Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

India’s data love affair: embedded analytics is rising

India is currently among the top 10 big data analytics markets in the world and Nasscom, has set a target of making the country one among the top three

In an age where data is king, partnerships are often gold. And when companies are considering an embedded analytics application, the million-dollar (no pun intended) question is the age-old: build or buy?

Gartner Inc. highlights that Indian organizations are moving from traditional enterprise reporting to more strategic, modern and architecture-centric analytics programmes.

As per estimates, India is currently among the top 10 big data analytics markets in the world and Nasscom, has set a target of making the country one among the top three.

Indian companies have recognized that a mature advanced analytics strategy has a direct link to business performance. Business intelligence platforms are meeting this need by merging with core business processes through capabilities like mobile analytics, embedded analytics, dashboard extensions and application programming interfaces (APIs).

In the case of embedded analytics, this puts data and insights where people are already working, preventing them from navigating to another application or shared server.

For example, embedded analytics in customer relationship management (CRM) software allows salespeople to view valuable account data in a way that influences next steps with the customer.

While the benefits with embedded are clear, the critical question is whether to buy or build? This criteria will depend on your organization’s current situation, priorities and resources.

While weighing financial commitments against benefits is one part, there are several other aspects to keep in mind while choosing the right analytics stack.

Provide compelling visual analytics that drive value: The right visuals are a potent tool to engage and can be used to showcase new value through beautiful analytics.

However, it needs to be backed by a competent analytics solution based on proven principles of cognitive psychology and usability, so that when the initial judgment fades, the solution lets the data tell its story without interference, and is flexible to answer any question on the fly and coax greater value.

Get your analytics solution to market quickly: Speed to develop and deploy is crucial when deciding whether to build or buy.

Sometimes in-house capabilities lack deep expertize in BI (business intelligence) and visual analytics, and they face unplanned challenges as they navigate misunderstood specifications, coding compromises or iterations of prototypes, ultimately developing a minimum viable product that’s far from the original goal.

Right product that can integrate and scale: Deploying an external solution can be like a birthday present labelled “assembly required", making post-purchase data alignment and display design implementation a nightmare.

The best approach is to use one that aligns with the goals for your organization’s broader data strategy and integrates easily with your infrastructure that will reduce extra costs and can scale up with increased usage.

Showcase your expertize by understanding your customer: While your software engineers improve your core offering in the back-end, client servicing executives can vividly imagine the displays of data and provide great insights, that your customers would find most useful.

Integrate analytics for a seamless experience: A mature analytics solution, with a consistent look and feel, remains transparent and empowers users with embedded analytics—from accessing and exploring their data to sharing insights.

Provide out-of-the-box data access and compatibility: Embedded analytics reduces discrepancies and inaccuracies as it reads your application’s data natively and provides real time analysis of transactions.

Analytical solutions that read any data and lets users get on with their work have a positive impact on the overall business.

Today, embedded analytics is often seen as the messiah that can help organizations sell—right, better and more.

It is critical to pick a partner after a clinical analysis of your organization’s unique needs, and more importantly, its unique challenges.

If done right, there are rich dividends to reap by way of more engaged customers, better renewal rates and strategic insights.

With a population of over a billion people, India can greatly benefit from analytics by way of better governance, security, financial inclusion; and smart analytics can be a catalyst for the economy and the country at large.

Anand Ekambaram is country manager at Tableau India.

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