Data sources Data storage Cloud Insight

Est. reading time: 3 minutes
Author: Mia Hatton

Azure Data Factory is a cloud-based data integration service. It does not store data itself, but allows you to create and monitor automated workflows that collect, integrate, and (to some extent) transform large volumes of data from disparate sources, and pass them on to other services that can store, transform, analyse and use the data.

Mia Hatton

Budding data scientist with an entrepreneurial and science communication background.


Welcome to the Nightingale HQ overview of cloud data development services. Here we aim to introduce people to what they need to know.

Definition of cloud data development

Cloud data development is the process of migrating your data storage solution onto a central, cloud-based resource upon which analytical environments and business intelligence tools can be built.

Executive view

Cloud data development can transform your organisation’s approach to storage and analysis of data by creating a central hub that is secure, efficient and flexible enough to suit your organisation’s growing and changing needs. Hosting this resource on the cloud allows your organisation to make use of your provider’s security features and confer access to up-to-date technology without the costs associated with setup and updates.

Cloud data development helps businesses:

  • streamline processes by making actionable insights available to people at all levels of the organisation.

  • build an environment in which more can be done with data to meet business goals and to define a strategy for growth.

  • make use of cloud computing to access up-to-date technology without upfront costs.

Business function leader view

Cloud data development helps teams break away from data silos and create a central, accessible repository from which data can be accessed, analysed and used to meet your business goals. A data platform encompasses both secure cloud data storage and - via your cloud vendor - a suite of business intelligence and analysis tools that allow teams to gain valuable, actionable insights from data and improve performance in all areas.

You may need this service if:

  • data comes from disparate sources so that gaining insight is time-consuming.

  • you want to build AI features into your products.

  • your business suffers from data silos due to friction between departments or technological factors, which prevents teams from seeing the bigger picture.

  • your business lacks the resources to maintain on-site data storage facilities.

  • you lack a central, secure repository for your business data.

KPIs you should consider measuring for this are:

  • Reduced time spent analysing data from disparate sources.

  • Improved conversion rates and reduced overspend from acting on data insights.

  • Reduced costs updating technology after shifting to cloud computing.

Technical view

Cloud data development provides access to a central service in which data can be securely stored and analysed. The data platform encompasses a data warehouse, data analysis platforms and business intelligence tools that make actionable data insights available to all relevant teams in your organisation.

Cloud data development helps deliver:

  • a single repository of integrated data from one or more sources.

  • a single source of current and historical data.

  • storage of the data for reports/analytics.

  • actionable insights and feedback.

  • tiered availability of data and results of analyses to different stakeholders.

  • insights that are tailored to the user.

Get this service if you encounter:

  • difficulties aggregating data across your organisation.

  • high demand from different departments to understand the data your company holds.

  • lack of resources to maintain an on-site data storage facility that meets your organisation’s security, fidelity and up-time requirements.

  • difficulties aggregating data from disparate sources.

  • a need to offer tiered security access to data and insights.

Key criteria to consider are:

  • What are the cost implications of migrating to a cloud data solution?

  • What are the potential savings after migrating to a cloud data solution?

  • How will you ensure that data is accurate?

  • How will you ensure that data is stored securely?

  • Which cloud vendor is right for your needs?