Industry Reports: Infuse Analytics to Empower Your Team
Data analytics have become an essential tool for businesses, as the world’s data volume continues to grow exponentially. Every team will improve performance by examining its data, deriving insights from it, and taking actions driven by those insights. It’s no surprise that analysts Frost & Sullivan found that 51% of company leaders consider data as their most pressing issue, and their top three priorities for utilizing data are to improve customer experience and satisfaction, improve operational efficiency, and launch new products and services.
These three priorities are all vital to ensuring that your business thrives, and even though they’re driven by data, investing in data analytics, and choosing the right platform, can seem daunting, making many organizations reluctant to do so. Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR) identified a gap between companies’ aspirations and their reality. The report, “Getting Strategic Value from Data Analytics When Initial Attempts Fail,” quotes NewVantage Partners’ 2021 Big Data and AI Executive Survey of chief data officers and other executives, in which only 39% of respondents report they are managing data as an asset; less than 49% say they are driving innovation with data; and 24% say they have created a data-driven organization.
These figures indicate that many organizations aren’t realizing the top benefits they set out to achieve, owing to a lack of understanding and failure to embrace analytics. And the main reasons boil down to (1) lack of quality data, (2) lack of data analysis skills and training, and (3) lack of access to analyzed data. According to the HBR survey, 61% of respondents say lack of skills/training is the biggest barrier to improving their organization’s use of analyzed data. Only 16% say their organization’s rank-and-file employees have access to analyzed data, 24% say that their company culture tends to limit access to information, and only 15% say everyone in the organization has access. Even when employees have access, it’s often too slow to be useful. Put simply, despite widespread acknowledgment of the strategic importance of data analytics, organizations aren’t making analytics widely accessible or easy to use. The result is a lack of strategy, lack of leadership, and lack of resources to integrate data analytics throughout the organization.
The solution to this conundrum is to make analytics as easy to access, as timely, and as user-friendly as possible, and to make analytics a natural part of everyone’s day-to-day workflow. The best way to achieve this is to infuse analytics into your organization. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s a round-up of recent key research and analyst findings that explain why.
Drive analytics adoption with insights in workflows
Accessing data and analytics isn’t always simple for non-technical users. Typically, to get data and reports, users have to leave what they’re doing, and log in to a different piece of software, or ask the data experts in their organization and wait for their answer. According to the Harvard report, 69% of employees outside IT/data teams still must exit their existing workflows to access the data they need, either by using a separate tool or dashboard (51%) or by requesting it from the IT/data team (18%). Only 14% say that data analytics are built into nearly all employee tools/workflows and 17% say data analytics are built into few or no workflows. This situation means that a large proportion of business users miss opportunities to engage with data because the process is too cumbersome. But now, these users can access data, analyze it, and develop insights without interrupting their workflow, because analytics can be infused directly into their workflow, and in the processes, applications, and products that they regularly use.
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms notes that non-technical people expect insights to find them, often in the form of machine-generated data stories driven by automated insights based on ongoing monitoring of data relevant to their role, persona or job function. In other words, they want intelligence and insights available exactly where and when they want them. That’s what infused analytics does, and it’s the raison d’être of the Sisense Fusion platform: To integrate AI-powered analytics and actionable intelligence into the experience of all users, at the right place and at the right time.
Maximize access, empower users, and increase the effectiveness of existing analytics
Infusing analytics is a big decision that carries with it a big payoff: The easier it is for people to access and analyze data, the more of them will do so. That’s because, as Frost & Sullivan points out, embedding (or infusing) analytics puts the power of insights with users, giving them visibility into and understanding of the very data they’re generating, which enables them to hone their business, product, and service offerings based on insights derived from the data.
Moreover, infusing analytics enables businesses to seamlessly merge and analyze disparate sources of information within a comprehensive, organization-wide BI solution. As a result; they can easily standardize and optimize processes; achieve consistent data hygiene, security, and regulatory compliance; and break down silos to attain more and better insights. With this in place, the business priorities that Frost & Sullivan identifies become much more realizable.
The Forrester Wave™: Augmented BI Platforms, Q3 2021 calls these capabilities “augmented BI” that “empower[s] users to become citizen data scientists drawing on the power of ML and broadening the reach of data and analytics to all decision-makers via conversational UIs.” Consequently, as Gartner points out, the market for embedded (or infused) analytics and BI is evolving as more self-service approaches (such as no code and low code) are applied. These enable these noncoding citizen developers to extend the reach and connectedness of analytics and BI. and even to self-publish composable applications.
Infused analytics reduce decision fatigue
Utilizing machine learning- (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted data preparation, insight generation, and insight explanation helps business people and data analysts explore and analyze data more effectively than they could manually. As Gartner observes, rather than being a discrete capability, augmentation is now threaded through platforms as ML is applied across the data-to-decision workflow. What this means is that that whole process of gathering, managing, analyzing, and understanding data becomes potentially so much more intuitive, simple, and speedy, taking the pain and fatigue out of the decision-making process and optimizing the benefits and value that you can gain from your data and analytics,
Save time and money with intelligence in workflows
Infused analytics increases the ROI in your BI and analytics platform and adds huge value to your organization. It does this by boosting adoption, saving considerable time and resources on the production of reports, data analysis and converting insights into action. Infused analytics inculcates a culture of data-driven decision making within organizations, by empowering everyone across your organization to use analytics. As the Harvard study says,
“To improve the business value organizations derive from data analytics, executives should build, embrace, and promote a true data culture based on a solid understanding of data analytics from the C-suite level to frontline workers.”
Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, “Getting Strategic Value from Data Analytics When Initial Attempts Fail,” 2021
And to achieve this, Frost & Sullivan’s advice is to buy-in the expertise of a dedicated infused analytics supplier. Yes, it’s possible to build a solution in-house, but this is likely to prove to be a false economy, because the cost, time, hours, and resources necessary to maintain and develop your capabilities as you grow could prove to be challenging, if not prohibitive. As Frost & Sullivan observes, “successful, competitive businesses prioritize what they do best, and use premier solution providers to help execute strategies that are outside their wheelhouse. True end-to-end solutions for infused analytics require a dedicated partner and cannot be replicated by in-house IT teams whose focus is best served creating innovative value for the organization.”
The consensus from all the experts is clear. Democratize your data. Maximize adoption. Add value and accelerate your growth and innovation with infused analytics. __________________________________________________ Scott Castle is the VP of strategy at Sisense. He brings over 25 years of experience in software development and product management at leading technology companies including Adobe, Electric Cloud, and FileNet. Scott is a prolific writer and speaker on all things data, appearing at events like the Gartner Enterprise Data Conference, Data Champions, and Strata Data NYC.