Pop quiz: Besides money, what is the most valuable resource available to a business? Yes, that is a trick question because the needs of every business vary. However, I would make the argument that, in many cases, the answer is “time”. Time to launch the product, time to generate customers, and making strategic moves at the right time can make all the difference between success and failure.
Through analytics and business intelligence, we can better understand our products, customers, and competitive landscape, but time is of the essence. We need to understand them accurately and we need the information quickly.
Making a Case for Embedded Data Analytics
Sometimes, traditional business intelligence tools give us a timely and accurate answer, and sometimes they don’t. The standalone BI tool often requires power-user status and a deep knowledge of what views to create and which filters to apply. Even then, we open ourselves up to user error when it comes to pulling reports. Embedded data analytics solves the need for speed and accuracy by eliminating the shortcomings of preceding technologies. However, as with any newer technology, many businesses are slower to adopt. Here, we’ll help you make the case for embedded data analytics.
If you’re in sales, then you need to understand what makes your customers tick. Chances are, you already use customer relationship management (CRM) software. You also, hopefully, have access to historical transaction data for your current and former customers. Merging together qualitative information about your customers with quantitative sales data provides invaluable insights into customer acquisitions and churn, as well as which products they are buying more or less.
Many sales managers understand the pain of waiting for these types of sales reports to be generated. They often require manual work to pull the data, scrub it, and create the reports. If you are in this boat, then you are in danger of missing a sale to a competitor who has access to the information more quickly. Instead, you need embedded data analytics reports inside your CRM or sales tool so that the information can be updated automatically and retrieved simply by clicking on the customer or product in question.
You would benefit from the speed with which embedded data analytics provides key customer and product insights.
If you’re in marketing, your job is both an art and a science. Marketing tactics often require significant testing to determine if they were effective and worth the investment. Search traffic, online advertisements, TV spots, and print ads all have their place. They also all come with their own unique data sets that make it difficult to analyze them as one cohesive marketing campaign. However, with embedded data analytics, we can insert ROI dashboards into any tool of our choosing.
These embedded dashboards would help you to quickly understand the effectiveness of marketing campaigns so that you can put your dollars into the most effective placements.
If you’re on the manufacturing floor, you can clearly see whether one specific machine is up or down, but try keeping track of dozens of stations at once. Better yet, consider the difficulties of managing a global manufacturing business with plants all over the world. With existing BI tools, we can likely manage the feat, but not efficiently. However, if we embed reports into the ERP system, we can gather every piece of information that we need about a machine or group of machines into one place.
Using embedded data analytics would allow you to drastically reduce downtime, detect abnormal amounts of scrap, and improve production throughput.
If you’re in IT, then you are likely supporting business intelligence needs across the organization. Reporting requests often come from all corners of the operation and can therefore tie up IT resources as much or more than its intended business function. In many businesses, IT is backlogged with reporting requests that can be drastically reduced by enabling users to view their own automated, context-specific reports that are embedded to other applications that they use every day. Even IT reports, such as server uptime and application statuses, can benefit from a conversion to embedded data analytics.
Embedded data analytics for the organization will free up your time to focus on keeping the core business applications running. Better yet, embedded analytics for IT can help you do your job more efficiently.
If you’re in the c-suite, then not only should the above points jump out as key reasons to invest in embedded data analytics, but your own executive dashboards would become more actionable as well. Embedded dashboards provide you with key business intelligence without the need for your employees to generate tedious, time-consuming reports. This allows you to not only take quicker action yourself, but also to free up time for your colleagues to do the same.
Embedded data analytics better equip your organization to take action, from the CXO down to the analyst.
As you can see, no matter what area or level of the organization, embedded data analytics helps to propel the business forward through more accurate and more timely acquisition of business intelligence. To make a case to invest in embedded analytics, one must look no further than the reporting frustrations that are experienced daily. By inserting analytics directly into other applications, we gain access to an array of context-specific insights that were otherwise more difficult to obtain.
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