Many data analytics practitioners today are interested in ways they can accelerate new scenarios and use cases to enable business outcomes and competitive advantage. As many enterprises look at rationalizing their data investments and modernizing their data analytics platform strategies, the prospect of migrating to a new cloud-first data platform like Google’s Data Cloud can be perceived as a risky and daunting task — not to mention the expense of the transition from redesign and remodeling of legacy data models in traditional data warehouse platforms to the refactoring of analytics dashboards and reporting for end users. The time and cost of this transition is not trivial. Many enterprises are looking for ways to deliver innovation at cloud speed without the time and costs of traditional replatforming where millions are spent on this type of transition. When access to all data within the enterprise and beyond is the future – it’s a big problem if you can’t leverage all of your data for its insights, and at cloud scale, because you’re stuck in the technologies and approaches of which aren’t designed to match your unique industry requirements. So, what is out there to address these challenges? 

Google’s Data Cloud for industries combines pre-built industry content, ecosystem integrations, and solution frameworks to accelerate your time to value. Google has developed a set of solutions and frameworks to address these issues as part of its latest offering called Google Cloud Cortex Framework, which is part of Google’s Data Cloud. Customers like Camanchaca accelerated build time for analytical models by 6x, and integrated Cortex content for improved supply chain and sustainability insights and saved 12,000 hours deploying 60 data models in less than 6 months. 

Accelerating time to value with Google Cloud Cortex Framework

Cortex Framework provides accelerators to simplify your cloud transition and data analytics journey in your industry. This blog explores some essentials you need to know about Cortex and how you can adopt and leverage its content to rapidly onramp your enterprise data from key applications such as SAP and Salesforce, along with data from Google, third-party, public and community data sets. Cortex is available today and it allows enterprises to accelerate time to value by providing endorsed connectors delivered by Google and our partners, reference architectures, ready to use data models and templates with BigQuery, Vertex AI examples, and an application layer that includes microservices templates for data sharing with BigQuery that developers can easily deploy, enhance, and make their own depending on the scope of their data analytics project or use case. Cortex content helps you get there faster — with lower time and complexity to implement. Let’s now explore some details of Cortex and how you can best take advantage of it with Google’s Data Cloud.   

First, Cortex is both a framework for data analytics and a set of deployable accelerators; the below image provides an overview of the essentials of Cortex Framework focusing on key areas of endorsed connectors, reference architectures, deployment templates, and innovative solution accelerators delivered by Google and our partners. Google will explore each of these focus areas of Cortex in greater depth below.

Why Cortex Framework?  

Leading connectors: First, Cortex provides leading connectors delivered by Google and our partners. These connectors have been tested and validated to provide interoperability with Cortex data models in BigQuery, Google’s cloud-scale enterprise data warehouse. By taking the guesswork out of selecting which tooling works to integrate to Cortex with BigQuery, we’re taking the time, effort, and cost out of evaluating the various tooling available in the market. 

Deployment accelerators: Cortex provides a set of predefined deployable templates and content for enterprise use cases with SAP and Salesforce that include BigQuery data models, Looker dashboards, Vertex AI examples, and microservices templates for synchronous and asynchronous data sharing with surrounding applications. These accelerators are available free of charge today via Cortex Foundation and can easily be deployed in hours. The figure below provides an overview of Cortex Foundation and focus areas for templates and content available today:

Reference architectures: Cortex provides reference architectures for integrating with leading enterprise applications such as SAP and Salesforce as well as Google and third-party data sets and data providers. Reference architectures include blueprints for integration and deployment with BigQuery that are based on best practices for integration with Google’s Data Cloud and partner solutions based on real-world deployments. Examples include best practices and reference architectures for CDC (Change Data Capture) processing and BigQuery architecture and deployment best practices. 

The image below shows an example of reference architectures based on Cortex published best practices and options for CDC processing with Salesforce. You can take advantage of reference architectures such as this one today and benefit from these best practices to reduce the time, effort and cost of implementation based on what works and has been successful in real-world customer deployments.

Innovative solutions: Cortex Foundation includes support for various use cases and insights across a variety of data sources. For example, Cortex Demand Sensing is a solution accelerator offering leveraging Google Cloud Cortex Framework to deliver accelerated value to Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) customers who are looking to infuse innovation into their Supply Chain Management and Demand Forecasting processes.

An accurate forecast is critical to reducing costs, and maximizing profitability. One gap for many CPG organizations is a near-term forecast that leverages all of the available information from various internal and external data sources to predict near-term changes in demand. As an enhanced view of demand materializes, CPG companies also need to manage and match demand and supply to identify near term changes in demand and their root cause, and then shape supply and demand to improve SLAs and increase profitability. 

Our approach shown below for Demand Sensing integrates SAP ERP and other data sets (e.g. Weather Trends, Demand Plan, etc) together with our Data Cloud solutions like BigQuery, Vertex AI and Looker to deliver extended insights and value to demand planners to improve the accuracy of demand predictions and help to defer cost and drive new revenue opportunities.

The ecosystem advantage

Building an ecosystem means connections with a diverse set of partners that accelerate your time to value. Google Cloud is excited to announce a range of new partner innovations that bring you more choice and optionality. 

Over 900 partners put trust in BigQuery and Vertex AI to power their business by being part of the “Built with” Google Cloud initiative. These partners build their business on top of our data platform, enabling them to scale at high performance – both their technology and their business. 

In addition to this, more than 50 data platform partners offer fully validated integrations through our Google Cloud Ready – BigQuery initiative. 

A look ahead

Google solutions roadmap will target expansion of Cortex Foundation templates and content support for additional solutions in sales and marketing, supply chain, and expansion of use cases and models for finance. You will also see significant expansion with predefined BigQuery data models and content for Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform, and other cross-media platforms and applications and improvements with deployment experience and expansion into analytical accelerators that span across data sets and industries.

Ready to start your journey?

With Cortex Framework, you come first in benefiting from our open source Data Foundation solutions content and packaged industry solutions content available on our Google Cloud Marketplace and Looker. The Cortex content is available free of charge so you can easily get started with your Google Data Cloud journey today!