Image Alt

How businesses are addressing cloud BI data integration concerns

How businesses are addressing cloud BI data integration concerns

Although cloud computing solutions and services are widespread, business intelligence solutions have not been adopted at a large scale in the last five years, according to Howard Dresner’s 2012 Wisdom of Crowds Cloud BI Market Study. The good news is that investments in cloud based BI are growing and cloud BI data integration is only at the beginning of a long trend.

With cloud business intelligence, businesses would be able to deliver BI competencies “as a service” using cloud-based architecture. Amongst the benefits mentioned by business leaders who already have implemented cloud BI, the most appreciated were process efficiency, effectiveness and gaining a competitive advantage.

According to Howard Dresner’s 2012 study, most respondents are concerned about traditional data issues such as integration, relational database support and connections to on-premises applications and data.

Every single process of adopting a new technology has a cycle and at the beginning, there are always some concerns that managers and decision-makers have to deal with. Here are the top concerns when it comes to cloud BI data integration and how businesses are addressing them.

Data integration

12% of the respondents who participated in the study mentioned above said that data integration is a barrier to cloud BI adoption. Usually, BI activity in the cloud uses data that the company uploads. Businesses need to be able to connect legacy data with data that is currently in the cloud for a complete integration.


More than half (56%) of the survey respondents stated security and privacy issues are the top barrier to adoption of cloud BI. Security is an issue: first, everyone talks about safe data storage and privacy; secondly, and maybe even most important, it’s about IT control. Businesses don’t want to lose the control of their data when stored in the cloud. Cloud providers have also learned to overcome this challenge and are able to offer to customers different levels of security protection.

Data visualization

IT, Finance and Sales and Marketing departments rank high data visualization as a requirement. Most users need a dashboard with data relative to their metrics. Traditional reporting, dashboards and similar reports that give users important stats about the business and industry is where the value is from BI. Hosting BI in the cloud accomplishes these needs. Even more, it brings the advantage of making the data more accessible to more people than before. There is no doubt that this functionality will not go away, so more and more organizations will adopt Cloud BI.

The bottom line is that the trend of organizations moving their operational apps to the cloud is growing which is starting to fuel the adoption of  BI in the cloud.

Has your company integrated cloud BI? What were the main challenges and how did you/ your company manage to overcome them? Please share your stories in the comments

Photo source:


  • Susan Bilder

    June 25, 2013

    In some instances, security and control concerns can be addressed through a hybrid cloud, with sensitive data stored locally, and more generic information relegated to cloud hosted databases. However, BI is more efficient with the dataset in one location. Until the security and control concerns are addressed, that location will be a local cloud for businesses that can afford it. As Mr. Dresner states in the study, the change in perception for security and control will be evolutionary, not revolutionary – the trend is moving toward moving operational apps and BI to the cloud – but it will still take a little time before we hit the tipping point where security and control are no longer the leading concerns in adopting cloud hosted datasets.

Post a Comment