No two enterprises have the same needs. Each will have specific requirements that need to be met when selecting cloud analytics tools. It’s essential for leaders within an organization to convene and determine the strategic focus for cloud analytics adoption before jumping the gun. The people who need to be involved in this conversation will, like everything else, be dependent on your organization. But generally, relevant C-suite members should be on board with these decisions, as well as leaders within the IT department.

There are many different kinds of analytics tools out there today. In fact, one could argue there’s a tool out there today for just about every possible need. Therefore, the issue becomes more about refinement and discretion than anything else.

Here are some of the most important things to consider when selecting the best cloud analytics tools for your enterprise.

Understand the Important Features

The relevant features must be thought through before deciding on a lineup of cloud analytics tools. Certain features, based on empirical best practices, will help propel your organization to new heights. While each situation is unique, there are some general trends in the cloud analytics industry that can guide your decision.

Top features offered by cloud analytics today include:

  • Self-service analytics – The old way of doing data analytics requires every query be sent through a standard channel, where an analyst handled it. This antiquated order of operations gets turned on its head with self-service analytics. Many cloud analytics platforms are now usable by people without a deep background in data science or analytics. Through data democratization—the process of opening data to more employees within an organization—it’s possible to get more actionable insights with a faster turnaround. While this can be massively advantageous when used well, there are some valid concerns that need to be addressed as well.
  • Granular permissions levels – To keep data democratization in check, it’s important to have highly customizable permissions levels for employee access. Data still needs to have granular permissions levels; even with the clear benefits of data democratization, data needs to be treated with the utmost care. Cloud analytics platforms have to accommodate for wider use by being able to control access to certain data. ThoughtSpot is one provider that does an excellent job of combining these elements of freedom and control. They offer some of the most effective data democratization tools, such as search analytics and granular permissions controls.
  • Mobile compatibility – The world of data analytics isn’t just relegated to the office. Mobile analytics, thanks to the cloud, is becoming an increasingly popular feature for platforms. It can be incredibly handy for employees to access data analytics tools while on a worksite, or away from the office. This capability further empowers organizations to get the most out of their data.

Think Hard about Return on Investment

Costs need to be a top priority for all organizations. Whether you’re thinking about limiting capital expenditures, or maximizing return on investment, costs are going to play a vital role in the underlying fundamentals. Therefore, it’s essential for your enterprise to carefully weigh the costs of cloud analytics tools before deciding on anything. As a general rule, cloud platforms require less upfront investment due to their subscription models and scalability.

While more expensive options are typically going to have an abundance of bells and whistles, they don’t necessarily translate into ROI. This is further evidence of why it’s so essential for each organization to take an account of its own priorities.

Additionally, don’t buy into tools expecting you’ll figure out how to maximize them for ROI later. That’s not a winning strategy. On the contrary, you should map out exactly how long you think it will take cloud analytics tools to pay for themselves. With these numbers in mind, you can make a far better decisions for the long term.

Enterprises today can no longer afford to sleep on the importance of data analytics. Cloud analytics tools are becoming an increasingly essential part of business operations. These concepts should help your organization choose the right cloud analytics tools.