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Understanding “Embedded Analytics”

It was early in the genesis of GreatVines that we realized including business insights and results with our application was critical to its success. The buzzword “embedded analytics” didn’t even exist back when we first started focusing on these practices.  Yet, what we were really doing back then is what you would call Embedded Analytics today. And it’s gaining a lot of momentum in the marketplace. So what is it?

In the the 90’s through late 00’s, Data Warehousing was all the rage, combining data from various business systems into a single repository so that users needed only to visit one location to see data from across numerous systems. There was a drawback to this approach though. Most business systems already contained their own analytics functions and there were inevitable sync issues as different users visited different places seeking the same information. Data Warehousing is still quite viable and remains a relevant industry, but a lot of momentum has been gained for improving the analytic capabilities within core platforms.  

If you follow the trail of recent acquisitions, you’ll note that there is a consolidation taking place in the data analytics industry with large platform providers snapping up leading analytics solutions. SAP acquired Business Objects; IBM absorbed Cognos; Infor bought Birst, and on and on it goes. The intent behind all these acquisitions is to improve analytic capabilities within each provider’s respective core business platform. Clearly, the large providers view the trend of embedded analytics as an undeniable one.

A recent report from Nucleus Research claims that within the next five years, 90% of all analytics solutions for business users will be embedded in other core applications. Reasons for this include:

  • better adoption by users;
  • better ROI for business systems with embedded analytics; and
  • savings of 1-2 hours per week of business user time.

Further driving this embedded analytics evolution are vendors focused on Business Intelligence (BI) tool kits explicitly designed to be embedded in business systems. These BI vendors are building phenomenal tools that application vendors may then embed in their products without having to build BI from scratch. This provides a kind of informal cost sharing arrangement across a large number of application providers with no single provider having to foot the bill for development. GoodData is one such BI vendor, and GreatVines is proud to have been “powered by” GoodData since 2010.

A common hallmark of industry vertical solutions like ours is outstanding analytics tailored perfectly to suit industry-specific needs. In our case, the analytics engine of GoodData is driving actionable intelligence regarding the “leading and lagging indicators” crucial to driving beyond depletions and other static metrics. Instead, enabling the right kind of sales into the right kind of accounts and the sharing of key indicators between suppliers and their distributor partners.

It’s really not so important that we were way ahead of our time. Of greater importance to us is that we are definitely on the right track. We know it because we see the natural direction in which the GreatVines product is moving has been given a name by the broader industry. Our organic innovation is now perfectly articulated by a buzzword. We didn’t set out to invent embedded analytics, and we don’t claim to have been its originator. However, we feel quite validated by the marketplace and the independent research that aligns so closely with what we’ve been doing.

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By | 2017-05-26T10:47:05+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|3-Tier System, Analytics|