Analytic Insights Shouldn’t Be a Burden for Workers

May 22, 2019
Kevin Smith's picture
VP, Product Marketing
Kevin Smith is Vice President of Product Marketing for GoodData. Prior to GoodData, Kevin was responsible for delivering consulting services such as analytic product strategy, data monetization, and go-to-market services at NextWave Business Intelligence. He is the author of numerous ebooks, articles, and webinars on embedded analytics and building data products. In addition to NextWave, Kevin has held leadership positions heading analytics teams, designing SaaS products, and performance and managing product teams for both small start-ups and Fortune 500 companies such as SAP, ServiceSource, and Qwest Communications. Kevin holds a B.S. in Finance, as well as an M.B.A. in Quality/Process Management, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Every day, many of us go to an office and use some form of software to do our jobs. Maybe you use a logistics-planning software, or perhaps it’s a program that keeps track of insurance claims. Regardless of what it is, chances are that software has become an integral part of your day-to-day, and you’ve grown comfortable with it.

Now think about the last time you were in a position where that program was scrapped for a new one. Even if you hated the old program, you probably still complained about the switch to a new “better” application. It’d be a pain, you’d have to learn a whole new way of working, and you knew that you’d work slower in a new program since you had grown used to the “quirks” of the old one.

There’s an important lesson here: most people don’t like change. We like change on our terms, like choosing to buy a new car or opting to move to a new city, but we dislike change that’s forced upon us. This human predilection is exactly why companies interested in analytics should be focusing their efforts on embedded analytics. When analytics are embedded, employees don’t need to be taken away from the workflows that they’ve grown to know and love—or not love. They get the benefits of analytic insights, but within the applications, they’re used to using.

Embedded analytics yields greater success than standalone analytics

In our webinar with Aberdeen Group, we spoke about the value of embedded analytics and how companies have approached introducing analytics. Unsurprisingly, much of what we discussed aligned closely with this idea of wanting to embed analytics to avoid unnecessary change. Survey respondents reported that embedded analytics yielded better results than standalone analytics when it came to user adoption and engagement and facilitating self-service analytics.

Top reasons driving the need for analytics

These differences are significant, and they prove that the benefits of pursuing embedded analytics over standalone go far beyond the anecdotal. If companies embed analytics, they’re not forcing someone to switch mental modes from regular work to analytics work, and there’s no need for them to move to a new application.

Essentially, these companies are setting employees up for success with analytics, because they’re embedding the insights into a platform that’s already been deployed, understood, and adopted by employees. By disrupting as little of the existing workflow as possible, companies who embed analytics ultimately achieve greater adoption rates and improve efficiency and productivity.

Ensuring analytics are intuitive leads to greater success rates

Of course, merely embedding analytics into an application isn’t enough. There’s a substantial difference between embedded analytics and good embedded analytics. Ideally, a company would not only have analytics embedded within employees’ existing workflows—which removes the burden of going to a new application or learning a new program—but the analytics would be designed so well and integrate so seamlessly that employees wouldn’t even know they’re using them.

A successful journey to seamless, intuitive analytics use should be the goal for every company. Employees can keep doing their jobs the way they have been, but it’s suddenly much easier to do their jobs. They have more context and insight into how they can do their jobs better—all without any need for excessive change.

Embedding analytics may seem like a big endeavor that will radically change the way a company functions, but it shouldn’t feel that way for employees. If analytics are appropriately embedded into existing workflows, employees should be able to begin using them immediately—no burden necessary. If you’d like to see an example of this kind of seamless embedded analytics experience, take a look at our free trial. In it, you can explore a demo of an application with analytics visualizations built in.

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