Data Analysis and Showback
The importance of Data Analysis and Showback in FinOps lies in its ability to leverage cloud resource data and provide real-time reporting, enabling stakeholders to understand total costs, identify cost-saving opportunities, and track financial health metrics. By establishing a data repository and integrating with chargeback and IT finance systems, organizations can optimize cloud costs and align FinOps with other organizational processes, ultimately reaching higher maturity levels across all FinOps domains.
To perform effective data analysis, it is crucial to analyze accurate and correct cloud costs and usage data, which relies on the prior completion of data ingestion and normalization capabilities. These preparatory steps ensure the integrity and reliability of the data, setting the foundation for meaningful and accurate data analysis.
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Data Analysis and Showback Definition
Data analysis and showback is a critical capability in FinOps that involves leveraging data and metadata on cloud resources and hierarchies to create a real-time reporting mechanism for stakeholders. The goal is to highlight total costs for the desired business entity, opportunities for cost avoidance, and KPIs for financial health, such as performance of rate reduction commitments, unit cost measures for key services, and efficiency metrics aggregated by desired teams or organizational units. This work typically focuses on cloud cost and usage data and relies heavily on adequate data ingestion and normalization capabilities.
The results of data analysis and showback are typically available for chargeback and IT finance integration. This capability includes creating a data repository of normalized, queryable data from which reporting, analysis, and visualization of cloud cost and usage will occur. Optimization capabilities and alignment with other organizational processes and systems will likewise rely upon the data sources created by this capability.
Organizations may rely on native cloud-provider tools to fulfill this capability or third-party tools that provide much of this functionality. As cost showback is a fundamental aspect of FinOps, it is crucial to consider and account for all FinOps domains. Therefore, reaching the highest maturity level should be considered a work in progress across the FinOps domains.