In my previous two articles in this series, I examined the benefits of a Unified Data and Analytics Platform (UDAP) for companies on opposing ends of the data-maturity spectrum. I argued that UDAPs provide unique value for both organizations just setting up analytics environments and those whose environments are overly complex.
In both cases, however, there are alternative solutions. So, for my final article, I want to highlight a capability unique to cloud-based UDAPs: cascading analytics.
The modern world runs on data. As a result, sharing and selling data has become an everyday part of our economy.
Now, imagine that instead of just sharing data or finished visualizations, a company could share a complete analytics platform that allowed its clients to add their own data and conduct ad hoc analyses of the combination. That is the promise of cascading analytics.
The cloud makes this possible. Multi-tenant architecture allows the seamless sharing of data while UDAP software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings provide the same seamless access to a complete data and analytics stack.
Cloud-based UDAPs that offer cascading analytics—such as Domo, which was profiled in Eckerson Group’s 2021 whitepaper Deep Dive on UDAPs—ingest customer data and allow users to transform, model, and analyze it.
They also allow them to push select data to their clients. These clients can add their own data to the instance and conduct additional analysis using the features provided by the UDAP. It’s like clients have their own mini UDAP subscription.
In comparison to traditional methods of sharing data, cascading analytics provides three key advantages:
- It’s seamless. With cascading analytics, no data actually moves. The multi-tenancy of the cloud-based UDAP allows its customers’ clients to directly access the slice of data they have the right to use. The customer never has to copy or actively send the data. This simplifies the process for the customer and means the client always has access to the most up-to-date data, because they’re accessing it in real time.
- It’s governed. UDAPs don’t just cascade the data; they cascade all of the permissions and restrictions attached to it. When customers choose to share data with clients, they can manage that access. Depending on the UDAP, the exact level of control may vary, but the governance capabilities built into the platform don’t disappear when a third party receives the data.
- It’s customizable. This last aspect puts the “analytics” in cascading analytics. Seamless governed data sharing provides value on its own, but the combination of that with the full functionality of a UDAP takes it to the next level. Instead of a data file or even a fixed dashboard, the customer can give their client a complete solution with which to manipulate the data. The client needs no software of their own, and they aren’t limited to the analyses provided by the data owner.
Companies that provide data as a product clearly benefit from cascading analytics, but they are not the only ones. Departments that want to provide data to other teams within an enterprise can also take advantage of cascading analytics for internal use.
Basically, any organization that delivers data to partners can increase the value of that data by delivering the means to analyze it, as well. But because cascading analytics depends on the distinctive architecture of a cloud-based UDAP, businesses that want to provide this service must first adopt such a platform.
Companies that want to deliver cascading analytics should also consider the following questions as they evaluate potential platforms:
- What level of governance does the platform enable?
- What does it cost to share the platform with clients?
- Are there additional regulatory restrictions around my data that would preclude putting it in a public cloud?
- How intuitive will the interface be for my client?
- Does this platform allow me to white label the solution?
- How can I track my client’s usage of the platform and how will I bill them?
To learn more about cloud-based UDAPs, join me and Domo’s vice president of data curiosity, Ben Schein, on April 21, when we host a webinar titled Modern BI for All: Why Invest in a UDAP. To register for the event, click here.