Did you know that it’s entirely possible to transform your business data into a marketable product that uses visual analytics to help achieve your business objectives? In their Embedded Analytics Series, Tableau Software, a global leader in data analytics, gathers world-class experts in technology, product management, and global business to discuss the merits, versatility, and value found in Embedded Data Analytics.
Below, we recap the highlights of these discussions, starting with their session with Experian on Turning Data Into Products. Read what it means to develop proprietary data assets within the framework of new, data-driven business models and analytics solutions, and to make these accessible to customers. Next, learn how your business can generate extra revenue faster by monetising your data in their conversation with ICIS on Data Monetisation. Third in the series is a discussion with industry giant Carrefour on Build vs. Buy as it pertains to embedded data analytics. We’ll wrap it up with Accelerating Insights with Grindrod, a conversation on how embedded analytics bolsters data-driven decision-making by allowing users to access reports and visual displays directly within an application user interface
We’ll recap the entire series here at Products That Count, so stay tuned over the coming weeks as we dive into the world of Embedded Data Analytics.
Embedded Analytics: Turning Data Into Products with Experian
The essence of product management lies in the ability to solve problems for users, and data plays a large role in achieving that mission. Mrunal Shridhar, Senior Manager of Solution Engineering at Tableau, understands the importance of data to the future of business, and “is on a mission to change the way people understand data”. Drawing from nearly a decade of experience in data and analytics, he leads a world class panel in a discussion on harnessing the power of data. This first session features Clare Hollis, Product Director of Data Services and Analytics at Experian, Tim Payne, Lead Solutions Engineer at Tableau, and Jim Horbury, Solutions Practice Lead at Interworks.
Over the years, data metrics and its application has evolved with the technology available to product leaders. The ability to listen to your customer and the ways in which they use your product was followed by tools that expand data on a macro level. The new frontier, however, lies in the ability to transform that data into meaningful, actionable insights. Referencing these current trends in data, Mrunal Shridnar states:
“Increasingly, what we’re seeing is a data revolution. Every company is looking into customer loyalty, business sustainability and competitive edge. With the advancements in technology, availability of skills in the marketplace, and changing consumer behaviors, we find more and more companies trying to tap into data.”
Naturally, the next stage is finding ways to monetize that data. Shridhar says this can be something as simple as sharing data via an API, and illustrates the opportunities for direct and indirect revenue through internal and external use cases. This is where companies are finding advantage in embedded analytics, or as Tim Payne explains:
“Embedded Data is data and analytics integrated seamlessly with the content or service being delivered to the end user. It’s data where they want it, on whatever device they want it, be it web page, software, or mobile. It’s the ability to access data analytics without leaving the experience.”
On the importance of data to Experian
Each company will approach data in a different manner, but regardless of the market, the goal is to create, find, and leverage opportunities. Clare Holts joins the panel as an 11 year veteran at Experian and impresses on viewers the importance of using data to build engagement with clients and their end stakeholders.
“The biggest challenge, for our clients, is the complexity and the volume of data that we hold. Masses of data that can help businesses understand things like market share, competitive position, level of portfolio risk, customer behaviors, lost opportunity, and customer retention.”
Naturally, choosing the right data analytics tools is imperative to successfully navigating massive amounts of data. When it comes down to selecting the right tool for the job, Clare looks for client engagement, data interrogation, and ultimately, ease of use.
“A real key factor was ease of use. It’s really important that we can build engagement with our clients, but also that our clients can build engagement with their own stakeholders. The use of compelling visualisations really enables them to have better conversations, and Tableau allows us to present insights that demonstrate benefit in a really compelling and flexible manner.”
The pandemic permeated every corner of society, affecting users in the home and in the office. In a heartwarming moment, Holts shares real-time applications of Tableau during this tumultuous year with an example illustrating the benefits to being able to drill deep into the data for actionable insights.
“In response to the COVID pandemic, we’ve been able to host forums and use Tableau to help organizations understand what’s happening. They can very quickly see pockets of vulnerable customers and understand why that pocket is particularly vulnerable, such as an aging population. They can really drill down into the data and see the areas most affected.”
On the trends of turning data into product
While data and metrics may not be considered glamorous, according to Jim Horbury, the appetite among companies is strong and growing. “Future-looking companies will set the bar very high”, he says, and with companies becoming increasingly more data mature, organisations are looking for more creative ways to generate revenue. Combining sophisticated technology and machine learning with Tableau’s embedded solutions allows companies “the opportunity to provide really compelling products”. Mrunal Shriphar smartly states;
“With more and more organisations looking into harnessing the power of data, going to market with data products is not just a matter of whether you should or not. Now, it’s about how fast an organisation can react and reach the market before others do, or before your customers look elsewhere. It is all about agility and flexibility to go to market.”
It’s clear then that staying ahead of the competition is imperative to success, especially when diving into an exciting and new growth market such as data as product. Jim says that “being realistic, setting expectations, and clearly defining success and failure” can aid product leaders in implementation. For effective adoption, he says to plan ahead and “always think about automation.”
“When embedding Tableau, you’ve got more components in the mix. While it’s ok to jump through hoops manually for the first VIP client, you don’t want to be managing processes manually for the next 100 clients. Basically, we always talk about automation, scalability, and integration, right from the start.”
The prospective value of turning data into product is enormous. Jim shares that while many companies are actively exploring ways in which they can use data analytics, “a majority of conversations are gearing themselves towards embedded data and generating further insights”. Further value is being discovered for marketing teams, with applications like building personas, typologies, and trend mapping.
While it can be tempting to quickly jump on trend, Tim Payne says it’s important to first understand why you are embedding data. Using the old acronym “KISS”, he advises those looking into embedded data for external analytics to “keep it simple” and make certain to first examine what skills are present internally to aid in a smooth adoption. In a final piece of advice to product leaders exploring embedded data, Clare Holts says:
“First and foremost, the job of product management is to understand the customer’s problems. Understand the jobs you need to solve for, then, understand why your data answers that question better than anyone else. Know your competitive advantage and prioritise things with the highest value to your customers. Use data tools like Tableau to prove and demo that value, and drive early engagement with your customers.”
Next up, learn about the opportunities available to companies in data monetization in an exclusive interview with the Head of Data Operations at ICIS. Tableau assembles a panel of data experts to dive into how data-driven businesses are maximising their revenue through embedding analytics integration within apps, products and web portals.