Big Data Transitions to the Cloud

From deployment options to specific database products, businesses wanting to capture and draw insight from their data are presented with a multitude of choices. On-premise, cloud, or hybrid? Redshift or SQL Server? Selecting the best solution can be a challenge.

But despite the multitude of choices available, a recent survey by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) found businesses are less interested in the attributes of individual technologies. Instead, they are focused on the time-to-value provided by a given solution. Indeed, the same survey found 40% of organizations believe their data management systems help establish a competitive advantage.

Cloud-hosted software is increasingly seen as the best way to create this competitive advantage.

To build a successful data strategy, organizations need to understand and account for shifts happening in the world of big data. Industry analyst like Gartner suggest the majority of IT spending will soon be directed at “modernizing, expanding, or substituting long-standing business applications with cloud-based applications.” The growing popularity of cloud-deployed data sources among Tableau Online users indicates the cloud is gaining momentum in the world of big data as well.

Three particular trends are shaping the future of data used for analysis and visualization:

  1. Data’s center of gravity is moving to the cloud.

Data gravity indicates the pull of data on services and applications. If your data lives in the cloud, you’ll likely want your data tools – from processing to analytics – running in the cloud as well. Data’s center of gravity is now fixated on the cloud, and that focus will only grow larger in the future. Organizations building data ecosystems should concentrate their efforts on cloud workflows to ensure their systems are ready for this change in data gravity.

  1. In the move to cloud, hybrid data technologies are critical to business operations.

When not all your data can be moved to the cloud, or you want to make the move incrementally, hybrid data options give you the flexibility to bridge that gap between your cloud-hosted and on-premise environments. Gartner recently predicted these hybrid offerings will become the norm by 2018. For businesses transitioning to the cloud, hybrid is already the norm.

  1. Data storage is quickly expanding beyond traditional concepts of databases and warehouse.

Data is now flowing from everywhere and everything. As a result, the storage landscape is expanding to meet the requirements of new and variable streams of data. Cloud-hosted data tools in particular are driving expansion with “as a service” products like Snowflake, as well as trusted services like Amazon’s Relational Database Service.

In the future, the landscape will only become more crowded. To capitalize on the breakneck speed of innovation, businesses are building data workflows that focus on flexibility and choice above all else.


Tableau Software helps people see and understand data. Tableau’s award-winning software delivers fast analytics, visualization and rapid-fire business intelligence on data of any size, format, or subject. The result? Anyone can get answers from data quickly, with no programming required. From executive dashboards to ad-hoc reports, Tableau lets you share mobile and browser-based, interactive analytics in a few clicks.

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