BI and analytics will be built on firm foundations in the cloud

 
 

Cognitive Computing, Modern Workplace
26 Apr 18 Author: Craig Smith

Tech Data is expecting a surge of cloud business activity fuelled by the increased adoption of BI and analytics solutions and is preparing to help partners take full advantage

The digital era has brought with it an explosion in the amount of data available to organisations. As individuals and businesses do more online – banking, procurement, making travel arrangements, interacting through social media websites, and making use of cloud-based services - more and more data is being collected.

This is not just the case with large organisations – smaller companies also have access to more data than they have ever had in the past.

And of course, it makes sense to do something with all that data. It is of little use tucked away in silos doing nothing. Apply some intelligent analytics to it, and you should be able to draw out some real business value.

Next big thing
Business intelligence and analytics are being seen as the next big area of opportunity by many in the IT channel and there is no question that this will be an important area of growth over the next decade. It is also going to fuel further demand for cloud services; with many analytics services already being offered on an ‘as a service’ basis. Most of the data used by BI systems will be drawn from the cloud.

Companies can use the insights BI gives them to spot and to take opportunities, make better use of resources and run their operations more efficiently and effectively. Tools such as Microsoft’s Power BI can be used to connect data sources and allow businesses to build dashboards for themselves rapidly and efficiently. Any organisation or user with an Office 365 license can download it free of charge and it’s a great way of illustrating just how powerful analytics can be.

But while customers may be able to set up a basic dashboard on their own, more typically, exposure to a taste of BI leads to the realisation that much more could be done. This soon translates into the requirement for a bespoke system of data management and digital analysis.

In-depth understanding
This presents an opportunity for VARs who develop the right skills to add real value, but any reseller that wants to address the potential will need to take a consultative approach. They will need to have an in-depth understanding of the customer’s business and its data sources, and sufficient knowledge of the analytics tools and services that can be usefully applied to their situation.

Tech Data is working with several vendor partners who are experts in BI and analytics – such as IBM and Microsoft – to support resellers in developing the appropriate ‘data science’ skills and expertise. We are also helping them to identify and build solutions that, while tailor-made for a customer in the first instance, could be used as the basis for a repeatable proposition that can be offered to a broader audience.

We are also providing access to cloud and management systems that integrators and developers will need to use as platforms for the customised analytics solutions. As such, it will provide a firm foundation for the huge promise and potential that business intelligence and analytics hold for the channel.