This is a guest post by Mico Yuk, Chief Executive Officer of BI Brainz.
“Dashboards are NOT the future of BI.” That single statement from one of our Analytics on Fire podcast guests, Nick Caldwell (former Chief Product Officer of Lookerdata) led me to ask: “Then what is?” Known for many years in the business intelligence field as the dataviz queen, this was a hard pill to digest, but the data was there. Business intelligence adoption rates were anorexic—a mere 30 percent for the last 15 years. Something had to be done.
While the spend on BI software continues to skyrocket to an estimated $274.3 billion per year by 2022, according to IDC, low user adoption continues to plague analytics teams’ initiatives and tools. Smart, forward-thinking companies have started to realize that in order to gain and retain the attention of their users, bringing the analytics to them—versus forcing another tool—may be the right solution. This is why I feel that embedded analytics, particularly those in the existing user applications, is the future of analytics!
As someone who teaches analytics leaders and teams how to use the power of visual storytelling to engage users and influence their actions, I’m going to share with you five reasons why I feel Logi Analytics’ new Logi Composer may be the solution to your actionable data needs.
#1. Boost User Adoption. Forget Your Standalone BI/Analytics Portal!
Getting users to adopt any new solution is hard. Did you know that the average user adoption rate for BI has been around 25 to 30 percent for the last 15 years, per Gartner? Sadly, the reasons remain the same. Users complain about a lack of engagement, long delivery times, high cost, and low value.
But let’s say you’re a unicorn in the BI field. You somehow manage to deliver your BI project on time, at or below cost, and it fits most of the user’s requirements. There is still one big problem. You now need to get your users to log in to your BI portal to use and view their beloved analytics. Just when you thought the BI adoption battle was over, the real war has begun. This often-overlooked drop-off point is where many ‘almost’ successful analytics projects take a hit. Users may log in, but getting them to return to the portal over time is a challenge, keeping the BI adoption rates stagnant for the last 15 years.
If you want to provide a truly seamless user experience, meet the users where they are. Bring the analytics experience to them. No more third-party portals. Remove this avoidable hurdle from your user adoption journey; find an app that the user already uses daily, and embed your analytics into that app. Logi Composer provides an out-of-the-box platform to quickly add analytics to any existing user app with little to no coding.
#2. Save Time. Stop DIYing—Use an Out-of-the-Box Plug-and-Play Platform!
The one thing analytics projects do not have is time. When it comes to adding analytics into an existing app or site, if you are one of those ‘do-it-yourselfers’ to save money, there is a term for you: “Penny smart, dollar stupid.” According to Nucleus Research, companies who forego internal builds in favor of an embedded solution were able to go live with hosted analytics functionality in an average of three weeks—while homegrown solutions were shown to require, on average, six to eight months.
But let’s say you already have an existing BI tool with the embedded capability. Not only are the licensing and deployment costs usually high, but often the ‘we already have that tool’ argument is easily overcome by the mediocre resulting user experience. Everything from sloppy iframes to multiple scroll bars can leave a user feeling more like your embedded analytics intruded on their app rather than enhanced it!
If you are serious about saving time, consider using an environment platform that is focused on making your life easy. Remember, users don’t care how clean or cool your code is. Users want to know ‘what’s in it for me.’ If your solution is successful, it will grow organically. The last thing you want is your homegrown, patched-with-code embedded analytics solution to become a hit in your org, only to then be forced to migrate to a real platform due to scaling issues. Talk about losing momentum. Logi Composer has lowered the barrier to entry for the embedded analytics rookie and made life easier for the veteran. You focus on the user experience and insights, they’ll ensure your deployment is simple and efficient.
#3. Enable Self-Service. Give Your Users Control Inside the App!
There is a myth that states that embedded analytics equals no self-service. With the right solution, this could not be further from the truth. Look, I get it. You work for a company that expects each person on your small analytics team to be a Swiss Army knife. To keep up with non-stop ad-hoc reporting requests, you enable a cookie-cutter self-service solution, only to find that your one-shoe-fits-all self-service approach is creating more complex requests than before. No wonder Gartner studies show that only 9 percent of customers resort to solving their issues via self-service.
What if I told you that you could have both a sleek, well-integrated embedded analytics solution and a customizable self-service experience that meets each of your users at their skill level? It’s not too good to be true. Logi Composer allows you to provide your user with a self-service experience based on their skill level right in the apps they use every day.
#4. Create Actionable Analytics—Right in the User’s App!
The idea of operationalizing analytics—making them actionable—is a foreign concept to most analytics authors. Most analytics today result in fishing trips! To take action, users first have to export to Excel, spend another 30+ minutes creating a pivot table to identify the real problem, and then finally craft a solution. That resulting solution could be as simple as making a call or as complex as jump-starting a set of workflows to contact the right users and initialize the right process. Whatever the solution, you want to ensure that any and every analytics experience you design allows your users to take action right where they see the problem. This is how you make your analytics insightful and operational.
The key to creating the ultimate analytics experience for your users is allowing them to take action on their data in the app. Unlike most traditional BI tools, Logi Composer makes it possible to embed the actions right into your analytics using their API. With the click of a button, you can allow your users to move data, trigger events, send an email, and much more right from their dashboard! Talking about adding value. Your users will thank you.
#5. Make Your Analytics DevOps-Friendly. Integration Is Key!
Last but not least, there is the topic of integration and speed of deployment. When adding a new solution to an already bloated enterprise stack, the risk of unnecessarily increasing the overall cost and footprint could stop your analytics experience in its tracks before it starts. You don’t want to risk having your users fall in love with their new analytics experience only to have the DevOps manager flag it for removal right when you’re ready to scale it across the company!
The analytics layer of your application has to fit seamlessly into the rest of your development environment and not become the weakest link in the chain for building software. The idea is to make your life easier and keep the development process efficient. A tool like Logi Composer lets you use your existing server environment that easily adapts to your existing security framework, making both your end user and DevOps manager very happy!
While I do believe that traditional dashboards and reports are not going away anytime soon, I also believe that analytics teams need to focus on analytics experiences, not tool features and capabilities. In order for cultures to become more data-driven, seamless, well-integrated, actionable analytics experiences have to become the norm for users, not the exception.
The five reasons I listed above are just a handful of reasons why using an out-of-the-box development platform like Logi Composer—which was designed with you and your end user in mind—is an absolute must for your embedded analytics journey! Other honorable mentions include access to re-usable visual assets, dynamic chart rendering, and smart querying, to name a few.
There is a huge difference in playing with embedded analytics and creating a true analytics experience. Logi Composer was designed with the latter mind. Check it out!