The Other IaaS: Insights as a Service

Written by Joe Kozlowicz on Thursday, August 1st 2019 — Categories: IT Modernization

As you continue to adopt cloud technologies and pursue digital transformation, you’ll overhaul databases, migrate data to the cloud, and continue to connect more and more information gathering tools to your digital environment.

With unstructured data pooling rapidly in cloud object storage and structured data overwhelming your databases, you’ll wisely implement data management protocols that include long term archiving, encryption and security measures for sensitive data, and strategic use of various cloud and on premises storage methods to minimize costs.

But are you taking advantage of that data beyond how it used in the applications that gather and handle it? There are business insights to be gleaned and platforms like Power BI can help you make sense of it. If you don’t have time to learn a new platform or budget to hire a full time data analytics staff, you can instead find an Insights as a Service provider to help.

What Are Insights as a Service?

Yes, everything is a service now. You may as well embrace it! Insights-a-a-S is a growing corner of the IT services market, and with cloud PaaS geared towards data analytics and visualization, alongside ever expanding volumes of data, it’s likely to continue as a viable service offering.

Essentially, Insights-a-a-S involves a partnering organization coming in, examining how you collect and store data, integrating it with one or more data platforms, and helping you create dashboards; manipulate, migrate, and move data; and learn how to ask and answer the data-related questions that help drive business insight and lead to significant ROI.

Common data insights include:

Insights-a-a-S may go beyond working with your existing data. Additional services include data cleaning, deduplication, and even sourcing additional data that could be used for a given inquiry or desired outcome. For example, historical sales information in a given demographic or trends from a target market location could be used to supplement data you have collected.

Obstacles Facing Data Insights

Cloud computing is accelerating data analytics and Insights as a Service as organizations not only adopt new technologies like object storage, NoSQL, and database PaaS, but also grow more comfortable with offering control of critical data to outside service providers.

But there are still challenges when adopting data analytics practices or pursuing an Insights-a-a-S relationship with a service provider. The biggest lift may be tracking down and integrating all of your data sources, which may involve re-architecting applications to take advantage of cloud APIs.

But perhaps the most crucial challenge is defining your data analytics plan. What exact business problem are you looking to solve? What are your expectations and what is the desired outcome from this data visualization?

Your Insights as a Service provider should be able to help you define a data project plan for mmigration, integration, security, data platforms, and dashboard configurations, including training and best practices. Without a strategy, it is too easy to get lost in the firehose of data across modern IT environments.

Once you know what insights may be helpful to innovate, drive efficiency, or secure a target market, an Insights as a Service provider can help you make informed decisions and drive meaningful change across your organization thanks to the power of your business data.