One of the most significant benefits of a Data Analytics as a Service offering is that it puts insights from data into users’ hands – not just one data analyst who fields 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 allow users to establish key performance indicators. These measures are based on specific calculations that show performance status in a particular area and progress over time. Your offering should allow your clients 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 time and effort. Look for a solution that helps to manage and streamline the process. For example, solutions that securely connect to data sources without requiring pre-aggregation and cleansing data for error-free analysis are available.
Your offering should feature a user interface that makes navigating the data analysis process easy and quickly returns results for intelligent decision-making. Demo the data analytics tool to evaluate the dashboard design for user-friendly features such as drag-and-drop functionality, 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. In addition, 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. Using a voice assistant to ask questions verbally and receive real-time responses is even possible. 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 requiring specific types of data to be shared only with the people who need them to do their jobs. In addition, make sure your solution gives users the ability to control access to sensitive data. For example, your client may also be required to provide logs of user activity or audits – your solution should meet that need.
For some clients, a data analytics tool that stands alone will make the most sense. For others, the best choice will be one 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 yourself and your clients. You may find that a solution that looks great on paper is too complex for your clients, which will stifle the value they would get from your data analytics service offering.
However, if the budget, ease of use, and other must-have features align with your clients’ needs, 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.