Embedded analytics - 3 ways to give your offerings the edge

Businesses across every industry are really starting to harness the power of embedded analytics. The ability to uncover new insights into data is proving to be a big hit, especially when integrated into the solutions that companies are using every day.

That’s great news for ISVs, systems integrators or service providers like you that can equip clients with these capabilities. Or rather, it was.

There’s an emerging problem: adoption of embedded analytics has been so successful that it’s now becoming ubiquitous among providers and clients alike. This year’s State of Embedded Analytics Report, compiled by Logi Analytics, has found that more than 90% of software companies are now embedding analytics in their applications.

What this means is that you’ll need to get smart with what you’re offering in order to stay ahead of the pack. Of course, that’s hard enough as it is in the already-competitive world of service providing, but if you can show clients that your offering also has a killer analytics USP, the rewards you can gain through standing out from the crowd can be huge.

Here are three key areas in which you can differentiate:

 

Embrace cognitive and kick insights up a notch

The benefits of employing cognitive embedded analytics technology such as IBM Watson Analytics are twofold. The first is the ability to find even greater and more valuable insights, often beyond the reach of human endeavour. These can drive more informed business decisions and help clients reach their customers better.

Indeed, many providing organisations are finding that their clients respond with great enthusiasm to cognitive, including for Surestep Risk Management. As Mike Gibbs, president of the international ISV puts it: “Once we have an opportunity to speak to clients and show them what Watson can do, and what cognitive computing can do in addition to what they’re already doing, then all of a sudden, new doors open up. We’ve found that to be a really powerful conversation-starter, not just for getting new business but in terms of taking current business and expanding on that capability.”

The second perk is the ability of solutions like these to drastically increase the speed at which Big Data can be analysed. Emil Lauritsen, digital developer at Scandinavian media investment firm GroupM, says that the time savings yielded by employing Watson have helped his company stay on top of the masses of data they have to deal with.

“Before we could easily use four to five hours a week on a given campaign trying to analyse what would work or would not work,” Lauritsen explains. “Today we have that brought down to one hour. In GroupM, we run hundreds of campaigns every month and we struggled to cope with all the data that we were getting.”

 

Use the cloud to empower small and mid-size clients

Deploying embedded analytics capabilities into cloud applications opens a world of more flexible options, particularly for smaller and medium-size companies.

Because of their relatively limited resources, generally speaking they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access such advanced analytics tools. Consequentially, they tend to appreciate the benefits a lot more as the difference analytics can make to their success could be much more fundamental.

This is especially the case when embedded analytics-equipped applications are deployed in a hybrid cloud infrastructure, where clients can combine the resilience of their existing server hardware with the scalability of cloud storage.

Ken Wood, the CEO of US-based ISV and Watson provider Revelwood, explains: “We can now offer solutions both in the cloud and on-premise in the analytics portfolio. That has been a great competitive differentiator for us because many of [IBM’s] competitors in the space can’t do that. It allows us to focus on the true need of the customer and not pushing a certain platform or approach one way or the other.”

 

Partner with an expert and get to market faster

In fast-moving marketplaces, gaining new insights and exploring new capabilities as quickly as possible is something ambitious businesses are always looking for.

Now, for a providing organisation working independently, this can be much easier said than done. But by partnering with an industry expert, you stand a much better chance of making sure that your clients are among the first to gain from new innovations.

As Revelwood’s Ken Wood has found: “Our customers want solutions that can be implemented quickly so that they can get to ROI fast. We can do that with IBM’s industry solution. When we partner with IBM and the customer, we can get to market much faster than if we started from scratch.”

Going a step further, being able to promote this kind of reaction speed can take you beyond aiding your existing customers by helping you attract new ones. In the words of Michael Langton, the managing director of IBM partner Newcomp Analytics, an ISV based in Canada: “Being able to spin up a new analytics environment in a day is really allowing us to reach a different segment of the market.”

 

So what’s the next step?

There’s no single catch-all plan to get you the perfect embedded analytics offering. But what these three diverse points demonstrate is that you should never stop exploring new options to improve what you can deliver to your clients. Things are moving so fast that to stand still would effectively be to go backwards.

It’s also clear that partnering with a technology leader represents a highly effective and flexible way of keeping pace with all developments, bringing them to your clients faster, and maximising the possibilities of embedded analytics.

Staying ahead of the game isn’t always easy, but by leveraging a productive partnership, it’s far more possible.

You can help your clients drive better insights – faster – with Watson Analytics when you partner with IBM. 

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