Actionable analytics put data in context
BI platforms evolve to put data where people want to take action.
Data workers want and need their data and actions in the same place. Rather than performing analysis in one silo and taking action in another, anyone who works with data should be able to stay in the context of their business processes and workflows. Business intelligence platforms are meeting this need by merging with core business operations, workflows, and processes through capabilities like mobile analytics, embedded analytics, dashboard extensions (also known as add-ins), and APIs. As a result, actionable analytics are expediting the decision-making process for both technical and non-technical roles.
These capabilities allow data workers to analyze data and take an action after finding an insight—all in the same place. An example of converging insight and action is embedded analytics. Embedded analytics puts data and insights where people are already working so they don’t have to navigate to another application or shared server. Analytics may be embedded in internal portals (like SharePoint) or within other commonly-used applications.
For example, organizations embed analytics into customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce. Salespeople can view valuable account data in context —like product preferences or spend over time—which may inform a better conversation or influence next steps with the customer.
Dashboard extensions approach this convergence from the other side. For those who spend the majority of their time in their analytics platform, extensions bring access to other systems right into the dashboard. Now individuals can take an action without ever leaving their analytics workflow.
For example, IT managers who lean on analytics to monitor ticket queues can use a dashboard extension to edit case information or perform actions directly from within their dashboard rather than switching over to their ticketing system. This keeps them in their flow, enabling faster action from where they’re already spending their time.
While embedded analytics and dashboard extensions bring action and insight together within platforms and tools, mobile analytics brings these capabilities to users wherever they are physically. Consultants can leverage customer data while on-site, while a mechanic may leverage Internet of Things (IoT) data to repair a device in the field.
The act of putting analytics in context carries even more impact as it helps to customize the analytics to a specific line of business or industry. The convergence of analytics and action will shorten the time and effort between insight and decision-making. It will also make data more widely available within business workflows, encouraging more people to incorporate data into everyday decisions.