Written by Roman Stanek |
Though the value of data has been proven time and again, many companies are still struggling to capitalize on that value—and they have the design of most analytics solutions to blame for that. Most are clunky and labor-intensive for the user, requiring them to go to a different pane of glass to view mass amounts of data that aren’t personalized or contextualized. They require users to do too much of the legwork to figure out next steps instead of providing clear, easy-to-understand insights and recommendations.
When companies grow accustomed to this kind of user experience, the temptation is certainly there to introduce any analytics platform, because the expectation is that all analytics solutions are more or less the same. However, the right analytics partner can deliver significant benefits in the form of higher adoption rates and increased ROI because they are intuitive and easy-to-use. They provide just the right data directly in the user’s workflow to make decision making intuitive. I had the opportunity to share my thoughts on the industries that are successfully leveraging analytics in a Software Magazine article. I—along with several other executives—discussed how companies can define what they can achieve by using analytics and outlined the key features they need to look for to ensure success.
What are your business objectives?
The first step for companies to take is to think through the business objectives and the processes you’re trying to impact first. Companies need to know what they want to get out of an analytics platform, instead of deploying a solution for a solutions sake. They also need to have a plan for how to bring in appropriate data—whether it’s from internal or external sources—to meet the goals that they’ve outlined. Once these things have been accounted for, companies can begin to consider how their analytics platform will work.
Who are your users?
A key consideration is who will be using the platform and how easy it is to use. There are many tools and user interfaces available, but the value of those depends heavily on the user’s skillset. Many platforms assume that all users are data scientists who are comfortable using advanced methods or sifting through data. For greater success, companies should consider a platform that makes the process of using analytics more approachable by incorporating an intuitive interface and providing clear insights and recommendations at the point of work. While more advanced users are still free to use whatever methods they wish, this type of platform enables the average business user to take advantage of the insights they receive and impact the business.
Where are the insights delivered?
Also consider where the user will interact with the platform. Too often, companies introduce an analytics platform that may do what it’s slated to do, but it takes the user away from their actual work to an entirely separate environment, where it’s harder to contextualize the insights they’re seeing. In this instance, the data is actually less valuable, because your end users aren’t able to glean enough information from it in the context of their work to make better, more informed business decisions. Instead, to get the most value out of analytics and make the greatest business improvements, these platforms need to actually embed insights into applications at the point of work.
Ask yourself what kind of insights the platform delivers and how it does so. Does it deliver trend information and make recommendations based on those trends? Is the platform designed to be intuitive for any business user, not just data scientists? It’s important to understand that a business’s analytics journey is constantly evolving, and the process of gathering the most valuable insights is never complete. The right analytics platform should evolve with you, making the decision-making process easier and delivering continued success to companies.
Written by Roman Stanek |
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