How Product Managers Can Deliver Innovative Data Experiences to End Users

Stand Out in Your Markets with Embedded Analytics

Product teams that make analyzed data part of the customer experience are more likely to grow product adoption, customer satisfaction, and stickiness. 

In fact, according to Eckerson Group, “Independent software vendors report that embedded analytics increases the value of their applications by 43% and enables them to charge 25% more on average.”

The benefits do not stop with direct top line growth, but go well beyond to improve customer satisfaction and retention. In 2019, Gartner found that “embedded analytics in enterprise applications drive value and product stickiness” [Gartner 2019].

A 2020 report projected that over the next two years, enterprise data will experience over a 40% growth rate [IDC & Seagate 2020].

But here is the kicker — only 32% of it is put to work [IDC & Seagate 2020].

For years now, the writing has been on the wall. By delivering customers access to data, product teams can drive significant value to those customers and improve customer satisfaction, product adoption, and customer loyalty, thereby driving revenue. 

There is tremendous opportunity here — not only for enterprises to leverage the unused data for internal purposes but to also fill the gap for their customers. It’s not too late to jump on board with embedded analytics. Keep reading to see how you can gain the advantages of data and analytics that can transform your product or service in the market today.

Signs your software needs to deliver analytics

  • Do you see product adoption/stickiness stagnating or struggling?

As a product leader, are you constantly working to improve product adoption and customer engagement? If so, you are not alone. Research shows that 43% of the average company’s SaaS application stack changed in the last two years. However, companies are still paying for apps that aren’t being used or optimized. The average company now has 3.6 abandoned app subscriptions (up 100% from 2019), leading to a tremendous amount of SaaS waste [Source 1, 2]. This is a direct result of lack of adoption and value. A product that is being used and provides value will not be faced with the chopping block. 

  • Is your win rate taking a hit?

Competition is fierce. There are more than 550,000 tech businesses in the U.S. alone. And that number is only growing. (Approximately 40,500 tech startups were established in 2018 alone.) [Source 3, 4.] With every organization turning into a digitally driven company, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out in the crowd. 

  • Are your customers asking for data?

This one is more straightforward, but customers and users today want their data in order to understand how to improve their business outcomes and efficiency. As providers of services, product teams also generate a ton of data that will be extremely relevant for their customers. Often, though, customers simply don’t have access to this data. If your customers are not asking for it already, it is just a matter of time.

Play offense, not just defense

If the answer to any of the questions above is even a vague yes, it is time to leverage your unique, difficult-to-replicate assets and capabilities to innovate and create new transformative business models. 

One such asset that is available in spades is data. 

There are several methods to deliver data to customers. You could:

  • Deliver data as flat files or, to be more sophisticated, through APIs
  • Deliver weekly, daily, or monthly static reports
  • Embed static charts into your applications and product

Or you could:

  • Embed interactive charts and visualizations directly into your application through various levels of sophistication based on your audience, needs, and resources

In the first set of options, you are leaving money on the table by giving away the differentiated, difficult-to-replicate asset you own. In the second option, you are immediately adding value thereby allowing you to charge more or enhance your customer’s experience to drive product stickiness.

Embedding interactive dashboards

The quickest way to bring near real-time insights to your customers in the context of their work is by embedding full dashboards along with filtering into your application. 

Customers should be able to explore their data, filter, drill down into the data, ask new questions, and more all within the context of their embedded experiences, not simply read a static chart or report.

To take it one step further, you can enable your customers to perform actions in the parent application and not have to repeat them again in the embedded analytics. For example, you can have a filter in the host application that will not only filter the host application but also the embedded dashboard. This will make the experience even more seamless.

A key piece here is to white-label and change the look and feel of the embedded application with personalized themes to match your application.

Tessitura Network, a nonprofit software company, embeds Sisense in its enterprise application, Tessitura Analytics, to deliver more actionable intelligence to over 650 performing arts and cultural organizations. Using APIs, customers can extend and customize insights to improve their fundraising, ticket sales, and inventory. During COVID-19, in particular, Tessitura rolled out two different dashboards to help arts and cultural institutions assess reduced capacity seating options in live venues as well as to analyze and manage canceled events.

Embedding individual KPIs and visualizations

In the next level of sophistication, you can start truly blurring the boundaries between your application and the embedded analytics by embedding individual charts and filters alongside the operational actions. You can also build the look and feel of each data point to match your application for a completely seamless experience.

Hive, a real-time collaboration platform, was able to deploy and embed Sisense in six to eight weeks in its productivity platform to provide predictive insights around personal, team, and time productivity. For example, Hive has helped Starbucks reduce time from interior design concept to finished store by 20%, and Uber’s global response team has seen a 15% increase in reporting speed.

Empowering customers with in-context design

As your embedded analytics solution matures, you can enable your customers to design and create their own dashboards and analysis to completely remove any blockers to their time to value. It is important to provide customers governed access to data models with the power to create, in order to truly take your embedded analytics solution to the next level.

CTSI, the world’s largest freight bill audit and payment services provider, embedded Sisense in its freight application, providing its customers deeper insights into transaction data on 2-4 million daily invoices and allowing them to customize those insights. 

Infuse AI-powered intelligence

Dashboards are just the beginning – it’s time to go beyond just data

Creating truly differentiated experiences relies on removing steps between data and action and delighting customers. Part of the challenge is the placement of insights in workflows and applications, which can be solved with embedding methods and APIs described above. But another part of the challenge is also to make those insights easily accessible and consumable. 

