Cloud analytics: driving businesses to better their personal best

  • Richard Thelwell
  • April 13, 2015

cloud analytics business personal bestAs winter gives way to spring, the nation’s joggers and runners are out in force, with many gearing up for the London Marathon later this month. And fuelling the present soaring popularity of running as an activity is a new generation of hi-tech smartphone apps and Fitbug-type devices, which combine unprecedented data collection with a wealth of progress-tracking analytics.

Distance covered, for instance. Time taken. Maximum speed. Average pace. Heart rate. Calories burned. In short, a wealth of data and analytics for runners determined to boost their ‘personal best’.

The lesson for businesses? Like runners, analytics is the key to improvement. And Cloud analytics has never been more powerful, as quick to deploy, and as affordable.

Cloud analytics: fit for purpose.

Talk to runners using this new generation of hi-tech smartphone apps and Fitbug-type devices, and you’ll hear a fairly consistent refrain.

In short, that it provides them with performance data that was previously only associated with professional athletes and their coaches. Instead, it not only provides it on-demand, without the need for the overhead of coaches and support teams, but also provides it in a simple, easy-to-consume format—yet one that is capable of being leveraged in other ways if required. Upload to a spreadsheet, or tracking website, for instance? Not a problem.

cloud analytics performance data
Cloud analytics gives businesses access to performance data previously only available to larger organisations

Talk to businesses using Cloud analytics, and you’ll hear much the same thing. Instead of the costs, distractions and drawbacks associated with massive on-premise analytics deployments, Cloud analytics provides businesses with that same easy-to-consume wealth of insight and performance data, on-demand.

And, naturally enough, there’s also the option to leverage it in other ways. Dashboards? Not a problem. On-the-move mobile devices? Not a problem. And advanced Amazon-style ‘customers who bought this also bought that’ analyses? Again, not a problem.

Cloud analytics: fleet of foot.

For runners, the secret of a compelling hi-tech app or Fitbug device isn’t difficult to discover. Lightweight, portable, and easy to use, the name of the game is adding value, without getting in the way.

And as with buying a Fitbug, or using a smartphone app, the IT impact footprint involved with Cloud analytics is highly compact.

cloud analytics compact
Cloud analytics gives users access to data on the go, wherever they are

Bought and consumed as a service, from the Cloud, Cloud analytics requires no expensive implementation project team or lengthy gestation. And once a business has taken the decision to go with Cloud analytics, a Cloud analytics implementation typically takes just 8—12 weeks.

There’s no further software to buy, no further hardware in the form of updated servers or data warehouses, and no middleware.

Just an IT link to the Cloud, and a pay-as-you-go monthly subscription.

Cloud analytics: going for the burn.

There’s another parallel, too. What do runners most appreciate about their chosen app or device? The way that it helps them to meet their performance goals.

cloud analytics performance goals
Cloud analytics allows businesses to track their performance goals

In short, technology that is flexible and powerful enough to work the way that you do—delivering the results you want, in the way that you want them, allowing you to focus more clearly on those aspects of your performance that you judge to be the most important.

And so too with Cloud analytics, of course.

Powerful self-serve reporting facilities, using point-and-click technology, allow ordinary users within the business to quickly build and deploy reports and analyses perfectly attuned to their own requirements. And to do so, what’s more, entirely without the involvement of the IT function.

Cloud analytics: the drive for success.

There are dangers, naturally, in taking the analogy too far. No one is suggesting a wrist-mounted Android watch or Apple Watch as a mobile Cloud analytics device, for instance.

But the basic principle is sound. For athletes and businesses alike, it’s difficult to beat a firm focus on identifying and improving carefully-chosen performance measures.

And in both athletics and business, the technology for doing so has never been more powerful, and has never been as easy and simple to adopt.

So if your business wants to raise its game, then it’s worth taking a long hard look at how Cloud analytics could help.

To start, check out our customer case studies, or download one of our free e-books.

To find out more about implementing Cloud analytics in your business, download our free eBook below.