info #mtpcon San Francisco is back on June 14 2023 - book tickets now!
Using Embedded Analytics to Drive Revenue "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs September 09 2017 True Analytics, BI, business intelligence, embedded analytics, Product Analytics, Product management, User Experience, Workflow, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 1057 Product Management 4.228

Using Embedded Analytics to Drive Revenue

BY ON

Five years ago, including embedded analytics in an application was a powerful way for product teams to differentiate their applications, reduce customer churn, and charge more for their products. Users were thrilled with the bells and whistles of charts, graphs, and dashboards in the applications they already used, and they were often willing to pay more for these business intelligence (BI) capabilities.

Today, nearly everyone is in on the act. Over 90% of software companies are embedding some form of analytics in their applications – often for free, according to the 2017 State of Embedded Analytics Reportfrom Logi Analytics. For this report we surveyed 500 members of application teams, including product managers, developers, software engineers, and executives from commercial independent software vendors (ISVs), commercial Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, and non-commercial IT-managed applications.

When considering the value of analytics relative to their products overall, survey respondents estimated the value at 54%, up from 45% in 2016. This growth demonstrates that both users and product teams are realising value from embedded analytics.

What鈥檚 more, 94% of product managers and developers reported that embedded analytics helps them improve customer satisfaction, and 99% said it helps them improve the user experience.

Embedded Analytics – Five Key Considerations

But what works? Product managers who are considering whether to embed analytics in their applications, or to enhance the analytics they already offer, need to think carefully about the features that interest their customers. Successful embedded analytics projects are not just appealing depictions of data, they must generate insights and actions. What will satisfy your current customer base and win over new customers?

Here are five factors and features that can set your application鈥檚 analytics apart and drive revenue.

1. Consider the Overall User Experience: First and foremost, in order to monetise the embedded analytics in their applications, product managers need to consider the complete user experience. Dashboards and reports should integrate seamlessly in the rest of the application鈥攂oth in terms of actions (do dashboards live in a separate tab or should they be integrated into existing workflows?) and in terms of branding (do the analytics look and feel like the rest of your application?). If users are let down by a disjointed user experience, they may abandon your application entirely.

2. Integrate Workflow Actions: Analytics should drive action, not just visualise data. Many traditional BI features have acted as a one-way street. They gathered information, synthesised it, and distributed it to the people who needed it. But they didn鈥檛 let users take action on that information.

For example, let鈥檚 say your application shows your customer a chart with buying segments for her company. If that customer discovers an underserved group and wants to alert her colleagues so they can start a marketing campaign, she鈥檒l likely have to exit the application and use some external tools to do that. But what if she could take those next steps without leaving your application?

By integrating workflow capabilities in your embedded analytics, you can let your users take actions from within your application鈥攚hether that鈥檚 sharing findings with colleagues or kicking off a new process at the click of a button. Integrating analytics in the host application workflow helps you create compelling and thoughtful use cases that truly differentiate your application from the competition.

3. Enable Action with Write-Back Capabilities: Empowering your users to write-back information to the application鈥檚 source systems is another way to keep them in your application rather than forcing them out to other systems. As in the workflow example above, many legacy BI instances have allowed users to review insights, but they didn鈥檛 support actions taken within the application.

By integrating write-back capabilities into your embedded analytics, you enable users to update the information in the application鈥檚 source systems, including databases, without leaving your interface. Application components all work together, which means your customers can maintain systems of record with the latest information while staying within the context of your product.

4. Reduce Security Friction Points: If you want your customers to make use of embedded analytics, start by making the dashboards easy to access. Users have no desire to sign in with new credentials whenever they access the embedded dashboards and reports in your application. Likewise, they don鈥檛 want it to take over 24 hours to update the system when someone鈥檚 security rights change.

Modern applications are starting to integrate adaptive security in their BI offerings. This makes everything seamless for your users, supporting advanced requirements such as multi-tenancy and single sign-on. As an added bonus, it also means your developers can integrate your existing security framework in the new analytics offerings, drastically reducing the burden on development and IT teams.

5. Embed Self-Service Analytics: Any user who鈥檚 working with the same analytics day in and day out will eventually want to connect a new data source or create a new visualisation that hasn鈥檛 been done before. Consider a member of a sales team who discovers a new purchasing pattern and wants to create a dashboard to track the information. In the past, this would leave developers and product teams with two equally undesirable options: either make changes to the application鈥檚 core functionality whenever a unique request like this comes in, or refuse requests and end up with unhappy users that have to deal with the application in its original form.

By adding self-service capabilities to your embedded analytics, you empower users to ask new questions and explore their data for unique answers鈥攚ithout help from your technology team. It鈥檚 the ultimate win-win: users customise your application so it fits more use cases than ever, while you significantly reduce the number of ad hoc analytics requests your technology team has to handle. Self-service analytics can also lead to valuable insight into your customers, allowing you to see what kinds of dashboards and reports naturally evolve in your product in response to customer needs you didn鈥檛 anticipate.

Conclusion

In the competitive software world, customers are always ripe for churn. Embedded analytics offers product teams an opportunity to differentiate their applications, win over new customers, and keep their current ones. It may be no surprise, then, that over 70 per cent of application teams surveyed in the 2017 State of Embedded Analytics Report聽report that they plan to increase their investments in embedded analytics within the next 12 months.

 

One thought on “Using Embedded Analytics to Drive Revenue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.