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What Do You Want from Data Analytics?

Author: Tom Hoblitzell | 6 min read | August 19, 2021


We’ve done a lot of research on this question, and we’ve compiled that research into a list of the most critical benefits organizations are looking for in terms of business intelligence (BI) systems that provide data analytics.


In general, our research indicates that businesses are looking for a business solution, not a data solution. Business leaders want the ability to do self-service data exploration and discovery. They want to look at advanced analytics, build their own models, and understand what the data is telling them about their business.

You will probably find one or more of the things on this wish list are on your list of things you want from your data analytics. If you haven’t had a chance to conduct a survey in your organization, you can use this list to understand what some or all your customers will want you to provide in a business intelligence system that is based on analytics. They may not understand the underlying issues, but they want the overall benefit.


  1. Self-Service

    Customer expectations are changing for all types of businesses, and self-service is at the top of many customers’ list. Your customers are no different. They don’t want to wait for an IT developer to create a report, they want to be power users and develop their own reports.

    Obviously, there are things you’ll need to put in place to govern that activity. But, we talk to a lot of businesses that have a main goal of determining how to let users do that. They’re looking for ways to add a semantic layer on top of the data to allow users to generate reports concerning financial data, operational data, or a combination of the two.


  3. A Single Source of Truth

    You’re going to need to have data integrated into a single trusted data source as the foundation of data analytics for your customers. You know that if the data isn’t good quality and if it isn’t the right information at the right detail level, you’re not going to be able to provide insightful information.

    And that’s true whether you’re working on-premises or in the cloud, whether you’re using an Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) process or an Extract, Load, and Transform (ELT) process. You can’t underestimate the importance of data governance so that you know where the data comes from, and you can bring it all together in one data source with confidence. It doesn’t need to be a monolithic governance structure, but things need to be in place to ensure the quality of the data.


  5. Answers to Questions Across Business Processes

    Your customers want to be able to answer questions such as:

    • What operational aspects drive financial aspects?
    • If I reduce costs in one area, what will happen to other areas?
    • If I could increase or reduce my lead time from a logistics standpoint, what would be the impact on the business?
    • If I develop new products, or change the pricing of existing products, what would be the impact on profitability?
    • What can I do to drive my business forward?

  7. The Need to Evaluate Both Structured and Unstructured Data

    There is a wide variety of both structured and unstructured data in any business. But, take social media and web-based data for an example. Your customers may want to use social media data to understand how products are working in the real world. Whether the data on social media is positive or negative, they want to use that data to get greater insight as to whether customer feedback was related to:

    • Product quality
    • Product design
    • Flexibility of use
    • Pricing

  9. Insight into Anyone Who Touches the Business

    Your customers want to know who they are dealing with in all the various roles that impact your decisions. For example, they want to know who the customers are and who the suppliers are. They want hints on how to establish strong relationships with those people to drive results, and how to take advantage of those relationships.


  11. Flexible Systems

    Your customers will want systems that are easily scalable. They want fast response. They want to be able to change the business model and see the effect on the business. Acquiring another business is one example, and the pandemic is another.

    When the pandemic hit, your customers would want to project the business impact if everyone had to stay home, or started working from home, or if your customers’ buying patterns changed, or if the percent of online buying increased. They’d want reports that could help them determine what the impact would be and how to react to it.

If you are challenged by meeting some of these requirements, Datavail experts can help you determine how to proceed. Contact us to discuss how you can take your business intelligence to the next level.

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