Recently, I read an article by Jill Dyché which was a wrap-up of TDWI Las Vegas. She talked about speaking to an analytics professional who works for a bank and was building analytics on top of their applications. This comment really struck me because it means the bank’s software vendor is missing out on a great opportunity to create an enormous amount of value for their customer and their own business.
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Why your application needs embedded analytics
Customers want more than just transactions. They also want to understand what's happening in an application and how they can get additional value from it. The way an organization monitors the effectiveness of their applications is by looking at data.
As a software vendor, if you don’t provide your customers with analytics, you're not building a window into your application. So, many customers will try and build the window themselves. But they don't have the domain expertize and they don't know your data model, so it ends up being an incredibly frustrating and expensive process for them.
How you can embed analytics
As a software vendor, adding analytics to your application is actually pretty simple to do. You could build it yourself, but you probably don't want to focus all your energy on building an analytics solution unless you want to become an analytics vendor. You’re better off partnering with an analytics provider who allows you to integrate and deliver a white label solution to your customers. This is also easier for you to maintain and support.
Three things to look for in an analytics partner
When you partner with someone, there are three things you should look for.
First of all, partner with an analytics provider who is a good fit for your business. This isn’t just about the technology. Look at the commercial model that makes sense for you. You need a partner who has a business model that tailors the financials and pricing to your sales model.
For example, Yellowfin has a customer that sells its product literally by the bus. So rather than selling our analytics product on a per-user basis, we created a licensing model that's by the bus as well. So when their salespeople are selling they don't have to think about two license models. This makes it easy for their customer to buy and easy for their salesperson to sell.
Secondly, you've got to have a great technical fit. Ideally, your potential partner has an integration team that helps you build analytics into your application that’s seamless from your customer's perspective. The goal is to be tightly coupled and integrated, with a focus on time to market. Be it your security model or the look and feel that you're after - choose a partner who can work with you to determine what suits you best and help you to get there faster.
And lastly, you've got to think about the partnership as a long-term strategic relationship. As a vendor, you have a deeper capability to understand what data is going to be pertinent to your end users. So partner with an analytics provider who not only provides you with what you need but can also help you create other revenue streams.
Increase customer happiness and add value to your business
Many of our software vendor customers now lead with analytics in their sales process. Their customers are typically senior people who don't care how the transactions work - they want to understand the value that it generates for their business. That's what the analytics tells them. By embedding analytics into your software, you create new revenue opportunities by leading with analytics to sell the transactional component.
As a software vendor, the best thing you can do for your customers is to embed BI into their application. The marginal cost to you is negligible compared to what it costs your customers to do it themselves. If you do it for them, your customers will be delighted with you and you will increase the value of your business at the same time.
Increase your application's value with embedded analytics
Yellowfin has worked with hundreds of software vendors to successfully embed analytics to deliver added value to their application and to their customers.