Every company is becoming a data company. In Data-Powered Businesses, we dive into the ways that companies of all kinds are digitally transforming to make smarter data-driven decisions, monetize their data, and create companies that will thrive in our current era of Big Data.

The way businesses operate is constantly evolving. The pressure is on for organizations of all shapes, sizes, and missions to make decisions at speed and scale — and collaborate in real-time. But many are still struggling to leverage their data and aren’t reaching their full potential. Realizing the impact this can make to the bottom line, the question for these companies becomes: “What next?”

Datasets are on the rise and most of that data is on the cloud.

The answer is “cloud-first analytics.” The recent rise of cloud data warehouses like Snowflake means businesses can better leverage all their data using Sisense seamlessly with products like the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform to strengthen their businesses. In this article, we’ll dig into the ways modern cloud analytics are changing the way businesses accomplish their missions and even save lives.

Scalable cloud solutions: The future of data and analytics

Current, on-premises data platforms are not yielding optimal results for businesses. Their limitations include complexity, lack of scalability/inadequate elasticity, rigid monthly costs regardless of use, inability to consolidate siloed data, and an inability to share of data inside and outside a business. 

“Cloud data platform solutions and their applicability across use cases and locations have grown as an alternative to costly on-premises solutions,” said Louis Lee, sales engineer at Snowflake.

Free, fast movement of data between organizations, locations, and applications is key to enabling fast decision making. Previously, this would be done via high-latency file transfers, which constrained options for builders and reduced efficiency.

“A cloud data platform means data can be shared, governed, and controlled to give access to any authorized parties to the data, updated in real time,” Lee explained. “The cloud data platform enables a data marketplace where organizations can obtain secure and governed consumer and government data, such as COVID-19 data, to make timely decisions in challenging times.”

As a result, many organizations are able to join external data to their own data in real time to forecast business impacts, predict supply and demand, apply models, and aggregate to predict the spread of the virus. In short, cloud data warehouses and BI platforms have revolutionized the way organizations share and use data.

“This ability to pull data sets together from a cloud-native environment for better transparency and faster decision making, in turn, can give analysts the speed they need to answer questions quickly and more accurately with more data collaboration,” Lee added.

Deeper insights from bigger data sets

It used to be a challenge to order and structure data to get a basic answer. Data volumes have grown exponentially, not just in volume but in different systems, making it difficult to visualize whole data insights. 

“Now, we are all dealing globally with the unexpected as world economies change and shut down, and how people are behaving shifts,” he said. “Insights from other data sets, such as location data, in the past were very difficult to incorporate quickly. Now, using a cloud-native data environment, we can take business data and join it together to build a better business health score, and to see what customers might need the most outreach at this time.”

A cloud environment is designed to bring data together and serve it back through dashboarding, allowing the data to transform without moving it, join it to other data internally or externally, and compute that data and augment it, and write all of it back to Snowflake using Sisense

“This builds reusable artifacts that power ad hoc analysis, and also serves that data into reporting to send to teams and models. It doesn’t require extra resources, physical infrastructure, or teams to make it work,” he said.

Collection and use of data as a competitive advantage

Experts agreed everyone in the current climate is looking at what they can learn from their data, to see how they can best serve their customers and look at the answers to questions they haven’t even thought to ask yet. Companies that do it well are more successful in the market than those that don’t. Companies that use data effectively have 18% higher growth margins and 4% higher operating margins, according to Keystone Research. This is especially important in times like this.

For example, Sisense customer HealthReveal is leveraging data from claims and health records and feeding it through a clinical algorithm to help health care providers with personalized recommendation for patients. HealthReveal is also part of the NYC CV19 rapid response coalition, and is using clinical AI to provide risk scores for patients to prioritize outreach to the highest risk patients and to reduce burden on NYC ICU beds. Without cloud data it wouldn’t be able to do this as fast as it can.

Another Sisense’s customers, a medical device lifecycle company, is also using its data to provide its community with access to doctor care, security resources, by connecting with others in the community using data.

Another Sisense customer, that is a personal security company, uses data to track all the medical equipment sent to VHA hospitals and understand the need per location during the COVID crisis. This visibility is critical to VHA to keep track of every piece of equipment and to dashboard all its equipment use to the Whitehouse in the US to analyze and track usage of health supplies.

Better decisions, stronger businesses

Businesses have the ability to do more with data than ever before, to make better decisions at speed and scale, and answer questions they haven’t even asked yet. In an uncertain business environment, having a flexible and fast data environment to serve up more accurate recommendations and next best actions based on unified data and efficient data sharing can make a significant difference to businesses looking to strengthen for the future.

SScott Castle is the VP & GM for Cloud Data Teams at Sisense. He brings over 25 years of experience in software development and product management at leading technology companies including Adobe, Electric Cloud, and FileNet. Scott is a prolific writer and speaker on all things data, appearing at events like the Gartner Enterprise Data Conference, Data Champions, and Strata Data NYC.

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