Increasing Value to Customers with Self-Service Analytics

Executive Summary

Did you know you can build deeper, long-lasting relationships with customers by providing them access to their own data? With self-service analytics, customers can view their personalized data from your product or service to track not only their own trends (like usage, spending, and history) but also understand the continuing benefits your product or service offers.

This Whitepaper Covers:

  • How self-service analytics can improve customer service and increase your value proposition
  • Why building customer relationships is more important than ever 
  • How the rise of Internet of Things (IoT) is increasing customer data
  • How to successfully navigate data privacy concerns
  • What to consider when embedding a self-service analytics solution in your product for your customers

Who Should Read this Paper?

Marketing and product decision-makers looking to:

  • Cultivate longer lasting and more meaningful customer relationships
  • Harness their growing customer data to support customer acquisition and retention goals
  • Increase the value of their product
  • Monetize their product’s data collection while avoiding data privacy pitfalls

Data Is Everywhere

If you have a product or service, chances are you have valuable customer data, including usage statistics, subscriptions, add-ons, payments and more. And while most organizations are putting it to work for their benefit, the real question is:

How can you provide customers access to their own data to increase your value in their eyes?

The rise of IoT (Internet of Things) is inherently making data part of most products. And by connecting products digitally online, data is even easier to collect and compile. Gartner estimated that as many as 20.4 billion IoT devices will be in use by 2020. Because consumer devices make up 63 percent of that estimate, more and more people will want—and expect—access to their data.

Another benefit of IoT is that organizations can collect data not only about the devices (connectivity issues, usage, alerts) but also from the devices themselves (types and quantities of data like photos, videos, etc.). This makes it possible to mine the data for even richer and more meaningful insights. 

Subscription-based software products are a great example of the power of giving customers access to their own data. Subscription-based offerings naturally capture plenty of customer usage data. By providing access to that data, customers better understand their usage and how they continue to benefit from the offering itself. For example, Grammarly, an online grammar checker, provides a monthly analytical report detailing personal statistics such as your writing volume, writing improvement, vocabulary usage, and frequency of mistakes to demonstrate all the ways users benefit from their service.

While most companies understand the value of utilizing customer data to optimize their own business, they overlook the value of providing that data to their customers. In the “product economy,” success was based on activities: acquiring new customers, shipping commodities, billing for one-time transactions. In the monthly-subscription-service-era, successful marketing

is about building relationships. All of this points to the reality that organizations that give customers independent access to their own data with easy-to-use self-service analytics can build longer-lasting and more valuable relationships.

Better Customer Service with Self-Service Analytics

Not only can self-service analytics build better relationships with customers, it can help increase customer service levels.

One example is customer support. Customers regularly reach out to support services to get information on billing, history, usage, costs, order tracking, and more. In the world of instantaneous data, customers expect to access this information without having to talk to someone, wait in line, or ask for a report. Customers won’t be satisfied if they must wait to reach you during business hours. Customers expect access to their information in a simple, friendly manner.

Self-service analytics allows you to deliver exactly the information customers need based on their personalized data. This means you can build relationships in real time around the clock by providing customers individualized service on demand. Customers can log in and view information about their product usage, how it benefitted them, and even understand how their usage compares to other users like them. For example, Comeet, a collaborative hiring platform, provides useful statistics to employers such as number of days a job has been posted, number of candidates that applied, and the number of interviews a hiring manager conducts prior to finding the best candidate. This information helps organizations track and understand their hiring processes and difficulties.

Increasing Your Value Proposition with Self-Service Analytics

Providing customers access to self-service analytics can offer a powerful competitive advantage

in your market. And this advantage can be harnessed by both product and service providers.

Products

The rise of IoT makes the benefit of connected devices clear: these devices can help users customize and optimize their activities. Devices can include:

  • Remote, app-controlled appliances (security cameras, irrigation systems, thermostats)
  • Wearables that track health and fitness data and trends
  • Interactive devices with machine learning (Alexa, Hello Barbie™)

Services

Outside of IoT, the value of self-service analytics often gets overlooked, even though this also helps customers customize and optimize. Analytics helps customers manage their decisions and understand how they continue to benefit from the service over time. Service-based analytics can include:

  • Interactive reporting
  • Data visualization
  • Order processing, shipping, and tracking

Whether you provide a product or service, pairing it with self-service analytics gives customers new insights on how you’re benefitting them. For instance, Rachio™ is a watering system that has an app to help you monitor and manage lawn watering from your smartphone. But it isn't just about a green lawn. You can tailor watering to your yard with customized zone details so that you know you are doing what is right for the environment and your community. And you can avoid catastrophic leaks and monitor outdoor water usage too, taking a much worldlier approach

to what used to be a simple home task showing your customers that they are getting a much higher level of value from your product.

