI and analytics survey results Welcome to the 2011 Business Intelligence (BI) Challenges and Priorities Survey special report. And thanks to all of the 249 BI, IT, business and consulting professionals who completed the survey and shared information about the use of BI and analytics tools in their organizations. Their responses provide valuable insight into topics such as BI software adoption levels, business uses and spending drivers.

    The annual survey was conducted via the Web this past March. In this report, you’ll find a select sample of survey results highlighting some of the major trends, hurdles and investment priorities that are influencing and affecting BI, and data analytics programs.

    If you have any questions or comments about this year’s survey, or suggestions for future editions, feel free to contact the editors of

  • The very public issue of data privacy

    "Big data" analytics have changed the way that data is collected, stored and utilized. Enormous amounts of innovation have gone into storing consumer data and turning it into business intelligence and insight.

    While the technology astounds, it is still nascent, with little or no regulation surrounding its use. Questions of data privacy, information ethics and data ownership abound for users, but so far little has been done to address them.

    This series seeks to define the ethical concerns in big data and data privacy, identify the state of the ethical debate, and offer advice on best practices and strategies going forward.

    The difference between data analytics and privacy isn't well-defined. The dawn of big data analytics has blurred the line even more. The improvements in technology have raised security, ownership and privacy questions, not just for consumers, but also for businesses using analytics to serve customers. Despite the advances, data privacy policies are still sensitive subjects; questions about these topics tend to elicit little or no response. As privacy becomes a bigger deal for consumers, there are steps businesses can take to avoid entering into Orwellian territory.