The title of this article is no oxymoron. Why should cloud-based Business Intelligence (Cloud BI) solutions be limited to cloud-based data only? In fact you should expect your Cloud BI solutions to work well with all your data including on-premise data.
Wait a moment, you’d say, my on-premise data sits behind firewalls and is not accessible from the cloud! Nor should it be accessible from the cloud lest data security be compromised!
Oh, but I insist:
- Cloud BI can be implemented without poking any holes in your network firewalls
- There’s no need to copy on-premise data to the cloud
- Cloud BI is more secure than client-server solutions that keep potentially sensitive data on portable computers
- Cloud BI is centrally managed, allowing you to easily cut access and control the load on your data source
Let me explain:
No Holes in your Firewall
The key to cloud-based access to on-premise data is a data-access agent. For example, the Explore Analytics Agent resides in your private network and communicates with the cloud-based Explore Analytics over HTTPS. The connection is initiated by the agent and there’s no port that accepts any connections from the outside. While the agent initiates the connection, user queries are processed instantly supporting interactive data exploration and live reports. And you have precise control over which data the agent can access.
No Need to Copy Data
Queries are performed on-premise and results are streamed back to the user. Copying data to the cloud is not necessary.
Don’t Keep Sensitive Data on Portable Computers
Your users use laptops and tablets. These devices are easily lost or stolen, potentially leaving you to deliver the bad news to your customers that their data might have been compromised. A SaaS web-based solution that can be accessed from anywhere using nothing more than a browser is thus more secure, because it eliminates the need to keep data on users’ laptops or tablets. You can easily change a password to cut off access from a lost device. Explore Analytics is specifically designed for self-service BI, replacing the need to use Excel spreadsheets.
With centralized data access, you can easily limit the number of concurrent queries, or limit the amount of data that you allow users to fetch in a single query. Since data is filtered and aggregated at the source, there’s never a need to fetch more than a few thousand rows. When users leave your company, off-boarding is easy. Moreover, if you need to temporarily cut off all data access to your data, then Cloud BI makes it a cinch.
Using Cloud BI solutions can greatly reduce costs and improve your users’ experience, and can be accomplished without sacrificing data security. The availability, confidentiality, and integrity of your data can be controlled at the level required by your business and the sensitivity of your data.
About Explore Analytics
Explore Analytics is a self-service SaaS BI tool for data analysis, visualization, and reporting. For more information, see the Explore Analytics website.