Satisfying the Analytic Needs of Enterprise Users

Jake Freivald's picture
 By | October 07, 2015
in Business Analytics, Data Visualization, Self Service
October 07, 2015

Real ROI on BI and analytics requires wide-scale adoption across many users and roles, including customers and partneers outside the firewall.

Your organization is made up of many different types of information consumers. When implementing self-service environments, the unique needs of each must be addressed if you are to achieve truly pervasive analytics.

Factors such as the type of information to be accessed, how it will be used, and the technical proficiency of the end user should be taken into account. This will promote broader user adoption by ensuring that everyone gets exactly what they want.

The return on your self-service investment increases as you expand it to more users and user types. For example, giving your executives instant access to information will deliver tremendous returns through improved strategic planning and decision-making. As you make the same capabilities available to larger audiences (tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of users) for operational analytics – like employees, customers, and business partners – the financial and productivity benefits grow exponentially.

Read on to learn how to satisfy three of five different user groups and their particular needs.

Executive buy-in is a must if your self-service initiative is to succeed. Instantaneous access to high-level business information in the form of self-service metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), scorecards, and dashboards will give executives an “at-a-glance” view of operations and allow them to track progress towards performance objectives, which will foster better planning and decision-making.

Associated Wholesalers, a cooperative food distributor, created an executive dashboard that features sales by department and commodity, updated every hour. It compares current sales metrics with the previous week, month, or year, with drill downs to identify potential problems within each department. The executive team now has near real-time visibility. They can see a particular department’s numbers rising and falling over time, or uncover potential trouble spots that need further investigation.

Business analysts serve as the go-to contacts whenever executives need information. The analyses they conduct are more sophisticated than those performed by operational users. They need more advanced tools for deep data manipulation, such as data visualization and predictive modeling, so they can slice and dice information to obtain valuable insight into organization, industry, and customer trends.

Analysts at Neways, a manufacturer of personal care products, have access to self-service reports to monitor finances, anticipate trends, and predict results based on current insight. They can track metrics daily, weekly, and monthly, which is helping the company to boost revenues and profitability.

Business Users/Operational Employee:
Business users want to analyze and visualize real-time, relevant data in a straightforward, intuitive, and engaging way – without learning complicated tools or worrying about data preparation. They want access to immediate insight, not only from their desktops and laptops, but from their smartphones and tablets too. These users need highly interactive analytic content such as charts, graphs, and reports, delivered through an easy app store-like experience.

Leading hamburger chain Wendy’s improved cost control and increased profit margins with self-service analytics. Managers in franchise and company-owned restaurants have direct access to vital sales trends, food service metrics, and other operational data, so they can make more informed decisions about food preparation, labor scheduling, and other factors that boost the bottom line.

For more on how IT can empower different user types, check out our complimentary white paper, Reinventing Self-Service for Wide-Scale Adoption of Analytics.