Embedded analytics key to improving user adoption

embedded analytics

A new report from Logic Analytics has shown that because embedded analytics is highly sought after by users, it can result in a significant increase in adoption of analytic technology.

The survey canvassed the views of respondents on embedded analytics, which is the integration of data analytics capabilities within business applications. Respondents included product management, product development, software engineering, IT and executive management from commercial software vendors and non-commercial IT-managed applications used by internal staff and partners.

The ‘2016 State of Embedded Analytics’ report found that 87 per cent of users want analytics embedded inside their applications, and 45 per cent of an application’s value is tied directly to data and analytics available in the application – which represents a jump from 35 per cent just two years ago.

Once embedded analytics is available, 43 per cent of application users utilise this functionality regularly – significantly higher than the average 30 per cent who use traditional BI tools regularly.

Writing in the foreword to the report, BI and analytics expert, speaker and author, Wayne Eckerson, said for many years, he has maintained that the future of business intelligence is embedded – that is “it disappears into the fabric of the applications that business people use every day to do their primary work”.

“People want insights in the context of the applications they use to make decisions and take action. They don’t want separate applications, one for insights and another for action. And when analytics lives in silos, it may spawn nice charts and trend lines, but it rarely drives the business,” Eckerson said.

“Embedded analytics closes the last mile of BI, conjoining insight and action into a single workflow. Embedded analytics helps turn BI from a reactive endeavour into a proactive one.”

Currently, 56 per cent of providers of non-commercial IT applications offer embedded business intelligence and analytics. For these providers, the top strategic benefit is increasing consumer satisfaction (60 per cent), followed by improving user experience (53 per cent), attracting new users (53 per cent), extending the life of an existing application (49 per cent), increasing user adoption (49 per cent), and differentiating the application from competitors (47 per cent).

Steps to success with embedded analytics

Logi Analytics recommends organisations wishing to adopt embedded analytics successfully take the following steps.

1. Get executive sponsorship. Embedded analytics initiatives are usually driven by executive management and product managers, so ensure you have their buy-in for the project, as embedded analytics is more strategic than a simple technical exercise.

“If you don’t involve these key stakeholders from the very beginning, and if you lack a strategic vision, your path may be riddled with hidden obstacles,” the report said.

2. Tailor functionality to specific user needs. While the three most commonly implemented capabilities for embedded analytics are dashboards, self-service data analysis, and reports, it’s important to choose functionality that will be most useful to users. Advanced and predictive analytics is certainly becoming more sought after.

“To succeed, any embedded analytics project must focus on delivering value to the end user. That means having a clear understanding of how the user will benefit from improved insights and optimised user experience for the business process and analytical tasks at hand,” the report stated.

3. Look for outside help. Many organisations are looking to third-party products to add embedded analytics capabilities to their applications, which allows them to also focus internal resources on their core application.

4. Focus on integration. Successful embedded analytics requires integration with an application’s security, UI/UX and workflow.

For more insights, download the full report here.