by JACK CLARK AND SPENCER SOPER
Amazon Web Services -- which is gaining more big data capabilities -- accelerated the pace of its cloud growth, generating $1.82 billion in second-quarter sales.
Much was said in broadcast media yesterday about Amazon surpassing Wal-Mart as the largest retail provider in the U.S. What has not be discussed as much, except in IT media, is Amazon's drive to the forefront of cloud based services. Not only leaving tech giants like Google and Microsoft in the dust, but doing so at a phenomenal growth rate.
To put this in perspective, any Joe with a computer, internet access, and a credit card can have Amazon host everything which would previously require your own IT department: web servers, network databases, application software. Such capabilities at such a cost savings was unheard of just a few years ago. Of course, we could also point to Tableau having it's own clouding hosting services for viz displays and data.
So what does this portend for the future of data analysts? Here are a few thoughts:
- This does not address access to data sources, but that’s rapidly evolving as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeff Bezos and company realize they could also make money selling subscription data.
- Such tools will help support more free agent data analysts who don’t need to be tied to organizations for IT support.
- Talented individuals and small groups will have tremendous agility to deliver analysis services on par with larger more established organizations. Also not be constrained in the scope of what they can do by the organization’s priorities and resource limitations. Cloud services help level the playing field.
- Not a warm-fuzzy feeling for IT groups, but executive leadership within organizations looking to outsource related services to support their staff of data analysts at a lower cost.