Most existing data analytics capabilities aren’t responsive enough to quickly address the new, creative questions asked by leaders who are in a position to bring true innovation to the business. Highly skilled IT developers and data scientists with deep analytical experience are often the only people able to fully access and process data and turn it into meaningful information. The current shortage of top analytics talent means that the traditional approach to working with data won’t scale with the continued, explosive growth in data quantity, size and complexity.
As more organizations struggle with these challenges, some of the top questions we receive are:
- How do we keep up with the demand we are seeing for data insights from our business partners?
- How do we set up an environment that is flexible enough to keep pace with changing demands and changing questions?
- How do we break down the barriers between the data and the business?
With the intent of answering the questions we are hearing, we did some research on the topic of “Search Powered Analytics” and how businesses should think about it fitting in their environment. North Highland came together with Amy Graybill from Equifax and Pete Reilly from AnswerRocket on April 30th in Atlanta at the TAG Data Science & Analytics event to talk about this subject.
We kicked off the presentation by sharing our research on the current state and exciting future state of Search Powered Analytics, how we see the technology helping organizations today, and how the technology fits into an organizations existing Business Intelligence (BI) ecosystem. We also provided a brief overview of the history and progression of BI and a look at the future of where things are headed. We found that mature BI organizations are looking for a solution to help address the overload of dashboards and reports available to their end users and the human need for simplicity leads to a keen interest in an easier way to give end users access to information.
The ability to get questions answered easily, quickly, and with trust leads to a culture of curiosity at an organization. For example, a leading ecommerce company believed it had a strong analytics program meeting the needs of users; however, their new search powered analytics program is responding to approximately 5,500 requests per month, indicating that there is underlying curiosity that wasn’t enabled by the preexisting, traditional BI infrastructure.
We also found that Search Powered Analytics fits into the overall BI ecosystem at an organization and should fit with existing capabilities like Advanced Analytics and Dashboarding.
Amy Graybill, from Equifax, shared some very exciting stories about how her team has used Search Powered Analytics to gain incredible insights into their data. They have actually used the technology to build customer facing products that have exposed their data in real time and created new revenue streams for the company.
At the end of the presentation, audience members had some really engaging and interesting questions around the user experience of these types of tools, data preparation for supporting the tool, and concerns around data governance. With regards to user experience, the North Highland and Equifax teams shared stories about how amazed users are when they first use the technology and have the ability to explore data using the English language. On the data preparation and governance front, the overall theme was that the same requirements that exist in traditional business intelligence exist for Search Powered Analytics. Having good quality, governed data, in a dimensional data model is a baseline requirement for traditional BI and Search Powered Analytics.
The bottom line is: Technology is rapidly advancing the ability for business users to drive to business insights with data. BI organizations need to embrace the technology advances to help continue enforcing themselves as a key strategic driver for their overall business.
To learn more about how to successfully implement search powered analytics in your organization, download our latest perspective here.