The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the need for digital transformation. Organizations that weren’t already leveraging data and analytics as a strategic advantage are quickly adopting business intelligence (BI) solutions “within a matter of weeks,” shared McKinsey. In the article, Accelerating analytics to navigate COVID-19 and the next normal, McKinsey called analytics “an essential navigational tool” in the post COVID-19 return.
In addition to rolling out analytics internally, organizations are also investing in analytics opportunities for their customers and partners—embedding BI solutions into their own products and services. In a time when customer retention is a priority and new revenue streams are oftentimes critical to survival, embedded analytics offers a way for organizations to monetize their data and position themselves as a data-forward business.
This blog post covers four reasons why organizations should consider embedded analytics.
1. Adapt your business model for a digital-first world
Now more than ever, data is the key to effective decision making. As organizations solve their own COVID-specific challenges with data, they’re also considering data as a pathway to create new revenue streams and deliver added value to customers and partners. Embedding analytics into customer-facing applications, products, or web portals allows organizations to create entirely new data products or to enrich existing products and services.
A 2019 Business Application Research Center (BARC) survey of European companies found that new revenue sources are the most important benefit of data products, reported by 69 percent of respondents who have adopted embedded analytics. Other benefits include the provision of new services and improved customer loyalty.
Swedish organization, CellRebel was founded with the vision to enable mobile operators and consultancy service providers to better understand and improve the mobile subscriber experience. The company embeds Tableau dashboards into its secure, personalized portal, helping operators analyze billions of data points to gauge critical success factors like mobile subscriber experience, network performance, and subscriber churn.
CellRebel CEO Tibor Rathonyi shared that “By helping our customers make fast, effective and informed decisions on factors like end user experience and network performance, we are driving their revenue growth—and ultimately ours too.”
A year ago, the same BARC survey indicated that embedded analytics was still in the early stages of adoption. With this accelerated shift towards data-driven decision making amidst COVID-19, embedded analytics will be an alluring option for organizations looking to integrate data and analytics into their product and service offerings.
2. Personalize your customers’ data experience
Customer expectations have changed. People now demand a built-in data and analytics experience within products and services, and in the midst of COVID-19, this expectation is becoming even more apparent.
Embedded analytics allows people to explore the data and get the answers they need, all within their existing workflow. Tableau’s embedded offering, for example, allows you to build dashboards and load filtered data as appropriate to each user’s permissions. This means that people can only see the data that is meant for them, providing a relevant user experience, while keeping data safe. According to the 2019 BARC survey mentioned earlier in this post, 50 percent of participating companies achieved “improved customer experience” as a benefit of providing data products.
“What you’re doing is putting data and analytics directly into their workflow so they can seamlessly move through their decision making process and use data to enhance that process,” shared Stephanie Richardson, Vice President of Product Marketing at Tableau in a recent BI Trends report.
CallMiner, a company that assists call centers with tools for measuring conversational behaviors to optimize customer experience and customer service performance, had already invested in embedded analytics before the COVID-19 crisis. When the crisis hit, CallMiner embedded new, COVID-specific dashboards into their product that help call center administrators analyze sentiment in their agents’ interactions with callers, assess caller experience blockers like background noise, and take informed steps to advise on and de-escalate specific interactions as needed. This equipped agents with the data-supported direction they need to focus even more intently on caller interactions during an uncertain and often emotional time.
Embedding analytics creates a seamless experience for your customers and stakeholders, allowing them to ask questions and find meaningful insights, and most importantly, creating a positive user experience—which are all key to customer retention.
3. Securely share information with partners and suppliers
In a digital world, it is becoming increasingly common to share information between partners and stakeholders. The COVID-19 crisis has amplified this need. Consider a grocery store, for example. They may have already had a delivery or pickup service, or partnered with delivery services like Instacart in the past. But when COVID-19 hit and many customers avoided crowded stores, retailers’ mobile app and pickup services skyrocketed. In this case, they would want to know how this change is affecting their business and share this information with partners and suppliers to ensure that they are serving customers’ needs.
“In a previous world, a retailer with 100+ suppliers would be managing those relationships over email, phone, or in-person meetings where they would share insights and discuss action items.” said Patrick Evans, Regional Vice President of Global Embedded Analytics at Tableau. “Now, retailers and suppliers are creating portals, with built-in analytics capabilities where they can securely share data and insights. In a COVID-19 world, this is a huge differentiator. Stakeholders no longer need to meet directly in order to effectively work together.”
Using row-level security and user filtering, the dashboards surfaced in these portals only serve up data that is intended for that specific partner or supplier, keeping proprietary data secure.
The benefits of an embedded analytics approach extend to internal employees as well. When all of this data is consolidated into a portal or application, internal and external stakeholders are working off of the same information—speeding up processes and allowing more time for optimization.
4. Save time and resources when you need them most
Organizations thinking about investing in an analytics solution are faced with the decision to build their own data product or to embed an existing BI solution into their product. In a time where every minute matters, many organizations choose the latter. The main reason is that building your own analytics solution takes away valuable resources, because you’ll need a dedicated development team with experts in data and analytics. This development team would also be tasked with updating the analytics product to keep up with industry best practices and standards. Leveraging an existing, best-in-class BI platform means you can save resources and keep customers in the flow of your core product, while offering up a higher standard of analytics for your customers.
Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) develops innovative business intelligence (BI) products and services for the global travel community, including travel agencies. When ARC embedded Tableau into their products, they witnessed more meaningful interactions between account managers and customers. One of the greatest benefits to customers was that they didn’t have to build out their own analytics capabilities.
“Many travel agencies didn’t want to take on the creation of in-house analytics teams, so they looked to ARC as a business partner who could provide valuable analytics in an easy-to-use format. Furthermore, they don’t have to compete for internal IT resources,” noted Shital Sabne, Manager of Product Design and Data Solutions. “We save them money and time because they don’t need to direct valuable resources to distilling data. Tableau reports are based on ARC data, so the data can be trusted. It all comes together and results in stronger operations for our customers.”
Investing in embedded analytics also saves hours with external stakeholders. Going back to the previous example of a retailer, instead of needing to meet about changing metrics on a regular basis, both parties—internal and external—have access to the same data, so when these conversations do happen, they can be more timely, relevant, and strategic. In an epidemic-era, this can be a huge differentiator for your business.
Get started with embedded analytics
COVID-19 is impacting every part of business, from where we work to the way we measure success. Embedded analytics offers an avenue for higher customer and partner satisfaction, new revenue streams, and product differentiation.
Learn more about Tableau’s embedded analytics offerings and explore these resources to get started:
- Five Steps to Revenue: How to Create a Great Data Product: Watch this webinar series to learn how to navigate common pitfalls when establishing an embedded analytics integration strategy.
- Tableau Embedded Analytics Playbook: This playbook summarizes the key APIs and features that are used in embedded deployments, then dives into the key embedding requirements and supplies you with resources necessary to get up and running.