How to get data analytics right and avoid the swivel chair effect for employees

How to get data analytics right and avoid the swivel chair effect for employees Tom is VP EMEA at Logi Analytics with responsibility for growing the Sales, Marketing and Technical teams to transform user adoption of analytics and to provide a seamless embedded analytics experience for ISVs, SaaS providers and IT departments.


Productivity is the Holy Grail for many businesses. Having a productive workforce can lead to time savings, better customer retention and ultimately higher profits. However, trying to achieve productivity isn’t always easy. Experts list a myriad of techniques for how to encourage a more productive workforce, from providing flexible working hours to offering different working spaces.

Technology has its role to play here, too. But rather than focusing on the latest fad product to keep employees engaged, business leaders would be better off to think about optimising the technology their employees already use.

In the past, analytics has been noted for its productivity-boosting benefits. No longer do employees have to wade through mountains of data manually. Instead, nearly everyone has data insights at their fingertips with the push of a few buttons. However, analytics is a prime example of something organisations need to think about optimising if they want to further improve employee productivity. After all, the traditional analytics process—which forces users to leave the applications they’re already using and go to an entirely different system to analyse their data—can’t be an efficient process for any organisation.  

Over the last five to ten years, that’s exactly what has happened in businesses around the world. IT departments have favoured standalone self-service analytics tools to improve the capabilities of different business teams. However, it looks like these analytics tools are being rejected by users. The 2017 State of Embedded Analytics Report has shown only 21% of users who have access to these tools actually use them.

End users want analytics to make their jobs more efficient, but they don’t want to adopt standalone tools because they’re difficult to use

Why is adoption so low? End users want analytics to make their jobs more efficient, but they don’t want to adopt standalone tools because they’re difficult to use. Instead, they want easy access to analytics as part of their daily workflows.

With these thoughts in mind, it’s not surprising that standalone analytics tools aren’t just a source of frustration, they’re a waste of time. Anyone who has ever had to flick between their data source and a different analytics application knows this well. Nucleus Research estimates that this swivel-chair effect wastes up to two hours of productivity per worker each week, something most businesses can’t afford.

Users are already calling for more efficient analytics tools. In fact, 84 percent of business users want access to analytics within the applications they use. Thankfully, application teams and product managers are listening to this demand. The reportfound that adoption ofembedded analytics is on the rise. Usage has consistently grown since 2013, which is no surprise considering embedded analytics gives people the analytics intelligence they want inside the applications they use every day.

Embedded analytics also now has an adoption rate that’s three times that of standalone self-service tools. It helps increase the stickiness of applications, too: 84% of respondents stated that time spent in their applications increased after embedding analytics. By encouraging users to spend more time in these applications, companies are placing more value on the experiences their applications deliver and helping to improve user satisfaction. This is critical if you want to improve productivity levels, as it’s well known that individuals are much more likely to work in a productive manner if they enjoy using the tools they have been given.

Embedding analytics can also give a productivity kick beyond just the users. By giving users access to self-service tools embedded within applications, IT departments are able to decrease the ad-hoc requests they receive from users for analytics support. More than 64% of companies that embed self-service capabilities saw a decline in ad hoc requests from users, according to the report. This then frees up IT teams to focus more on business-critical tasks —a win all around for the many businesses trying to balance productivity across the board.

Editor’s note: You can find out more about the 2017 State of Embedded Analytics report here.

 

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