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Data analytics in a hybrid and fluid world

Content Marketing Manager, IBM Analytics Platform, IBM

Since coming back from the Insight 2015 conference, I’ve been thinking about how hybrid environment considerations might affect my choice of analytics provider. For months before Insight, I heard my colleagues describing an inexorable and global move to hybrid environments, calling such environments no longer luxuries, but necessities. What’s more, several Insight 2015 keynote addresses emphasized the paramount importance of seamlessly connecting cloud solutions with existing on-premises solutions. This consistent emphasis was no coincidence: Hybrid environments are indeed the order of the day as businesses increasingly realize the value of storing some data on premises, but other data in the cloud.

In short, none of us is speaking merely of an imaginary future in which data will exist in perfect harmony. Hybrid environments exist today, and they require support now. Companies that have traditionally kept their important data on premises are now searching for ways to safely store some of it in the cloud. In a world of hybrid environments, then—in which each piece of data can be stored in its ideal location—an organizational data and analytics solution must be similarly fluid. Unfortunately, not all analytics solutions support hybrid environments equally well.

Structure your hybrid environment for success

Before choosing an analytics solution, investigate its ability to perform in a hybrid environment. Does its provider focus primarily on cloud-based analytics solutions? Or, conversely, is the provider’s mentality stuck on premises? Either could signal problems down the road for your ever more hybridized environment.

Instead, look for a provider whose analytics solution targets both on-premises and cloud data, giving you the ability to structure your hybrid environment to suit your own needs. And don’t forget about data integration. Take full advantage of your data analytics by not trading away the ability to integrate data no matter where it resides, and your analytics will thank you.

Build fluidity into your analytics

Naturally, some technologies can use data from multiple sources more easily than others can. Fluid query technology is among these. In an environment in which data resides both on premises and in the cloud, fluid query technology allows the query to simply travel to the data—instead of requiring the reverse.

Using fluid query technology, an organization can gain several advantages, including the ability to perform a task on whichever platform best suits the workload. Moreover, a single SQL statement can distribute requests to multiple sources of data. In short, fluid query capabilities help provide a seamless experience by recognizing that data resides both on premises and in the cloud.

As the world undergoes an irreversible shift to hybrid environments, your choice of analytics provider can make all the difference. When you pick an analytics solution, choose one that is designed to fit your hybrid environment—one that respects your hybrid data as part of your larger analytics platform. To learn more, discover how one such analytics platform can work in harmony with your comprehensive hybrid and fluid architecture to help you make the most of your hybrid environment.