The Cloud Acquisition Appetite For Data And Analytics

4 min readJul 24, 2019


The Cloud Acquisition Appetite For Data And Analytics

As cloud titans battle, each is amassing new data and analytics assets to fuel growth. Some are developed internally, such as Google Spanner, a distributed SQL database inspiring no less than three new startups. Amazon is barreling ahead packaging open source and internally developed software into new database services.

Another source of data and analytics assets is via acquisition. There have been several in the first half of 2019 and with the next wave of SQL, we’re seeing a big start to a big trend.

The Cloud Appetite for SQL — Citus Data

In January 2019, Microsoft acquired Citus Data, a company known for building a scale-out version of PostgreSQL. According to their website, “Citus is an extension to Postgres that transforms Postgres into a distributed database.” While this is not quite the same approach as the distributed SQL databases we’ve explored, it does have wide appeal to the database market.

With the industry focus on digital transformation, Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Azure Data, noted in the corporate post,

Data and analytics are increasingly at the center of digital transformation

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a particularly large deal since the amount was not disclosed and previously Citus Data had only raised $13 million.

Moving Data in the Cloud — Alooma

In February 2019, Google acquired Alooma, a company that “brings data from your various data silos together to your data warehouse, all in real-time.”

For enterprises, collecting and consolidating data is an ongoing challenge. The broader market, often referred to as Extract, Transform, and Load or ETL for short, has been dominated by companies like Informatica and a host of solutions owned by database vendors themselves. Newcomers like Segment and Fivetran also fit in this ETL arena.

The Alooma acquisition blog post notes integrations “from Google Ads and Analytics to Cloud Spanner and BigQuery,” drawing attention to the emphasis on databases and data warehouses accessed via SQL.

The acquisition amount was not publicly disclosed but one Israeli newsite puts the estimated amount between $100 to $150 million

On to Analytics with SQL — Looker

Google kicked things into high gear at the start of the summer with their acquisition of Looker for $2.6 billion. Looker touts that it “has harnessed the power of SQL to create a uniquely powerful data analytics platform.” Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, expanded that the Looker is “a unified platform for business intelligence, data applications, and embedded analytics.”

In explaining the use cases, Kurian continued, “Many customers use Google Cloud, including Google BigQuery as their Enterprise Data Warehouse, for business analytics — using SQL to query real-time data streams…”

Other workloads noted include “running managed Hadoop and Spark clusters; and using machine learning,” but the SQL highlights came first.

Peak Business Intelligence — Tableau

Salesforce definitely took the prize in the first half of 2019 with their acquisition of Tableau at a whopping $15.7 billion. Tableau is the reigning leader for enterprise business intelligence with a comprehensive product line and devoted user base.

While Tableau offers a range of products including those that allow users to work with data locally, the platform overall is intended to “Connect to all your data on-prem or in the cloud.” This includes connecting to a range of data sources such as database and data warehouses, with SQL.

Salesforce also emphasized the connection to digital transformation stating, “Companies of every size and industry are transforming how they do business in the digital age — customers and data are at the heart of those transformations.” It included an eye popping market prediction: “IDC projects worldwide spending on technologies and services that will enable digital transformation to reach $1.8 trillion in 2022.”

Continuing in 2019

With the two large business intelligence acquisitions, cloud titans have spent $18.3 billion so far on data and analytics in 2019. With continued pressure for cloud growth, it is likely we’ll see that number increase before the end of the year.

Any acquisitions missed? Have predictions? Contact me on Twitter at


Microsoft acquires Citus Data — 24 January 2019 — Microsoft blog post

Google announces intent to acquire Alooma to simplify cloud migration — 19 February 2019 — Google Blog Post

Google to acquire Looker — 6 June 2019 — Google Blog Post

Salesforce Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Tableau — 10 June 2019 — Salesforce press release