One of the most significant benefits of a Data Analytics as a Service Offering is that it puts insights from data right into users’ hands — not just one data analyst who field questions from a team and then works to find the answers but any employee in any role.
Features of your data analytics service offering must address the fact that many people, regardless of their technical or data science expertise, need data to make informed decisions. Look for data analytics tools with these features:
The data analytics tool used in your offering should give users the ability to establish key performance indicators. These measures are based on specific calculations that show the status of performance in a specific area and progress over time. Your offering should give your clients the ability to create, use and save KPIs.
2Easy data selection
The process of selecting data for analysis should be facilitated by a pivot table or other means that makes choosing dimensions, KPIs and filters intuitive and allows users to save them for future use.
Integrating multiple data sets from disparate sources — the data mash-up — can take a lot of time and effort. Look for a solution that helps to manage and streamline the process. Solutions are available that securely connect to data sources without requiring pre-aggregation and cleanse data for error-free analysis.
Your offering should feature a user interface that makes it easy to navigate the data analysis process and quickly return results for smart decision-making. Demo the data analytics tool to evaluate the dashboard design for user-friendly features such as drag-and-drop functionality, both built-in and custom formulas, and graphical visualizations that put vital information front and center in an easy-to-read format.
The offering should provide users with a way for everyone in their organization to interact with the data analysis they conduct. Look for an offering that supports collaboration and alerts.
Some data analytics as a service offerings can integrate with other business applications and systems. Additionally, bot integration can enable users to ask questions and get answers via text or a collaboration tool. It’s even possible to use a voice assistant to ask questions verbally and receive answers back in real time. You can also use data to control smart devices or automate some tasks. A mobile version will be desirable to many organizations.
Although a data analytics service offering that enables sharing throughout an organization is desirable, there are often regulatory or corporate policies that require specific types of data should be shared only with the people who need them to do their jobs. Make sure your solution gives users the ability to control access to sensitive data. Your client may also be required to provide logs of user activity or audits — your solution should meet that need.
For some of your clients, a data analytics tool that stands alone will make the most sense. For others, the best choice will be one that’s embedded in a website or an application. Also, consider whether it must be deployed on-premises or in a public or private cloud. The solution you provide should accommodate all of your client’s requirements.
Before You Sign: Budget and Demo
In the search for the perfect data analytics tool, don’t overlook the financial aspect of using the solution. Make sure you are giving your clients an option that fits within their budgets initially, as they use the solution and if they need to scale to additional users or a greater data volume in the future.
Also, don’t bypass the opportunity to demo the solution — for both you as an MSP and for your clients. You may find that a solution that looks great on paper is simply too complex for your clients to use, which will stifle the value they would get from your data analytics service offering.
If the budget and ease of use, as well as other must-have features, align with your clients’ needs, however, you’re opening doors to new capabilities. With just a few clicks, they’ll have insights into their businesses they’ve never had before and the opportunity to use them to navigate toward greater competitiveness and success.