If you're looking to embed an analytics solution into your software product in 2021, it’s important that you don’t just think about the short-term. Take a long-term perspective and think about these three key criteria to find the best fit solution for your business.
#1 - Product Fit
When it comes to embedded analytics, most people just look at the product and whether they like it and if it does what they want it to. This technical fit is obviously important, but often people don’t look beyond that and think about how it future proofs their product.
The vast majority of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that approach us look for a dashboard solution. While the product has to meet your core need, consider whether it will enable you to provide a greater number of use cases to your end users beyond that.
The challenge here is that people who are experts in their own domain are not necessarily experts in analytics, so they don't know what they don't know. If their customers are enterprise users who have experience with enterprise analytics solutions, they'll have a much broader range of use cases in their mind.
We find asking a broad set of questions to peel back the layers often uncovers new use cases that a customer has not previously considered.
#2- Commercial Fit
There are two primary reasons most embed analytics - to grow your business and accelerate sales or as a defensive move to protect market share by offering more value to your customers. In both cases, there's a commercial model that makes sense.
If you’re looking to scale, you don't want to sign up to a commercial relationship that looks like good value today but is completely unaffordable in a few years time once your business has grown. You could find yourself needing a huge amount of resources or paying far more money for your analytics than originally anticipated. Whereas if your move is defensive, you will want to manage the cost of the solution while continuing to create and deliver value to your customers.
In either case, you should look for a commercial model that will allow you to take full advantage of all the innovations that the vendor is creating over its lifetime. Some vendors purposely exclude future innovations from current contracts because that becomes their future upsell. So, you need to go into the commercial arrangement with eyes wide open. Don’t just think about the relationship that you have today, but the commercial relationship that you anticipate you'll need in four or five years time as your business scales or as your competitors move.
When looking at commercials also consider whether you intend to absorb the cost of the solution or whether you will sell it as a value add to your customer base. Knowing how are you going to monetize the analytics component should have a very deep bearing on the kind of commercial model you want to construct. You want your commercials to be in harmony with the way you sell and how you intend to grow your business.
For example, going into a resource-based commercial arrangement, like buying by the server, doesn’t make sense particularly if it’s a value add. That’s because that's not how you sell. If you can get commercials that are aligned to your own commercial model, it makes your sales process frictionless. You don't have to educate your salespeople on selling a component that has a very different price point to the rest of your product set.
#3 - Relationship Fit (with the vendor)
The long-term relationship is often ignored when you’re sold a product.
Sales only represents about 5% of your total engagement, the other 95% will include deployment, ongoing support and growth. If you have a really poor sales engagement and expect the relationship to get better once you’ve signed the contract, it’s like getting married to save a bad relationship.
When you’re in the sales process you really have to think about whether this is the kind of organization you want to work with. Does the vendor have similar motivations and are they prepared to work with you?
Balance is another important part of a relationship. If you’re a small vendor and you’re dealing with a mega vendor the relationship is often not balanced. You have to be prepared to accept that and be a customer that they fundamentally don’t care about.
When embedding an analytics solution, you need to think about the long term. You want to partner with an organization that understands who you are, what you do, has a great commercial model that will grow with you, and has a product that supports all the use cases your customer is going to need today and in the future.
How to Select an Embedded Analytics Product: Top 12 Criteria to Consider
We've covered 3 critical considerations for finding the best-fit embedded analytics for your business, but there's more to learn. Download our whitepaper to discover the top 12 criteria to follow when choosing a solution.