Wayne Eckerson said people make better decisions when they’re made within an application’s workflow. He shared his thoughts on the importance of embedded BI and analytics for today’s software companies with me in a recent conversation.
The founder and principal consultant for the Eckerson Group will be our keynote speaker at the upcoming Izenda Embedded BI User Conference on Jan. 22-24, 2017.
He said software companies embedding self-service analytics need to know their users so that they can tailor their application’s analytics to them. He said research and anecdotal evidence suggest people make much better decisions when making decisions in a process managed by an application.
Three Benefits of Embedding Analytics
Embedding analytics makes a difference in how useful the data is in three ways. The ability to put data in the application process, or workflow, drives home the reason why the user analyzes the data – to improve the business. How to interpret the data becomes easier when handled with the process of the application. Analyzing the data within the workflow makes it easier to determine what action to take.
Eckerson said software companies face an additional burden because embedding analytics is not always their core competency. It makes little sense to burden developers with learning a new set of skills unrelated to the core application, knowing that an analytics solution can be purchased and embedded from a vendor whose core competency is BI and analytics. Considering the work necessary for the core application, a software company may not have the time to perform proper due diligence on an analytics solution they develop.
Software companies face challenges in developing their own tailored solutions, instead of buying, that users find easy to use and relevant. These challenges may include not enough time available for user support, product maintenance, bug fixes, upgrades, new features and functionality, all caused by this lack of expertise in BI. Software vendors may even spend too much time on support and maintenance because they lack expertise in this specialty. But Eckerson categorized failing to tailor the application to users as the biggest problem.
“If you don’t know your customers well and build to meet needs and processes, you are liable to lose the mark,” he said. “Users will not adopt the [BI and analytics] software. It’s absolutely critical to know who your users are and develop tailored solutions for each persona.”
Eckerson agreed the distinguishing factors of Izenda include: embeddability, support for multitenancy, an OEM-friendly licensing model, flexibility in how it’s embedded and being white-label friendly. “All of these things distinguished Izenda as embedded analytics platform,” he said.
BI Pricing is Key
But the thing that makes the biggest difference, in the end, is flexibility in pricing, which is value-based pricing. Eckerson said, “They don’t try to extract a lot of money up front. Rather, Izenda makes money as vendor gains value from their embedded platform.”
What’s perhaps most important is Izenda’s rich experience in working with customers to quickly get them up to speed with functionality. And of course, that’s abetted by the fact Izenda has a lightweight, easy to use GUI-based analytics tool.
“So they know how to get people up and running quickly,” Eckerson said. “This is a big value, which adds significantly to their ROI.” In many cases, it may take months to get other vendors’ solutions up and running.
Eckerson plans to share more of this message on understanding your users at the Izenda Embedded BI User Conference when he speaks on Jan. 23, 2017. In his keynote, he expects to explain the importance of knowing how to balance self-service and governance to deliver a truly effective embedded business intelligence program.