It’s almost November: Temps across the US are dropping and 2021 is hurtling towards an exciting conclusion. While even the most advanced analytics systems can’t tell you everything to expect in the months to come, we’ve once again rounded up some of the stories in the news we think you should be aware of to see what’s new in the world of embedded analytics and how you could be doing more with your data.

Countries and municipalities of all kinds are seeking to use predictive analytics to counter the continued spread of COVID-19. Media companies are doubling down on the use of analytics to optimize the release of new content and help creators and influencers understand their reach. Lastly, we’ve got a few articles from our Sisense thought leaders in the news you’ll want to dive into for a firsthand look at what industry experts are saying.

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Predictive analytics can help head off COVID-19 spread

The COVID-19 pandemic is entering its next phase, with some people receiving a third vaccine dose, while others flat-out refuse, and entire chunks of the planet remain unable to get their hands on vaccines at all. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a data story since day one, with people from all walks of life digging into datasets to track the number of new cases as well as deaths in their areas and around the world. 

Through it all, social network analysis has provided a unique window into how to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus and help protect at-risk groups. Researchers at Imperial College London recently released a paper detailing how predictive analytics could be used to improve detection of COVID-19 within a community, without extensive testing of the population. The model uses a cluster of seven symptoms (loss of smell/taste, fever, chills, etc.) to estimate COVID-19 positivity within a population, and the paper’s authors suggested that testing eligibility in the UK be expanded to cover more people showing symptoms, expanding eligibility to 30-40% of the population, versus the 10% or so eligible now.

Unfortunately, medical tests are not always available in the volumes needed to test an entire population, so guidelines are needed to ensure only those most likely to test positive get them. However, the paper’s authors’ suggested that under the present guidelines, some people with COVID-19 may not have been getting tested (and therefore, may not have been isolating), so the new, expanded guidelines could help save lives. The right diagnostic insights, based on larger datasets and infused into frontline medical teams’ workflows, can be instrumental in making sure the right patients receive the right care, improving their health and the health of entire communities.

Instagram and Liquid Media double down on analytics

We all know that media, social and otherwise, is and always has been about numbers! How many people are you reaching? What’s your ROI for this or that campaign? Are you losing market share or leaving money on the table as you desperately war for eyeballs in an ever-evolving marketplace? Media companies have turned to data since the invention of marketing in order to try to understand audience behaviors and position their content, their brands (or themselves, in the case of social media ) for maximum impact.

So it’s no wonder that Liquid Media and Instagram each had a story about recent analytics plays. First off, vertically-integrated studio Liquid Media struck a deal with distribution marketplace Slated to give Liquid’s userbase an enhanced look at how their content is performing, with an eye towards enhancing rollout and increasing audience share. 

In every market, users of all kinds are hungry for data — and they don’t want to pore over dashboards and spreadsheets to get it! Users want easy-to-understand analytics infused into the programs they’re already using, consumer-style, to help them make smarter decisions.

Savvy tech companies already know this. Video powerhouse TikTok was built with creator-first analytics in mind when it rolled out, knowing that users would want to know how their videos were performing and seek to drive engagement and build their brands. Now-venerable influencer haven Instagram was no stranger to this phenomenon, with brands and solopreneurs of all kinds using the platform to reach crowds and make money. Instagram’s latest analytics upgrades continue this trend, giving users a look into accounts reached, audience reached, and audience engaged. 

Embedding these insights into a highly customer-centric app like Instagram is exactly where every industry is going: Whatever you do, your users want to see what they’re doing and understand their own analytics. Putting those analytics right where your users are is a powerful way to boost stickiness and adoption and differentiate your product in a crowded market.

Sisense in the Media: Analytical executives and data-savvy sports 

We couldn’t let you go this month without highlighting a couple great reads from our own Sisense thought leaders!

First off, VP of Strategy Scott Castle touts “The Rise of the Analytical Executive” over at Forbes. Infusing insights into workflows isn’t just for the frontline workers flipping the switches and pulling the levers that make every company run — analytics adoption needs to start at the top! Executives need to help create a data-driven culture (bolstered by easy-to-use analytics infused into workflows) and make smarter decisions using data. While a recent survey by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services shows that almost three quarters of companies report lacking leadership that supports a data-driven culture, we know this is a relic of a bygone age. Companies that want to thrive need to embrace analytics.

Ending on a fun note, sportstech company GameDay has chosen Sisense to help boost the data visualization capabilities of its new solution. The product, dubbed “GameDay View,” allows team organizations to track the real-time retention of players and coaches on participating teams, year over year. 

Franchises and coaches can live or die by the right data, and sports fans love it too, as we’ve talked about here (UK football) and here (American football), so it’s a natural fit to augment a sportstech solution like GameDay’s with AI-power insights courtesy of Sisense. Coaches and managers can make smarter decisions to build better teams and perform better on the field. With the right analytics, everybody wins!

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Jack Cieslak, Sisense Blog Editor, has been writing for tech for over a decade, working for the likes of Amazon, CB Insights, and others, on topics ranging from ecommerce and VC investments to wacky product launches and top-secret startup projects.

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