BI Trends

The Lie of Plug-and-Play Analytics

By Josh Martin
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I review a lot of messaging from analytics vendors. Recently, I’ve noticed an interesting shift: More and more BI companies are attempting to convince application teams that embedding fully customized analytics that scale to meet ever-changing user needs is a simple as plug and play.

  • Need to completely match your brand identity? Sure, we do that out of the box!
  • Want to integrate with your existing security model? Just turn the key!
  • Desperate to create a completely tailored user experience? You can do that on Day One.

With these products you seemingly get this and so much more right out of the box. And if you buy now, they’ll even throw in a second for free (plus shipping and processing fees).

>> Find out which BI features will set your application apart <<

Well, I’ll admit that getting basic charts and reports up and running is simple. But creating rich, custom experiences that match your brand and scale to meet ever-changing user needs—now that will never be done in an instant.

So if it’s hard, why bother doing it? Because recent data from a survey Logi fielded in January of more than 500 application teams indicated that analytics drive as much as 50 percent of the value of an application. And 98 percent of respondents said embedded analytics has contributed to revenue.

And yet many BI vendors want to convince you that all you have to do to achieve this value is download their software, embed it immediately, and offer business intelligence capabilities users will covet today and tomorrow.

I’m not going to try to convince you of that, and neither would the survey results.

It’s true that most solutions will allow you to embed a chart, graph, dashboard, or report quickly (including Logi Analytics). But what we have learned from over a decade of partnering with more than 1,800 application teams to launch analytic applications—as well as over 15 years of getting market feedback—is that the capabilities you can embed quickly, while necessary, are not the same ones that will drive long-term revenue opportunities.


Mapping Analytics Capabilities to Changing User Demands

This is the typical scenario we see: A company adds basic analytics to their application. This satisfies users for a short period of time, since they’re thrilled to finally be able to visualize their data.

But inevitably, within six months users fall into the discovery chasm. At this point, they begin wanting to explore the data on their own, create and share their own analysis, and conduct other analytics activities within the application. This leads customers to send a host of requests to your development team. Those requests are either fulfilled—thus burying your development team in backlog for months while bloating your now-ignored core product—or they are discarded, which often leads to customer churn. And for the customers that stick around, just try getting them to pay more for your analytics offerings.

This is the reality you will face when you embed analytics.

That’s why Logi has created an analytics development platform that allows application teams to not only deploy quickly with basic capabilities and theming but to provide a completely tailored end-user experience. Software companies can scale their BI offerings over time to meet changing needs—ultimately giving them ongoing upsell opportunities.

Unheralded capabilities are also driving the future of analytic applications. For instance, database write-back allows end users to make changes to the database directly from their analytics interface, which means they can conduct analysis and make changes all within the application itself. And of course, managed and independent self-service BI capabilities that allow users to ask new questions of their data and share it in a compelling way are essential to driving value, increasing the amount of time users spend in the application, and monetizing the application.


Future-Proofing Your BI Offerings with Logi

Why did we build a platform that offers more than turnkey solutions? Because we know basic analytics get stale quickly.

We’ve also learned that companies need a strong support system to be successful. In fact, over the last few years, Logi has completely reoriented itself around this philosophy. Application teams considering Logi Analytics are encouraged to conduct a free structured evaluation of our product where they get access not only to our software but to our technical experts to help them make the right decision. If we determine that Logi isn’t the right fit, we’ll suggest an alternative solution for them (and really, who else would turn down a potential customer?).

Once a Logi customer, we provide them with a dedicated customer account manager, a dedicated technical account manager, and access to a host of additional support services to ensure their application deploys quickly and drives revenue for you both today and into the future. We realize that monetizing embedded analytics is hard and we know you might need help along the way.

Now, we’ve had to make some difficult decisions along the way. Logi doesn’t offer capabilities like Echo integration. That’s an interesting feature and watching demo videos makes me want to barge into our VP of Product’s office and demand he add them to the roadmap! But then I think about the typical user and realize that the market simply isn’t there yet. I’m a fairly tech-forward individual and my Echo has become nothing more than a countdown calendar for my kids’ birthdays. Could we add features like this one day? Sure. But are we going to offer them today? No.

Why? Because we focus on the features that keep people in your application.

At Logi, we want to make embedding analytics as simple as possible. But we also understand that when you’re wedding new capabilities to your core IP that could drive as much as half of your application’s value, you probably want something more than simple. That’s why we created a platform that gets you up and running quickly but allows you to add new, monetizable features that will ensure you can be successful today and into the future.

So, how about that free structured evaluation?



Originally published June 20, 2017; updated on August 9th, 2017

About the Author

Josh Martin is the Director of Product Marketing at Logi Analytics. Prior to joining Logi he was an industry analyst covering bleeding edge distribution channels and their impact on the consumer market. In this role he was a thought leader and advised clients on how to successfully benefit from market shifts while positioning products and services for long-term success. Josh holds a Bachelor degree in Business from Babson College.