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From Just-Have to Must-Have: Transform your product and become a strategic provider

Even in these troubling times, as the world battles the global pandemic, we continue to live in the throes of a data-deluge. From good news to terrible news, from opinion, ideas, and numbers to doomsday predictions, data is an omniscient — and at times omnipotent — presence in our lives.

However, all this data could only be a complex puzzle if it isn’t assessed, analyzed, and interpreted correctly. This poses a couple of problems:

 

You’d require dense data analytics models and exploration techniques to break down this data into lucid and understandable insights. And, this means that the insights lie in the hands of a select few (those with distinct technical expertise).

 

What about the world’s leading decision-makers — global statesmen, policymakers, and C-level business stewards — who are responsible for steering the engines of the global economy and governance?

 

This is why embedded analytics comes in, playing the role of a bridge between data obfuscation and interpretative clarity. And you, as a software company, can add that special extra bit of strategic insights positioned as a compelling narrative, dramatically improving decision-making.

 

Let’s delve deeper into this argument.

 

Decision Making Right Now and the Opportunity Therein for ISV Companies

While the C-suite is always on the hunt for clutter-breaking insights, they continue to struggle with the problem of data deluge. More often than not, they aren’t domain experts in data analytics, and can hardly spare the time for extensive number/metric crunching.

 

This causes two challenges.

 

  • It means that top decision-makers appreciate the importance of data, but are unable to utilize its immense potential. A KPMG study explained the import of this situation: only 35% of the executives surveyed said that they actually trusted data analytics and a whopping 67% of CEOs mentioned how they ignored data insights for the last 3 years.
  • Obviously, a hole as big as this would translate into a dip in profitability. Research by Harvard Business Review highlighted how the use of data-driven insights can improve productivity by 5% and profitability by 6%.

 

Given the above statistics, one can safely assume that the C-suite must use analytics as a necessary and vital tool, instead of treating it as an occasional “luxury.”

 

For a software company (you!), this could open up a whole new territory of opportunities.

 

Not a Sleeping Soldier or a Tool in the Pack: Making Your Product a Business Essential

Why are companies so eager for new software products? Is it only the simplification of operations — or is it hunger for something more?

 

Now, we all know companies today are universally committed toward data-powered decision-making. What if your product could combine perfect operational efficacy with game-changing insights? It would radically transform your product proposition (from an also-ran to an essential requirement).

 

Consider the case of CRM company, Pipedrive :

 

Its core is the capability in sales process management, creating checklists, progress reports, pipeline management, and other such operational assignments. However, the company went a step ahead and added an analytics layer, allowing teams to figure the most winning configurations (and the losing ones as well). As a result, it helped to pull out the reasons behind a deal win or loss, optimizing sales operations. This interesting combination of operations + insights transformed Pipedrive into a must-have product for its customers.

 

It also expands our discussion into the benchmarking of two kinds of users customers:

 

  • Power users who can manage operations better while also using analytics to evaluate/improve key action points, all aided by that embedded analytics layer
  • Strategic users who don’t roll-up their sleeves for everyday operations, but can now use the embedded analytics layer to garner critical insights into short and long-term decision-making.

 

So, if you’re convinced of how embedded analytics can make a genuine difference.

 

Getting Started: 4 Ideas to Keep in Mind

Embedded analytics is the first step towards the creation of a visually-rich dashboard and a narrative pathway outlining the value-creation possible. Let’s explain how this works, and the benefits you/your customers can realize:

 

  • All for one, and 1 for all.
    Today, everyone likes having a bevy of features from one centralized location. You can use white-label embedded analytics to create an end-to-end interface, bringing together all these elements — pure-play operations, data generation, and gathering, culling insights, and proactive action.

 

  • Experience is everything.
    Ensure your users don’t just use the analytics layer to export data, but also to stay on the application — tinkering with the dashboard to glean key insights. The embedded analytics layer (and your product as a whole) should be easy-to-use, design, and UX-rich so that users can access what they want, even as you control the design so that it doesn’t fall prey to over-customization.

 

  • Don’t forget to KISS (keep it simple, silly).
    Your embedded analytics layer would stand to fail in usability if it frightens away the non-technical user. What this means is that data journeys and stories must be differentiated according to the user you envisage approaching. Create well-defined product flowcharts for operational users, managers, and the C-suite.For example, Onbrane is a wealth management platform that offers different functionalities for various users.

 

  • Tell it and sell it.
    Once you have the embedded analytics layer in place, inform your Customer Success teams about the upgrade. This will help them demonstrate and rationalize the extensions, taking the message from the product dev-room right into the customer’s boardroom.

 

Well, there you have it then! Before we conclude, let’s stay on for a while on the storytelling aspect of it.

 

Data and Operations are Great, But What’s Your Story?

Finally, as you begin to create that embedded analytics layer, don’t forget to look up and consider the big picture.

 

Data, analysis, and insights must all lead to something larger — a finely woven tapestry. Data storytelling builds that pointed, linear narrative through all those telling figures.

 

“Data and analytics teams have always created dashboards and visualizations, but many are unfamiliar with wrapping those artifacts into a narrative. The ways in which organizations deliver business analytics insights are evolving, notably in the rising use of what is called data storytelling,”

says James Richardson, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner.

 

Embedded analytics is a great starting point; but if you want to inspire genuine action, it’s important that you don’t just cough up metrics in bulk — instead, create a narrative channel of insights leading to logical, pragmatic action points. In a highly competitive market, this is the difference between your competitor who hawks numbers and your well-woven dashboard of analysis.

 

Studies suggest that 78 % of cloud companies believe their anticipated Net Retention Rate (even with upselling) could decrease by 3-20%. Data storytelling could restore the balance and even increase your retention percentage.

 

In other words, your core product + an attractive embedded analytics layer with Data Storytelling could help your client company’s C-suite read the market better, accurately map the pulse of their customer, and boost overall profitability, translating into higher stickiness for your app.

On your part, remember to implement a guided framework and maintain data visualization best practices so that the embedded analytics layer can achieve all that it was meant to (deliver a more organic, natural, and experience).

 

Stay safe, and happy building!

 

 

About ToucanToco

Our mission: tell Business Performance Stories through interactive Data and Data Storytelling.

 

Our users: Marketing, Production, Finance, Human Resources, SalesForces, and Top management of Big Companies.

From 4 partners to 90 employees in 5 years, we were self-financed until 2019, thanks to the support of more than 100 clients, for more than 300 projects, including Renault, Crédit Agricole, Elior, Icade, Nexity, EDF, GRDF, BNP Paribas, Heineken, Marques Avenue, Euler Hermes, BIC, SNCF…

We have completed our first funding from Balderton Capital and the former founder of Business Object to accelerate our development in the United States.

 

Small apps are mobile, easy to use, made for action, and easy to set up in any information system.

 

You will find there :
• A strong culture, based on caring and goodwill
• We build values together, one of them is “each one teach one”. We are teachers and learners, for each other
• A strong software exciting to create, setup, market or sell
• A fast-growing company, where you can grow too

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