My key takeaways from the Cloud Analytics World Tour

Cloud Analytics is an awesome subject to approach. Gartner says most enterprises will be almost fully cloud engaged by 2020, this seems to be something which other Research organisations are also echoing. Given the rapid progression of cloud technologies and availability of these technologies, I am very much in the belief that Cloud definitely is the way forward.
Just think about it…. a few years ago, it was all SaaS (Software as a Service) and now the concept of AaaS (Anything as a Service) is as prolific as the recent addition of the word Selfie into the Oxford English Dictionary. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) provided by companies like Microsoft’s Azure or Amazon Web Services are commonplace now in this tech-enabled world.
You might be thinking now… well what does all of this have to do with the Cloud Analytics World Tour? The answer is that this is the foundation for both the knowledge and drive behind it!

Snowflake changes the way you think about data warehousing. Conventional data warehouses and big data solutions increasingly struggle to deliver on their fundamental purpose: to make it easy to amass all your data, enable rapid analytics, and quickly make data insights available to all of your users, consumers and systems that need them.

Their solution is pretty simple at heart. It is a Cloud Data Warehouse, complex in its structure and simple in its deliverables. Their vision is simple, Cloud Data Warehousing for Everyone.
Their platform looks quite easy to understand and comes with a number of already inbuilt connectors. They base their pricing by the second as opposed to their main competitors Amazon RedShift or Google BigQuery. Funnily enough, I came across this online…..

From their presentations, I definitely got the feeling that they actually listen to their customers and their concerns. They have a limited free usage to give it a try. Free usage expires 30 days after account activation or after free usage consumption, whichever occurs first. You can sign up here:
Cloud Data Warehouses are good, but how do you integrate with all your other currently running applications and current IT setup? This would be our next step…..

Interestingly, Talend has two products on offer, Talend Integration Cloud or Talend Data Integration (On-Premise). The beauty of Talend is that it is a seasoned product that has it’s roots in open source. They currently have a Talend Open Studio for Data Integration which is a free open source version. It provides a place where you can start and then when you need to scale, you can move onto their paid products. In it’s entirety, Talend is an ETL tool which you can use to manage all areas of your data journey, this includes, but is not limited to; Data Preparation, Data Stewardship, Data Quality etc… Their platform runs natively on Windows or Mac.

As you can see, it is not dissimilar to other tools out there, but it is one of the most widely used and most recommended.

Once you have your data warehouse and your integration tools, how do you make the most of your own data?

Tableau‘s mission is simple; Tableau helps people see and understand data. They are positioned in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant as a leader in Visual Analytics, and this is something no one can deny, it’s ease of use and the ability to empower you to develop your own analytics is beyond comparison.
Tableau comes in and helps to highlight your own data and empowers you to be able to make Data Driven decisions. There isn’t much here I can say about Tableau that I haven’t said before. Its ease of use is it’s strong selling point and most certainly lives up to its core mission.

Tableau provides a beautifully crafted interface which allows you to build amazing dashboards. Being able to visualise your data in a meaningful way is the true power of Tableau.

So that’s enough about the products and what they offer right? It is intended to give you a general idea. About the event itself, it was very well organised. There were a number of Snowflake staff members to guide you along the way. Having a “Passport” of sorts with each logo of each partner to get stamped was an innovative and simple way of getting people to visit each partner and learn more.
The event catered to all kinds of people looking at cloud analytics and solutions. Whether you were a partner (as is my case with Tableau and Talend) or a future user, there was more than enough to keep you entertained.
There were a number of slides which were interesting and the questions posed by the speakers was enough to make the cogs in your mind work overtime.
Although it felt like a “Death by Powerpoint” method of delivery, I wasn’t feeling dead by the end of it, but instead, quite empowered to learn more. On the whole, a very awesome event to attend and one I recommend!