Data analytics is no longer solely the domain of the IT department. Organizations today are realizing the value of giving employees, partners, and customers increased access to business intelligence (BI) insights on their own terms.
Here’s more on how the advanced self-service data analytics systems available today — complete with the ability to embed BI and data visualizations into existing workflows — are able to deliver tangible value to organizations.
Interactive Data Visualizations Allow Employees to Ask More Questions
Rarely does a static report or chart suffice the first time around. People are curious and questions tend to beget more questions. So, organizations need a way to help employees turn these questions into actionable BI. Using search analytics, employees can type or speak queries and get answers in seconds — automatically formatted as best-fit data visualization models.
This can range from individual charts to in-depth dashboards — all interactive so users can keep drilling down and exploring data insights beyond what’s available at first glance. When used effectively, these models can “significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for your audience to process information and access valuable insights.”
If data analysis is the act of crunching numbers, then data visualization is the act of representing your findings in a way that sheds more light on what the data is saying. The interactive nature of today’s advanced data viz models facilitates further questioning behind the surface level. There’s a major opportunity here for employees to keep clicking, comparing, and shifting their perspectives on data insights before taking action.
Infusing Portals with Search-Driven Analytics
BI is only as valuable as it is useful. Adoption rates will ultimately play a role in how much value your organization is able to derive. One major benefit of embedded BI is it allows organizations to infuse portals and applications with analytics, putting these tools directly into the hands of users. And when we say users, we mean more than just employees making business decisions; companies can benefit from connecting their customers with analytics, too.
Here’s a case study demonstrating this concept in action: BT (formerly called British Telecom) wanted to give customers better insights into billing. It’s only natural to expect customers to have questions, especially about monthly recurring bills. So, BT decided to give customers the ability to query data directly through their website by embedding ThoughtSpot’s search-driven analytics tool.
This Bill analytics project helps customers take a hands-on approach to understanding and managing their bills. When users start typing their queries into the search bar, the tool auto-suggests different ways to analyze data. This helps customers:
- Search data related to product usage and billed costs
- Analyze 15 months’ worth of billing data (and customize the view)
- Create a Pinboard showing the most useful charts to them
- Right-click on any data point to see more details
Providing an interactive, in-depth perspective to customers helps them understand their charges and optimize service plans for performance and price.
Using this technology, BT put search-driven analytics into the hands of more than 1.2 million customers. The goal is to improve customer experience — empowering them to dig into data themselves to make decisions, rather than depending on static paper bills and customer service teams to explain things. Innovation such as this has the potential to boost customer loyalty too. This approach to embedded analytics actually earned the company a UK IT Award for “Best Enterprise Data/Analytics Project” as a result.
Embedded BI and data visualizations put data insights directly into shared workflows. This can boost adoption rates for BI tools, helping organizations maximize their returns on investments in this area. Data visualizations also tend to deepen the understanding users have of data, helping everyone make more informed decisions along the way.