Weighing the benefits of embedded analytics on business processes
Organizations are always looking for advanced ways to improve their reporting. Business analytics provides some of the most advanced reports in business, and for a short time, analytics was enough.
But the sheer volume of data has grown to the point where even those systems are starting to fall short. We have developed a desperate need for business analytics to be integrated into every process. That is where embedded analytics comes into play.
Embedded analytics gives organizations the potential to:
- Create interactive reports
- Better manage their reports
- Create fully customizable dashboards
When these systems are integrated correctly, they become a part of the overall processes that are run within a business. Analytics can become engrained into everyday tasks. Most people working in a company will notice very little difference. Providing a seamless user experience is one of the most important factors.
With that in mind, let’s dive deeper into the hoped-for benefits of embedded analytics.
Speed up Development and Time to Market
The launch of business intelligence systems used to take weeks of planning and then even more time developing systems. These custom systems were often eating up internal resources to the point where it was forcing developers away from other essential projects. That’s why these systems were so expensive in the past.
The emergence of embedded analytics has hopefully reduced the development time by a lot, so organizations are no longer forced to spend a fortune. Custom coded applications are hopefully be replaced by the ability to connect to a variety of data sources seamlessly.
For example, Netflix can pull data from both their vast data warehouse and a public SQL database to match up demographical data. In the past, they would have had to write a custom application to perform that one task.
Lower Overall Cost
Many small business owners look at a price tag and use that number alone to gauge whether an investment is worth it. However, you must take into account the time and internal resources that you will need to devote to a project before deciding its overall cost.
Embedded analytics can be much faster to deploy, plus they can take less time to develop. As a result, they should eat up fewer internal resources. In some cases, they might not require a company to use any internal resources.
Technology has reached the point where visualizations are becoming intuitive and artificial intelligence is performing tasks automatically. For instance, it’s not uncommon to see the embedding done in a matter of minutes.
My point is that the overall cost is usually lower for embedded analytics than it is when using older business analytics models.
Lower Maintenance Costs
The next potential benefit once again has to do with costs, but this time we’re not talking about the development costs. We’re talking about the cost to maintain the system. Embedded analytics should require substantially fewer upkeep resources. Even upgrades can be kept to a minimal cost.
Visualizations are quite simple to update so individual users will be able to adapt them to meet new criteria. Data is easily added or edited. Even the embedded code will only need a few minor updates, usually to match new technologies. This is advantageous for small businesses because most of the maintenance is easy enough that it can be done in-house with minimal assistance.
Allows the Development Team to Focus on Core Tasks
One mistake that many organizations make is when they use their in-house teams to perform non-core tasks in favor of saving money on delegation. Teams are often better focused solely on core business tasks, and anything else may be better delegated to outsourcers or contractors.
For example, if an executive in charge of making important decisions is also maintaining the company website just to cut costs, it probably costs the company more money in the long-term.
Embedded analytics can free up the development team so that they can focus on developing systems that are related to core business tasks.
These systems are potentially so easy to use that they don’t require a development team to focus on them every day. So even if this system has an initial investment cost, that cost can be offset over time because it frees up the development team to focus on growth-related activities.
It Provides a Competitive Advantage
Companies also hope to gain a competitive advantage when they have access to state-of-the-art business analytics. Their entire culture becomes intertwined with this powerful data solution, and it will hopefully build a foundation for success.
Sure, the low development costs are appealing, but the competitive advantage that it brings is the icing on the cake. Consider: Most organizations are either not using analytics, or they are not using it efficiently. If you get this right, you soar ahead of them.
Embedded Analytics Can be Outsourced
This is one of the most important steps that some organizations will take moving forward, so make sure it’s done correctly. When it is, the investment should be well worth the payoff. Organizations that invest in embedded analytics can expect a huge return on their investment in the long-term.
The bottom line: Embedded analytics has the potential to save your organization time and money, all while ensuring that you are one step ahead of your competition.