Today, the power of AI and machine learning along with self-service can help alleviate the challenges of both making sense of data and diving deeper into that data. You don’t always need data experts or data scientists to empower customers with powerful insights.

Empower customers with augmented analytics

Gartner defines augmented analytics as “the use of enabling technologies such as machine learning and AI to assist with data preparation, insight generation and insight explanation to augment how people explore and analyze data in analytics and BI platforms. It also augments the expert and citizen data scientists by automating many aspects of data science, machine learning, and AI model development, management and deployment” [1].

With augmented and advanced analytics, you can help your customers answer questions that you may not have thought of and minimize their time to value. Automated capabilities can learn from user behavior and metadata to suggest next steps and next questions.

Capabilities like AI exploration paths, explanations, or natural language queries can help customers, even the non-techie and non-scientist users, get the most of the data without having to come back to you every time they have a question.

Build data stories with app-like experiences

In addition to powerful data analysis, companies need to deliver an enhanced user experience with custom app-like visual interfaces.

Imagine how powerful it would be for an audio accessories company to show its top/bottom 10 headphones in terms of revenue with a picture of the headphone model with the model name and details as opposed to simply a bar chart or table. It becomes even more powerful if clicking on the model opens up another view with the power to dig into the data further and take an action like increasing spend on an ad campaign or inputting a ticket to the support team.

Another important step to build seamless experiences is to customize and change the look and feel of the analytics to match your product. 

Organizations can gain a true advantage and create strong differentiators by going beyond delivering data and standard dashboards to infusing AI-driven intelligence in their products.  

Caption: Sisense BloX makes it easier than ever to create custom analytics that can be embedded in your applications. Connect to any data source, then leverage prebuilt templates to integrate application-like functionality into dashboards and products.

Close the BI loop through actions

The more interfaces a user has to switch between to take an action, the less likely they are to make a data-driven decision.

Connect the insights to a workflow through action integrations. If a customer is looking at a marketing ad spend dashboard and identifies a campaign that is not performing well, give them the power to stop the campaign directly from the analytics interface instead of having them search for the campaign in the marketing application and perform actions in another interface. In another instance, perhaps you want to enable your customers to query data from their Slack application instead of opening a dashboard. Tying analytics to the action will provide additional value to your customers, ultimately improving product stickiness.

Deliver sophisticated predictive and advanced analytics

Gone are the days when a bar or line chart of data points with a historical context is enough. With the power of automated advanced analytics, go beyond to provide forward-looking insights to your customers. Power customers with the ability to run forecasts and perform trend analysis with clicks of a button, allowing them to be citizen data scientists. Customers could also set up trigger-based or automated alerts that will proactively inform them about a key API. 

Delivering analytics does NOT have to be complicated, time consuming, and expensive

A modern, highly flexible, and customizable AI-driven data and analytics platform can help you and your team deliver embedded AI-powered intelligence where your customers need it and exactly how they need it. 

Let the experts handle data and analytics so you can focus on the core value proposition of your product. 

The key is to make a considered decision on the partner in your embedded analytics journey. Sisense has teamed with over 2,000 customers to help them get the most out of their data and analytics. Our Fusion platform goes beyond the dashboard and helps customers simplify analytics complexity, build customizable experiences, and infuse analytics everywhere with AI-powered insights. 

The result of this is a unique level of agility and flexibility and lower cost of ownership — from data flexibility to scale to analytical experience to extensibility to cloud to AI. And we do all of that with the highest level of partnership in the market, as evidenced by our No. 1 position in customer satisfaction from industry-leading analysts and customer reviews.

Customer use cases

Here are some of the embedded projects that have achieved remarkable results:

Kapsch TrafficCom, a provider of intelligent transportation systems, including tolling and traffic management, embeds Sisense in its mobile app, Kapsch TrafficCom, to help make road traffic safer and more reliable in urban areas and on highways, while helping to reduce pollution. It is able to provide state motor vehicle organizations and companies like EZPass customized insights. 

Luma Health, a digital health company that focuses on improving patient access and engagement, embeds Sisense in its Luma Health’s Total Patient Engagement™ platform, a modern and mobile solution for everything from patient intake forms to collecting feedback after a visit. Beyond a much improved patient experience, providers can also leverage metrics to address unpredictable patient behavior; one example around the COVID-19 impact resulted in a 79% reduction in no-shows.

Nasdaq, an American stock exchange, embeds Sisense in IR Insight, its flagship product that provides its customers access to information on investor ownership, real-time research, estimates data, and meeting analytics. Nasdaq’s customers can leverage the Nasdaq IR Insight platform to dissect and manipulate the data in a way that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the industry, extending more value and a better experience to its customers.

Ready for more? Use the following resources to help find your analytics partner: 

Embedded Analytics: The Build vs. Buy Debate Is Pointless touches on why the question of “to build or not to build” has become the subject of heated discussions when considering an embedded analytics project. 

The Sisense Evaluation Guide can help ensure you have thought through the key elements needed for creating a successful embedded analytics solution that not only works today but also in the future.

Compare Leading Embedded Business Intelligence Software with G2 Crowd will assure you that the platform is customer vetted. 

Read our most popular guide, The Ultimate Guide to Comparing Embedded Analytics Solutions, to help narrow down your alternatives based on key technical comparison points. 

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