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Cloud Analytics Services: Features & Providers

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Cloud analytic services are cloud-based systems consumers can use to analyze big data and generate business insights. In this lesson, you'll learn more about this cloud service and see popular examples of providers.

Big Data Usage

No one utilizes big data like Amazon. They have refined the process in such a way that they can deliver personalized recommendations of products you might like while you're scoping out other items on their website. And, because they know if you don't purchase quickly (with shipping to match), you're likely to spend your hard-earned dollars elsewhere. That's why they created ''1-Click Ordering''.

Amazon has mastered the idea of harnessing big data to gain a competitive advantage.
amazon, data, cloud, analytics

Most recently, they have developed a concept known as ''anticipatory shipping,'' where they fulfill and ship your order before you even realize you need it, based on information such as your most likely purchases and the time frame in which you might order them.

No doubt, the data behind Amazon's website has had a lot to do with the company's success since first arriving on the e-commerce scene in 1994. But, it's not enough to simply have the data, you have to know what to do with it to turn it into something useful.

That's where today's cloud analytics services come into play.

What Are Cloud Analytics Services?

Cloud analytics services is a cloud-based solution for businesses that helps them harness the power of the volumes of data they're collecting. It provides for a way to organize, manage and analyze data in a way that provides insights for making business decisions. Central to this is having the correct tools, techniques and resources in place to help businesses collect those insights from the massive amounts of data being gathered every day.

Like so many things today, the shift in storing, organizing and processing this data is toward a cloud environment, where components like data warehouses are flexible, scalable and more inexpensive than hosting data on site. And, even better, business owners can view and analyze data from any web browser anywhere in the world.

Cloud analytics is growing in popularity because of its ability to merge data from a variety of sources, such as a company website, smartphone application and social media channels, into one platform. This creates a one-stop solution for getting the big picture of what's happening in your business. And, as we touched on briefly in the last paragraph, it is easily accessible to all employees, at any time, anywhere, increasing a company's collaborative efforts to use the intelligence gathered in a cohesive way.

Taking advantage of this cloud-based solution requires a service provider that offers the resources and tools necessary for the consumer to sort through data and grab valuable insights.

Service Providers

As you might expect with Amazon so efficiently fine-tuning its data analysis, they've also created a cloud analytics solution for other consumers. But, they're not alone. Let's take a look at a few of the most popular cloud analytics providers out there.

Google Analytics

Google is a big name on the internet and for more than just its search capabilities. Google Analytics is a free tool that, by some estimates, is installed on more than 67 million websites circling the globe. This provider works by gathering all of a website's data, such as where internet traffic is coming from and what types of devices users are using, and puts it together for the website owner in a variety of visuals such as charts and graphs.

Users can view real-time data on how visitors are utilizing a website, such as what products they're browsing or what articles they're reading, as well as demographic details about site visitors, how much time they're spending on a given webpage and the types of conversions happening. Google is able to do this by dropping first-party cookies, or small bits of tracking data, on each site visitor's computer. Reports are grouped into Audience, Acquisition, Behavior and Conversions, giving you solid data to help make business decisions.

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