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Over the past year, the cloud computing industry has reached an inflection point. Cloud providers used to focus on delivering state-of-the-art IT services. However, demand for their technology has grown exponentially, which has forced them to focus on improving business intelligence for their customers.

Metadata Transforms Business Intelligence

The 2016 Gartner Critical Capabilities report reveals that demand for business intelligence solutions has surged over the past year. Avinash Lakshman, the CEO of Hedvig and creator of Apache Cassandra states that cloud providers are beginning to leverage metadata to improve the quality of business intelligence.

“The nature of many distributed systems, such as those used in large companies such as Google or Facebook, is by design to collect and store lots and lots of metadata,” Lakshman told Information Management. “This ‘data about the data’ will become increasingly relevant as companies analyze more of it for insights. Organizations such as Netflix have already built their success around analyzing customer data for commonalities and many companies will follow. Making sense of metadata, particularly metadata that has been stored for a long time, can also lead to new customer insights as well as become the focus of new products sold by analytics vendors.”

Unfortunately, leveraging metadata can be tricky, especially if you are using an older cloud provider. These services don’t have existing metadata protocols, so you need to use a data integration tool that has metadata support. Data integration tools must have contextual features built-in to minimize analytics errors.

How these Changes Impact Different Industries

Virtually every industry is beginning to leverage Oracle and other cloud solutions for business intelligence. Here are some industries that are going to benefit from cloud metadata.

Construction Industry

The construction industry is surprisingly very reliant on business intelligence IT solutions. Anterra, a real-estate service company that specializes in multi-family homes recently said that cloud business intelligence solutions have made it easier for construction companies to oversee their employees.

Metadata will be used in a variety of construction management software applications. Project managers and foremen will have more detailed data on their employees, which will help them meet deadlines, reduce errors and minimize wasteful costs.

WorkflowMax is one of the newest project management applications on the market. It is a very comprehensive tool that allows project managers and everyone working for them to discuss their progress and any issues they face. Since it is a cloud-based platform, team members can access WorkflowMax from anywhere in the world.

Contractors can also use WorkflowMax to forecast trends in the construction industry. They can look at metadata from past projects to project future revenue, approximate changes in variable costs and make informed staffing decisions.

Healthcare Industry

Healthcatalyst and other healthcare consultants have stated that the healthcare industry has become incredibly dependent on business intelligence. The need for business intelligence is driven by a variety of factors, including:

  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • Demographic factors creating increased demand for healthcare

“In healthcare, the definition of organizational performance is changing as rapidly as the need for it is growing,” states Health Catalyst. “Regulatory mandates, both necessitated and exacerbated by economic conditions, have created an environment characterized by fewer resources, jeopardized cash lows and diminishing margins. .. From meaningful use and new models of care such as ACOs, to value-based reimbursement and readmission penalties, healthcare increasingly needs business intelligence solutions that can aggregate all of its data, including clinical and financial, so it works together.”

There are a variety of great BI tools for healthcare providers, including Sisense and Health Catalyst. Health Catalyst has already started using metadata with its cloud based tools and similar solutions are expected to follow.

Hospitality Sector

Hotels, resorts and other companies in the hospitality industry have always needed to study business trends carefully. They rely on bulk data to forecast peak revenue periods and meet staffing needs.

Better access to metadata will make their job much easier. Intelligent Hospitality, DataVision and other cloud-based business intelligence tools will probably start using data integration tools to incorporate metadata into their models.