Cloud computing applied with the combination of data analytics is becoming a rapidly emerging sector in IT. Products such as Carbonite, Google Drive, and Dropbox are three examples of popular cloud database platforms that companies pay by Gigabyte (GB) usage/user. However as more space is needed, businesses need to quantify and measure how much space is actually needed for their operations. It is important to note that files saved mean less room for space, so every year there will be a need for more space, which will drive up the overall costs of storage space. This is where cloud analytics technology can be implemented to help determine the necessary costs:
- Analyze - Using cloud analytics, business owners can visualize trends over months or years of data. Further analysis and exploration breaks down each individual cost by user, size, application, and cloud. Space can get expensive since each GB of additional storage can result in higher fees. For example, if your business has users that use more than 50+GBs a year in Google Drive, those fees can be costly as the storage would double every year assuming all files are saved. For Google Drive, a small business that accumulates 1 Terabyte (TB) a month would cost it $10 a month. However as business expands and users increase, these costs can go up to $100+ a month. Small businesses with cloud accounts will have instances where they are paying for extra space they are not using. However, using cloud analytics these situations are easily recognizable and once the problems are identified, these unnecessary costs can be eliminated.
- Forecast - Cloud analytics assesses data usage information to help forecast future cloud adjustments. Based on certain business expectations and past performance, the data can show if a company needs to make certain seasonal or quarterly adjustments to its cloud usage. For example: A product launch, a sharp increase in sales, etc. So if the company needed to calculate extra Dropbox space needed to accommodate any future event, the data would show the expectation and what-if scenarios.
Integrating cloud data technology and data analysis will highly complement IT decisions. The owner can optimize the use of the cloud space and help forecast further usage. There are many products that integrate cloud analytics into Business Intelligence (BI) platforms to help manage cloud usage. Popular programs such as GoodData, Tableau, and IBM Watson are three that can be used to analyze this information and forecast its relevant costs. Small business owners will have the opportunity to evaluate certain purchasing options and find opportunities in adjusting cloud usage to maximize efficiency.
I would like to thank Paul Chang for his help on preparing this article with me. Paul is an Analytics/Marketing Intern at Consultants 2 Go and student at New York University. Don’t forget, you can email me at Peggy@Consultants2Go.com with any questions you might have and I’ll be glad to answer them. You can also follow my business and me on Twitter @peggymchale and @consultants2go.