For a long time (in tech terms that is) there has been a desire to find a mechanism for leveraging the computational power of “the cloud” with BI.(see NB below)
I have just found Data Applied which was started by some ex-Microsoft gurus including Dominic Pouzin and which, if this video is correct, opens up a whole new world of data visualisation and analysis.
NB The concept of uploading data and having it crunched in the cloud is far from new. However, there have been a number of VERY key roadblocks in the path to success:
- Upload Speeds. Whilst connections, particularly download connections, have been growing in speed upload is still painfully slow. This is particularly true in the smaller end of the business spectrum where ADSL is most common. This means that to upload a data set that is sufficiently large to provide meaningful business analysis and more critically data mining is a long slow and bandwidth hogging process.
- Data location. It is increasingly hard, in the current regulatory environment, to allow data outside of a jurisdiction. Even if there are no real obstacles there is an overwhelming paranoid perception in the minds of data gate keepers.
- User understanding. The Data Applied target audience seems to be the lower mid enterprise space. This is exactly where the BI for the masses audience that many, including Microsoft, have preached as being the ideal consumers reside. Unfortunately, especially when it come to advanced visualisations and in particular data mining the skills to understand the results and the boundaries of those results and therefore make insightful decisions based on the results is not necessarily in the hand of the users who are given such tools.
So as the winner of the “Charlie Maitland coolest data tool of 2009” award I raise my hat to Data Applied.