How to Boost Data Analytics Adoption by Improving the User Experience

how to improve data analytics adoption via user experience 300x169 photo (business analytics)Amid the current economic turbulence and the rise of the empowered customer, many companies are

how to improve data analytics adoption via user experience 300x169 photo (business analytics)Amid the current economic turbulence and the rise of the empowered customer, many companies are applying web, social, and predictive analytics to customer intelligence to help drive improved business performance.

Indeed, corporate decision makers are increasingly demanding quick access to actionable information that’s easy to navigate and simple to share in order to help them act quickly on timely information. Heightened competition for consumer spending is also leading a growing number of companies to encourage business and functional teams to collaborate on contextual customer data and analytics through the use of social tools, including social media, web mashups, wikis, and portals.

While many enterprise IT organizations have deployed business intelligence (BI) and analytics dashboards to make it easier for senior management to obtain real-time insights into operational or market shifts, the adoption rates for dashboards across the industry have historically been lukewarm.

Competing priorities certainly play a role in dashboard adoption rates. But a more common culprit of low usage rates for dashboards is poor user experience – including an inability among executives to drill down into data or to visualize connections between key performance indicators (KPIs) and positive or negative operational trends.

A recent Aberdeen Group report bears this out. According to the report, “Migrating from Reports to Dashboards: Upgrading your Business Intelligence,” by Aberdeen’s David White, almost all (95%) of best-in-class organizations use dashboards compared to just 55% of all other organizations.

Another Aberdeen report makes the connection between dashboard usage and business performance. According to “Executive Dashboards: The Key to Unlocking Double Digit Profit Growth,” by analyst Michael Lock, best-in-class organizations “demonstrated far greater business performance improvements than those that did not.”

For example, best-in-class companies examined by Aberdeen Group averaged 24% year-to-year growth in operating profit, 8.3% year-to-year improvement in customer service, and 8.4% year-to-year improvement in sales performance.

To help boost dashboard usage, it’s critical to provide decision makers with intuitive and engaging user experiences that make it easy for them to use the tools and make logical connections with the numbers presented to them. Interactive dashboards that allow users to drill down on results and to visualize what’s behind the numbers lead to more relevant and meaningful user experiences.

Meanwhile, as the Aberdeen Group research illustrates, companies with higher dashboard usage rates also enjoy greater productivity, particularly when organizational teams are able to share dashboards and analytics to drive more collaborative and informed decision making.

Providing business leaders with world-class dashboard user experiences will also accelerate on-boarding of new users faster. Prospective users will not only be able to discern the crisp design and ease-of-use of the dashboards presented to them, but many will also likely act on word-of-mouth recommendations from other experienced, satisfied users.

Next Steps

Learn how to get  quick access to actionable information through a world-class dashboard user experience by joining Spotfire for a webcast with Forrester  Research VP and Principal Analyst Boris Evelson.