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November 9, 2016

How bespoke big data helps take the frustration out of analytics

Find out what the three main mistakes are being made.

By James Nunns

In the past decade there has been advances made in three key technology areas that have the potential to revolutionise businesses around the world.

The Internet of Things, Cloud and big data are three buzzwords that actually have a lot of value, but while the ideas behind these areas is not new, the impact that they are having is.

Much has been said about the impact that these trends could have but plenty of challenges threaten remain for something like big data to really take hold and live up to its hyper.

CBR’s James Nunns spoke to Tom Cahill, VP EMEA, Logi Analytics about the an

Tom Cahill, VP EMEA, Logi Analytics.

Tom Cahill, VP EMEA, Logi Analytics.

alytics company and the challenges facing the market.

 

JN: Is data analytics really worth the industry hype?

TC: “Yes – very much. People are tempted to think of data analytics as being somewhat new. That’s understandable with the latest developments in IoT and Big Data making it easier for organisations to access and analyse a wider range of data sources.

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“However, for decades the appeal and commercial success of most software innovation has been driven by the analysis of the data produced by that software. So with the recent increase of data, the uptake and success of pretty-much all innovation depends directly on delivery of better insights for all kinds of decision-makers.”

 

JN: Which best describes your technology: Is it a cloud solution? Is it a SaaS solution? Is it a third party platform solution?

TC: “Logi Analytics offers an analytics application platform that enables product managers and application owners to embed bespoke analytics capabilities into software, applications, workflows and processes, thereby delivering a highly-interactive, personalised and seamless user experience directly within the context of the applications people use every day.

“Logi partners with application owners, including product managers at software companies and IT leaders in enterprises, who want to create genius applications for their customers. Genius apps allow end users to discover insights faster and make smarter decisions because essential information is in context of the applications on which they already rely.”

 

JN: What do you see as the biggest challenge to your market in the next six months?

TC: “Our market centres around product managers who face the ongoing challenge of improving user adoption and working with increasingly-complex data, all while remaining competitive.

“A dashboard is only as effective as its design – and that can mean the difference between users excitedly adopting your product or ignoring it altogether. Applications’ user experience is often limited in more ways than just clunky features and lack of visual appeal.

“People can get quickly frustrated at how steep the learning curve can be, how complex certain features appear to be or how inflexible an application is when changes in configuration, data access or permissions are required. The millennial user gets even more irked at a lack of collaboration, sharing or rating functionality within a business application: after all these are now standard modes of communication.

“Global enterprises today are also facing the rapidly-growing challenge of data management. Data types, sources, architectures, policies, technologies, relevance and accessibility are increasingly combined as the CIO’s number one priority. This increasing complexity impacts the needs and design for modern applications. Ultimately the winner’s approach to sustainable management of data is all about comprehensive tagging and prioritisation.

“Modern, embedded front-end analytics capabilities are increasingly essential for today’s product manager to stay ahead of competitor applications. An application without analytics risks extinction because users must leave the app to gain insight.

“Many leading business intelligence tools deliver first-rate analytics to specialised users and business unit managers. Others have better reporting capabilities. Some embed well and others can integrate with a variety of standard 3rd-party security types. While licensing for OEMs can be designed in a number of ways, very few are commercially scalable. With all of these considerations, product managers are best advised to work with experienced analytics application builders: this ensures better use of tools and faster time to market.”

 

JN: Who is your target end-user and what keeps them awake at night?

TC: “Because we provide an analytics platform, at Logi we distinguish between ‘Users’ and ‘End-Users’. The latter category makes use of analytics created by Product Managers and Application Owners (our users), whose main focus is how to get more people using their applications.

“Staying relevant and central throughout an entire work process for the user is essential to the success of a business application. This relevance is determined by the user experience of the application and in turn, the analytics at the front-end is where an application owner can make the greatest impression.

“Recently we conducted our own research into the challenges our end-users face when delivering products, we found that the main concern was ensuring on-time, within-budget, delivery of the right product. This was followed by feature prioritisation, roadmapping and keeping up with strategic focus while focusing on the day-to-day responsibilities and concerns that executives don’t always agree with their product decisions.”

 

JN: What do you bring to the table that other providers don’t already?

TC: “Generally Logi provides a larger toolset, more options and greater flexibility than other known analytics products. Most known products have state of the art dashboarding and visualisation capabilities – indeed, a vendor like Tableau has great visualisations.

“However, when serving the needs of greater numbers of users with varying requirements, product managers need greater custom styling capabilities than those brands can provide. Similarly users are better served and make more use of analytics when it is embedded in their standard application – or even ‘infused’ in their workflow. Logi excels in both these use cases.

“There are also some very specific capabilities in Logi Analytics that are unavailable in other standard offerings. Logi provides write-back capabilities to the user in a completely integrated workflow. In addition, by embedding self-service analytics and discovery capabilities, as well as offering a more extensible development framework, Logi scores highest for software product managers and applications owners, who wish to create genius applications.”

 

JN: What are the most common mistakes being made by businesses when starting data analytics projects?

TC: “Here are three main mistakes that businesses make when starting data analytics projects, any of which can negatively impact user adoption.

“First, many analytics applications are developed with a very select group of users in mind – typically data analysts or business unit managers. Narrowing the focus of analytics in this way often results in tools that are too complicated for users who just wish to view a simple dashboard on KPIs. In reality there are different types of users, all needing analytic capability in different ways.

“We also find that all too often data analytics are not provided in context of the user’s main business application. In this instance, a user must “swivel chair” to another application to analyse their data, rather than having the ability to discover insights within their workflow.

Logi Analytics offers several self-service analytics tools.

Logi Analytics offers several self-service analytics tools.

“Analyst research has found that employees lose one to two hours per week toggling between applications. The way to combat this is to integrate the analytics function right into the applications users leverage daily. Without changing interfaces or styles, or security verification steps, the user can seamlessly move between problem, analysis and decision.

“Finally, many businesses think too short term. If you’re trying to grow your business, it’s important to select an analytics platform that scales with users and feature requirements – all while being able to work with real-time data uninterrupted. Embracing a scalable analytics solution can decide the fate of an organisation, especially when many solutions quickly become limited in terms of what they can deliver.”

 

JN: How much of an impact have changing regulations had on the use of data? And how has it impacted vendors?

TC: “Data-related regulations are changing at an incredible rate. Due to an accelerating evolution of technology, some regulatory requirements quickly lose validity.  As a consequence of this, some conversations in Europe around large-scale changes – such as GDRP – are both at fever pitch and on hold as people are confused by how much protection is required or how great or realistic the impact might be.

“For most countries in the EU, it’s very much business as usual, as national laws governing security, management and privacy of data within individual countries are typically established. It’s when you work with data across a number of countries where it generally becomes a bigger challenge.

“For organisations of any type, be they vendors or end-user organisations, these changes will at some point have an impact. However, there is a role for vendors to play in enabling their customers to make use of all the necessary data they have to maximum effect with minimum hassle, whilst also ensuring the software is future-proofed to meet the changing compliance regulations.”

Also on CBR: AWS vs Google Cloud Platform vs Microsoft Azure: Cloud pricing continues to lack enterprise credentials

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