Digital Themes

Cloud Data Platform

What is a cloud data platform?

A cloud data platform enables organizations to store, access, and analyze their data through the cloud. These platforms are often a focus for data science, which aims to expand upon the knowledge and uses of data. This scientific focus expands upon the ways cloud data platforms can help organizations. Cloud platforms such as the Snowflake Data Marketplace and Google Cloud offer the ability to share, input, review, and analyze data all from the same place.

Cloud platforms improve upon older data storage methods, such as an on-premises storage device, by allowing data storage to integrate with other software, such as an analytics platform or a secure data sharing service. Cloud platforms are less susceptible to failure than traditional on-premises methods, because they are usually backed up across multiple servers and locations. Before, a catastrophic event such as a fire or break-in could devastate a company’s data, but cloud data platforms are designed to withstand such events. Cloud data platforms offer multiple storage solutions, such as a data warehouse for processed data, or a data lake for raw data.

Cloud data platforms also allow for data analytics in a variety of ways. Data warehousing allows for storage, analysis, and reporting. Data engineers can also enable big data analytics using machine learning (ML), and some services can create visualizations automatically based on parameters set by the organizations. It is also possible to create a data pipeline that will automatically analyze data sets and move them to different services or storage locations as needed. Rather than commanding large amounts of computational resources on-premises, these data intensive applications can be run on the cloud.

A cloud data platform also emphasizes data security. This can be accomplished multiple ways, such as only allowing a select user group to access specific data or requiring multifactor authentication before being allowed access. Cloud platforms also offer the ability to create a security data lake, which can be utilized to identify malicious intruders more quickly. Cloud data platforms also allow for private clouds, which, unlike public clouds, allow for servers to be dedicated to individual organizations, so that data access is limited to only those within the organization. Public clouds also benefit from cloud security, as most platforms utilize firewalls and security protocols for any attempt to access data.

Cloud data platform benefits include:

  • Quick processing time: Cloud data platforms can quickly ingest and process structured and unstructured data. This allows for quicker availability of the data and analyses.

  • Scalable: Rather than committing to a large amount of storage space, cloud platforms allow for businesses to scale their usage as necessary. If a large amount of data is quickly accumulated, organizations can simply request more space.

  • Simplify budgets: Rather than investing in a large capital expense (CAPEX), cloud platforms allow businesses to pay for what they use. A cloud data service also minimizes maintenance and licensing costs.

  • Enhanced data analysis: Rather than spending a large amount of time and processing power on analytics, cloud data platforms can enable data processing automatically. This allows companies to more quickly identify and react to trends.
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