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What Is ‘Infused Analytics’ and Why Is It Important to Business Success?

The opportunity of data has never been greater. Data and analytics are reshaping industries, driving continuously larger changes in both magnitude and scope. Today’s organisations need to find ways to capitalize on these changes by leveraging their data to transform processes and get results.

According to a survey by McKinsey & Company, organisations that use analytics to inform decisions are realizing substantial gains. These high-performing businesses say their data and analytics initiatives have contributed to at least 20% of their earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) over the past three years.

Unfortunately, that same survey also found that an alarming number of organisations are responding to these shifts with ad hoc, one-off actions and processes that hinder productivity rather than enhance it. This has prevented these companies from realizing the transformational potential of their data.

With data volumes exploding in size and new types of data complicating the equation, the survey showed that the gap between data laggards and leaders is growing ever wider. This suggests that many organisations are still struggling to get over the same analytics hurdles they’ve dealt with for years.

To get a better handle on data, organisations first worked to align people, processes, and technology using IT-led initiatives. Following that was a democratization of data, where companies sought to spread the use of data outside the IT department. Business intelligence and analytics (BI&A) tools were supposed to enable every user to make data-driven decisions with a few queries or clicks of the mouse.

It was in the final phase where something went wrong. Business Intelligence and Analytics tools gave us sleek dashboards and prettier reports, but many organisations failed to achieve the widespread adoption needed to drive the promised data-driven transformation.

As a whole, organisations do seem to be on the path to becoming data-driven. But they need to think differently to overcome the historical obstacles that continue to stand in their way of success.

What Is Infused Analytics?

Infused analytics (sometimes called “embedded analytics”) is an approach to BI&A that embeds actionable intelligence into every workflow, process, business application, and even internally developed products. By leveraging APIs to create fully customized and unique data experiences for users, infused analytics puts relevant, actionable intelligence right at the `point — rather than forcing users to switch to a separate tool or make individual queries.

Imagine your marketing department optimizing advertising spend with campaign performance insights infused at every decision point of your CRM system. Or your finance department drafting this quarter’s budget with accurate, relevant forecasting analytics and KPI metrics positioned throughout each function of your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Picture an analytics ecosystem where your teams don’t need to pivot to a BI tool and ask it questions. They don’t even need to do the work of determining which questions to ask because the answers are already in front of them.

Better yet, you can take an action that can automate other steps in your workflow from a visualization.

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That’s what we mean by infused analytics.

In the next sections, we’ll examine the barriers to BI&A adoption and show you how to overcome them across specific lines of business — using real-world case studies to demonstrate the transformative power of infused analytics.

Not All BI Tools Are Created Equal

Your BI&A tools aren’t delivering the promised transformation, most likely because analytics have become too hard, siloed, and divorced from work. 

Most organisations aren’t happy with their existing BI&A tools. According to research conducted by market intelligence and advisory firm IDC, more than half (52%) of organisations in the US and UK plan to replace their BI&A solution within the next two years.

So where does the discontent lie?

The primary hurdle appears to be usability. The research found that, for enterprise organisations with over 5,000 employees, “ease of use” was the top reason for their desire to replace their current BI solution. Other top reasons cited had their roots in usability; “ability to customize and extend functionalities” and “integration with other enterprise apps.”

This low ease of use is inhibiting BI&A adoption. The IDC research showed that only 13% of respondents use their BI&A tool daily; nearly half (49%) only use it once a month.

Unlocking the Data Analytics ‘Renaissance’

Analytics will only become a driving force when data works around individuals, making their jobs easier, not harder. In order to realize data-driven transformation, your organization must change its approach —rather than attempt to change the behavior of your entire workforce. This means embracing a new and exciting ‘data analytics renaissance,’ and unlocking the true value of data analytics by ‘infusing it everywhere.’

Sisense goes beyond traditional business intelligence by providing organizations with the ability to infuse analytics everywhere, embedded in both customer and employee applications and workflows.

Sisense customers are breaking through the barriers of analytics adoption by going beyond the dashboard with Sisense Fusion – the highly customizable, AI-driven analytics cloud platform, that infuses intelligence at the right place and the right time, every time. More than 2,000 global companies rely on Sisense to innovate, disrupt markets and drive meaningful change in the world. Ranked as the No. 1 Business Intelligence company in terms of customer success, Sisense has also been named one of the Forbes’ Cloud 100, The World’s Best Cloud Companies, five years in a row.

Visit us at www.sisense.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.  

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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