The modern business landscape favors frictionless interactions at every turn. It’s no surprise, then, that organizations are doing everything they can to smooth the edges surrounding their analytics technology, so to speak. There’s just no room for clunky or incompatible interfaces of any kind in the enterprise today. As such, here are some of the leading advantages of embedded data analytics.
Dismantling Barriers to Analytics Adoption
Part of the challenge companies face when trying to become increasingly data-driven is getting employees to adopt available analytics tools into their routine work processes.
In 2017, Gartner estimated employee adoption of BI and analytics tool to be around 30 percent of the total staff. One of the major factors Gartner cited as impacting BI adoption for better or for worse? Ease of use. It’s as simple as it sounds: Employees are more likely to utilize tools that offer a user-friendly interface, speed and convenience. Where users are or are not able to access these interfaces, then, often makes a difference in their likelihood of adopting analytics tools.
With embedded analytics, both BI tools and their resulting insights — typically formatted as custom pinboards — integrate directly into business applications and portals. This saves users the step of having to find or create insights in a separate program and deal with the hassle of importing them. This puts data directly at employees’ fingertips in a context-specific manner, maximizing the chances they will engage with it in a meaningful way.
Powering Seamless User Collaboration
Self-service BI and analytics tools have encouraged the democratization of data, allowing business users to perform queries and share their findings with colleagues. This is a far cry from the gatekept models of years past in which business users had to rely on data teams to create and disseminate reports.
Embedded analytics in particular help fuel these collaborative capabilities, helping get everyone on the same page in terms of the latest data findings related to decisions at hand. Regardless of physical location, teams and individuals are able to share information through collaborative tools — like embedding insights into shared Slack channels to make sure no one misses out.
Another use for embedded analytics is creating customer portals, meaning data analytics tools and charts can integrate directly into interfaces like websites. This empowers customers to ask questions and create custom charts to answer their own questions.
One company already harnessing embedded analytics in customer portals is British Telecom (BT), which allows customers to ask questions about their billing structures so they can choose the most fitting products for their needs. Since connecting customers directly to data analytics in this way, BT has seen its net promoter score increase by more than 40 percent — indicating people appreciate this hands-on way to access information and make decisions.
Cultivating a Culture of Data
Companies driven by data tend to reap benefits like operational efficiency, competitive advantage over less data-savvy competitors and overall increased profitability. This is because data isn’t just an optional add-on used to legitimize talking points in meetings; it’s the bread and butter of how choices are made on the ground every day.
Many things go into cultivating a data culture, but one important consideration is how thoroughly analytics is woven into the very fabric of how the company functions. The ability to embed analytics into multiple portals and applications used throughout the company goes a long way toward driving data access — which can kick-start conversations about how to use it.
As one expert advises for MIT Sloan, an important part of intentional culture-building is ensuring data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) across the ecosystem.
Some key advantages of embedded analytics include improved collaboration, adoption and culture — all major tenets of turning data into measurable business outcomes.