In the past, most software applications were all about “data processing.” In the parlance of old-school management information systems, that meant an almost exclusive focus on keeping accurate transactional records alongside any master data necessary to complete that mission.
Transaction processing is important, of course, but in today’s world, applications are expected to deliver a lot more than that. They must also provide insights that help people to make better decisions, alert them to matters that require their attention, and deliver up-to-the-minute information about what’s happening on the ground.
These are high-value benefits. Software companies that do it well by embedding powerful analytics capabilities within their products stand to gain market share, increasing customer loyalty and earning positive reviews from business users. Those who do it poorly are likely to flounder, perhaps wondering why their products are receiving a lukewarm reception from their primary audience.
What Story Is Your Data Telling?
Analytics and data visualizations have the power to elevate a software product, such that it takes on a powerful new role in the lives of its users. Data becomes a source of information and insight from which opinions can be formed, providing a foundation for strategic thinking and ultimately driving better business decisions.
There’s a tremendous difference between merely seeing data and truly understanding its implications. Most accountants, for example, are skilled at eliciting meaning from rows and columns of numbers. After all, they are “numbers people” with a keen eye for interpreting quantitative information.
The majority of people aren’t necessarily blessed with that particular talent, however. Virtually everyone, including those experienced number-crunchers, prefer a more meaningful presentation of the data and what it represents. They want their applications to connect the dots between the raw data maintained within their software systems and the actual meaning behind that information. In short, they need to understand what story their data is telling them.
For maximum impact, data storytelling must be woven into the culture of an organization. That means having applications that prioritize meaningful insights over raw data. Most modern self-service analytics and BI tools fall short of expectations in this respect, and many organizations fail to fully appreciate the power of data storytelling until they have seen it first hand.
Powerful Analytics Are No Longer Optional
For software companies, powerful data storytelling is a differentiator. It transforms conversations with prospective customers, moving them beyond mere process efficiency and extending the benefits of your software product to include actionable insights to help your customers run their businesses more successfully.
In a hypercompetitive business environment, software companies cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Those that aggressively pursue customer satisfaction and business value will find themselves at the head of the pack. Those that settle for operational reporting that is simply “good enough” will inevitably lag behind.
Data storytelling requires the ability to tell a story with data and to personalize that data for each specific user. A library of stock reports and data visualizations is no longer sufficient.
Consider the case of a product manager who wants to understand both short-term and long-term buying patterns among various groups of customers. They want to know which products were purchased together, how external events may have impacted sales volatility, and how overall trends have shifted over time.
An operations manager may want access to some of the same information, but they want to see it through a very different lens. They have different needs than our hypothetical product manager. Operations needs to understand overall volume forecasts, supply chain risk, and the impact of fluctuations on inventory safety stock levels. Product management needs a view that reflects customer segmentation, the timing of promotions, and competitive pressures.
Data storytelling makes any software application more valuable by helping users turn data into action. It boosts the productivity of their teams, with concise, personalized views of what matters most. Data storytelling enables fast, well-informed decisions, supported by data and presented in a way that clarifies and informs, aligning leaders across the organization around a common vision.
Data Visualization: A New Tier of Customer Expectations
Business users have transitioned away from static reports, moving toward dynamic visual dashboards and data-led narratives. Data storytelling presents data and delivers insights in a much more engaging way. This fusion of embedded analytics combined with data storytelling empowers a broader range of users to create and consume data stories.
As the volume, velocity, and complexity of data increases, high-level charts and dashboards are no longer good enough to convey the full story behind the numbers, or to provide the actionable insights that users are looking for. Today’s users need to see the story behind the data, personalized to their own role and purpose within the organization.
By employing narrative techniques, together with trusted qualitative and quantitative data, users can bring a greater depth of understanding and discovery to the numbers that inspires actionable insights in the most engaging way.
Embedded Analytics: Your Fast-Track to Data Storytelling Excellence
Embedded analytics offer a fast-track method for adding powerful data storytelling capabilities to any software product, whether it’s a cloud-native solution or a traditional on-premise application.
Logi Composer, by insightsoftware, empowers the world’s software teams with the most intuitive, developer-grade embedded analytics solutions, along with a group of dedicated people invested in making you successful. Logi leverages your existing tech stack, allowing you to quickly build, manage, and deploy your application with the powerful analytics that make your product truly stand out from the crowd.
Logi was awarded the 2020 ‘Best Business Intelligence Solution’ Proddy award by Product School. In Business Application Research Center’s (BARC) BI & Analytics Survey 22, the company earned the top ranking in the Embedded BI category and was a top performer in 12 leading positions.
Logi supports unlimited customization and white labeling, so you have total control to make the application uniquely your own. Over 2,200 application teams already trust Logi to help power their businesses with sophisticated industry-leading analytics capabilities.
To learn more about Logi Composer, reach out for a free, no obligation demo today.