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Infused Analytics – The Future of Embedded Analytics

By Alvin Wong | January 21, 2016
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We’ve talked a lot about how embedded analytics brings together insight and action into the same context by integrating analytics deeper and deeper within business applications and workflows. What we have found is that there is a correlation between deeper integration and greater realization of the strategic benefits of embedded analytics.

According to the 2015 State of Embedded Analytics report, 74% of commercial software and SaaS providers who infuse analytics into their applications strongly believe that analytics helps them attract new users. On the other end, none of those who offer a standalone analytics offering feel the same way. We generally see the same phenomenon for non-commercial applications and the realization of their top three benefits from embedded analytics.

So what do we mean by infused analytics? It means that the analytics are embedded as a natural part of the application (a core part of the overall user experience).

One way to infuse analytics is to provide analytic content “in the moment” or in existing application screens where users are making decisions and taking action. An example is to provide customer churn risk scores or purchase history in a customer service application so support representatives can offer personalized support.

Another approach is for users to interact with analytic content which leads them to immediately transact or take action based on the analysis they are performing. Let’s say a sales manager conducts geographic territory analysis and can immediately and efficiently re-assign territories from within the analytic interface instead of having to jump out into the main application.

Tips for Infusing Analytics
If you are looking to deepen your embedded analytic capabilities within your application, here are 3 considerations for your workflow integration:

  1. Maintaining context – when analytics is embedded into a page for an existing record, the analytic content should be specific to the record on that page. For example, when logging a support incident for an existing customer, the representative should view analytics for that specific customer.
  1. Application APIs versus write-backs – if you allow users to transact or update data from the analytic content, you should understand the best way to implement that functionality. Many application providers prefer that a backend API of the main application called such that business rules are enforced through the API. Other times, you may prefer a direct write-back of data to the backend database.
  1. Security – in regards to transactional and update functionality, it is especially important only authorized users are allowed to perform such updates.

Infused Analytics Becomes the Standard
We are definitely seeing a trend towards the Infused Analytics model. Very soon, it will be impossible to tell the difference between an application and the embedded analytics content. Just as B2C applications embed analytics as a natural part of the user experience and workflow, B2B applications will continue to move away from bolt-on approaches to more infused implementations. Users will simply be using their application, not two applications, to both inform and perform their work every day.

Ready to learn more? Read the latest State of Embedded Analytics Report.

 

About the Author

Alvin Wong has an extensive background in solution architecture and implementation of SaaS and business intelligence applications. Alvin earned his MS in Engineering Management from Stanford University and BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

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