Self-Service Use Cases

In a more B2B scenario, NASDAQ launched IR Insight, a self-service analytics platform that gives investor teams actionable data insights to improve their investor relations (IR) programs. The platform provides first-of-its-kind interactive reporting, giving IR teams new ways to view, analyze, and understand their data.

NASDAQ IR Insights provides IR teams with self-service analytics for actionable insights. 

Gap Systems is another example of the value of self-service analytics. A software-as-a-Service provider, Gap produces a product development platform that helps companies organize their supply chain. For customers to make better sense—and better use—of the data available to them, Gap added data visualization capabilities to their platform, making data faster and easier for customers to interpret.

The new system gives clients the information they need as part of the supply chain:

  • Partner Performance – Many of Gap Systems’ clients build and distribute products through third parties, managing relationships with partners through Smartflow. Now, they have real visibility into how these partners perform.
  • Internal Department Performance – Clients can see immediately whether internal departments are on track and performing as planned. If bottlenecks form, they don’t have to guess who’s responsible: they have hard data to back it up.
  • Planning for the Future – Having a complete picture of internal data allows Gap Systems’ clients to plan resources, from people to budgets, and make evidence-backed predictions for the future.
Smartflow analytics from Gap helps clients manage relationships with partners and third parties.

In the shipping industry, profit margins are slim, generally running between 5-10%. To help improve these margins, Profit Tools software analyzes the data in the complete trucking life cycle and pinpoints areas where the revenue cycle can be optimized. With self-service analytics, Profit Tools was able to increase revenues for clients through actions like route optimization and carrier management. This led to an 80% increase in profitability for their Fuel department, increasing revenues, improving customer satisfaction and expanding their market share.

Profit Tools software with self-service analytics pinpoints areas where the revenue cycle can be optimized.

Finally, if you’re looking to increase revenue on a product or service, monetizing data access can be a valuable add-on. This gives your data collecting efforts even more value and opens the doors to new possibilities for your offering in the marketplace.

A software provider that helps enterprises manage contract renewals wanted to create a version of their software for the SMB market. Their strategy was to turn their unique web portal application, which provides enterprise clients with a consolidated real-time view of all assets, warranty and service contract information to facilitate contract management and identify revenue potential across the supply chain, into a "one size fits all" solution for their smaller clients. With their new offering, SMB customers have access to a scaled-down version of the contract management software that meets their needs, successfully launching the software provider into a previously untapped market.

Whether you offer a product or a service, self-service analytics not only builds meaningful relationships but also adds new facets to your value proposition.

Data Privacy

Data privacy is today’s hot button topic. After the recent issues with data privacy around the world, customers are more concerned than ever with how companies are collecting and using their data.

One of the biggest benefits of self-service analytics is that it provides an opportunity to monetize customer data without selling it to third parties, avoiding privacy concerns.

Self-service analytics makes it possible to give customers access to tools that help them analyze and take action on the data captured as it relates to your product or service and is relevant to them only. By ensuring the data is secured at the system level, object level, and data level, you can add a new layer of service and value you can monetize. This means you can avoid privacy concerns many customers have about their information being seen by other parties or sold to other organizations while still generating revenue from the data in your possession.

Whether you want to monetize data access or simply provide it as a complementary extension of your offering, it’s important to consider that sharing personalized data with customers is likely to make them more aware of the data you’re actually collecting on them.

To mitigate your risk and customers’ concerns, make sure you have data collection best practices in place, security measures to protect it, and legal counsel to keep all activities ethical. Also consider how to present customer data in the context of helping them. The key here is that customers can appreciate if you share their data with them, but not necessarily anyone else.

Embedding Self-Service Analytics

Chances are you know you’re collecting data customers would find helpful, but you’re not sure

how to add a self-service analytics interface service to make it more accessible.

The fastest and easiest method is to embed a self-service analytics dashboard into your customer-facing system to help them view their own data for insights. Your company will benefit from self-service analytics if you:

  • Have systems that are already collecting customer data
  • Potentially have a large customer dataset to mine
  • Are open to providing tools and secure access for customers to view and analyze their data
  • Understand how providing self-service analytics will integrate with your business goals and deliver increased customer value
  • Identify what data should be shared with customers based on its value to them (remember: they don’t need access to everything you have, just the data that will be helpful to them)

Conclusion

Providing customers with self-service analytics is a huge value-add, building relationships and demonstrating the benefits of your product or service over time. By embedding a self-service analytics solution into your customer systems, data access becomes a fast, easy, next-level offering, giving customers the ability to optimize activities as they relate to your product or service.

Intrigued? Try it on your own data!

Take a test drive and see how Sisense can add value to your customers.

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