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5 Best Practices for Embarking on a Cloud Analytics Journey

Author: Tom Hoblitzell | 7 min read | July 28, 2022


You’ve already made the choice to move from on-premises data analytics to the cloud—which puts you in very good company. According to a survey of large enterprises by Teradata, 83 percent agree that the cloud is the best place to run analytics workloads, and 91 percent believe that analytics should be moving to the public cloud more quickly.


At this stage, however, the process has scarcely begun. Unfortunately, far too many businesses stall out or face unexpected roadblocks on their journey to cloud analytics. The good news is that you can maximize your odds of an effective cloud analytics migration by learning from those who came before you.

Listening to the previous experiences (both successes and failures) of digital transformation leaders is the best way to prepare your own organization to use analytics in the cloud. Below, we’ll explore 5 tips and best practices that any company should follow when starting their cloud analytics migration.

1. Get your ducks in a row

If you’re not sure how to measure the success of your cloud analytics migration, you’ll find it much harder to know what needs to (or what can be) improved after the implementation. For this reason, it’s essential to select the right metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) before you get started.

To calculate the ROI (return on investment) of your move to cloud analytics, ask questions such as:

  • What business problems is our cloud analytics solution intended to fix?
  • How do we expect business processes to improve (simpler, faster, more accurate) as a result of the migration?
  • How can we concretely measure the impact of smarter data-driven decision-making through cloud analytics (e.g. higher profits, greater customer satisfaction, increased social media activity, etc.)?

2. Understand the limitations

Moving to cloud analytics can help address many of the challenges that you’ve faced on-premises, such as issues with scalability, availability, and high total cost of ownership (TCO). However, while the cloud has a variety of advantages over on-premises analytics, it’s not a magic bullet. If your analytics platform is too advanced for your needs, for example, then simply migrating it to the cloud won’t help lower the learning curve.

Before setting off on your cloud analytics journey, make sure you understand the requirements of your business, the audience who will be using the solution, and your choice of technical stack. If you need help fleshing these topics out, it’s a good idea to speak with a trusted cloud analytics migration partner.

3. Develop an MVP

For many reasons, it’s best not to bite off more than you can chew when migrating to cloud analytics. Trying to move your entire analytics stack into the cloud, especially for organizations without prior experience, is a recipe for disaster. With a larger budget, it will also be more difficult to get approval from key decision-makers who are on the fence about the initiative.

Instead, focus on building out an MVP (minimum viable product) in the cloud before you fully commit to a cloud analytics migration. A successful MVP will demonstrate proof of value to the company leadership, making them more likely to greenlight the project.

4. Find the right partner

If you lack the proper in-house expertise—and many businesses do—then the best option is likely to work with a cloud analytics migration partner. This will be a third-party business that has already helped many companies move their workflows to the cloud.

When choosing a cloud migration partner, look for businesses that have already worked with clients in your sector and that are familiar with industry-specific concerns such as data security or compliance issues. It’s also a good idea to select a partner with a wide range of cloud migration services, which ensures that they can remain at your side throughout the project lifespan.

5. Don’t forget security and compliance

Security and compliance are critical, yet often overlooked, concerns when dealing with a cloud analytics migration. According to the same Teradata survey, 50 percent of organizations cite security as a major barrier to cloud analytics, while 35 percent mention problems with regulatory compliance.

If your analytics workflows handle sensitive or confidential data on-premises, then it’s essential that this information remains just as protected (or even more so) when it moves into the cloud. In particular, make sure that your choice of cloud migration partner can help you navigate these issues to avoid legal problems or failed audits.

How to Get Started with Cloud Analytics

If it’s your first time using analytics in the cloud—or even your first time in the cloud, period—it’s a wise decision to work with a cloud analytics partner like Datavail. We are a knowledgeable, qualified, and highly experienced IT partner for thousands of clients who need assistance with their analytics, business intelligence, databases, and application development.

The list of our cloud analytics certifications includes:

  • Microsoft Gold Partner (with 17+ years as a trusted Microsoft Partner)
  • AWS Advanced Tier Consulting Partner for Analytics
  • Oracle Specialized Partner for Business Intelligence

From initial readiness assessments and strategic planning to long-term support and maintenance, Datavail offers a full suite of cloud analytics migration services from start to finish.

To learn more about what we offer—and to hear more war stories from executives with experience in cloud analytics—download our white paper “Real-Life Examples and Best Practices for Your Journey to Cloud Analytics.” It’s packed with valuable advice and lessons about what you should (and shouldn’t) do when getting started with your journey to the cloud.

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