How to Drive Adoption of Analytics among Business Users?

July 12, 2019
Hilary Rich's picture
Director, Product Management

I was recently working with a colleague on our next feature launch with embedded analytics. As we were working, we wound up having an interesting conversation related to this question:

Why do you think businesses have never been able to drive adoption of analytics across all business users?

For me, the persistent nature of this challenge means that there is something missing from existing analytics and data platforms. Modern, agile, cloud-based analytics platforms and end user-self service have helped increase adoption rates and prove the value of analytics over the last decade. But while embedding BI tools into an iframe and getting ad-hoc data analysis and dashboards into applications is great, it’s only taken us so far. Adoption levels are still quite low in absolute terms, and tangible analytics ROI remains is perpetually elusive.

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Why are BI tools not being adopted?

For me, a huge focus that’s still missing from analytics platforms is the context of persona, their needs, and what creates value for them. Essentially, having data and analytics isn’t enough. If it’s not designed for a specific persona and their needs, then that persona won’t adopt it.

Think about it: Any product that is widely adopted is well designed and also fills a need or solves a specific problem for a persona(s).

Let me give you an example, based on my experience. I used to work in the Higher Education market, its the kind of environment where every business user should have been using analytics to make better data-driven decisions—but they didn't.

Why?

Well, for example, an academic advisor didn’t pursue a career in academic advising to drill into charts or dashboards. They went into it because they loved helping guide students. When faced with analytical tools that force them to spend time away from what they love, they’ll choose to stop using the tools altogether. Universities would then invest in business analysts and the analyst's ad-hoc report requests grow. The academic advisor is not going to wait every time for new insights to make decisions, they'll back to decision making using their experience and intuition.

The same logic applies to business. Running a business requires customer service, marketing, sales, finance, and many other departments. People go into the field of marketing or sales because they are probably a creative type or a people person. Do you really think they want to spend their time building dashboards or drilling into charts? NO! But do they still need data to be more effective, outperform their competition, and optimize costs? YES!

You can buy “modern business intelligence” tools, but if it's only intuitive or useful for data scientists or analysts, then those business users will always go back to old habits—or find some other software that actually solves their problem.

So, what’s next? How do you drive adoption of analytics across business users?

It’s time to move away from embedded BI tools in an iframe or platforms tailored for just one group of users. Going forward, mass adoption of analytics will depend on delivering analytic solutions, not just tools, that are finely tuned to solve specific persona and business problems.

#1 REASON ZENDESK CUSTOMERS UPGRADE
IS BECAUSE OF GOODDATA ANALYTICS

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Consequently, data and analytics should be treated like a product, one that is constantly refined and improved upon to be the best possible product for each persona. GoodData solves this problem by taking a user-centric approach to building analytical solutions and developing new platform features. We’re also continuing to invest in our Spectrum UI, a whole new approach to embedded analytics. Combined, these approaches help us ensure that our customers’ see the kind of adoption rates they need to grow revenue, drive production adoption, or optimize costs—and ultimately achieve their goals of BI and analytics for the many.

MORE THAN JUST BI TOOLS, A PLATFORM DESIGNED
FOR DRIVING ADOPTION OF ANALYTICS.

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