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November 15, 2016

Survey: Analytics Access Up, Adoption Down

George Leopold

(Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

Despite broader access to self-service business intelligence tools, enterprise adoption continues to decline, creating what a new industry survey argues is a growing need for “embedded analytics” in which tools and data are integrated with business applications.

A survey of the state of analytics adoption released this week by business intelligence vendor Logi Analytics also predicts continuing industry consolidation as software vendors acquire analytics companies. That trend underscores the preference for acquiring analytics capabilities rather than building them from scratch.

While more than two-thirds of respondents to the industry survey said they have implemented or have begun rolling out self-service business intelligence tools, the poll found that adoption may have peaked. Paradoxically, user adoption has declined by an estimated 24 percent over the last two years even as access to self-service tools have risen 20 percent over the same period.

Instead, with gaps emerging in current self-service tools, the survey identifies a shift toward embedded analytics tied closely to applications. More than 90 percent of those surveyed said they are either using embedded analytics or are considering it.

“Organizations are seeing the value of including analytics in the apps people are using on a daily basis—in effect, delivering analytics when and where users need it to make decisions,” the survey noted. That trend represents “an exciting revenue opportunity” for independent software vendors, perhaps fueling industry consolidation as software vendors ponder more analytics deals.

“Business users want to stay in one place, not jump from application to application to get what they need. But so many analytics tools fail to meet this need—which may be why low user adoption is an issue,” the survey authors added.

The reasons vary for declining adoption rates for self-service analytics tools. Topping the list is costly maintenance followed by the difficulty of use along with resistance to switching from familiar applications to a separate analytics tool.

Underscoring these problems, the survey found that two-thirds of business users are switching to separate analytics tools to get the data or analysis either “all the time” (16 percent) or “sometimes” (50 percent). “The problem is clear: Switching between apps is a hassle, and it’s inefficient,” the survey authors concluded.

In order to boost adoption, respondents said they want tools that are intuitive along with the flexibility to export data out of a platform to analyze it on preferred tools like good old Excel—described in the report as a “known quantity.” Collaboration tools, connecting to data controlled by the IT department and improved dashboards and other interfaces also ranked near the top of user preferences.

“Business users value connecting to data—and most of all, modifying or changing data,” the survey found. “The more data sources, the merrier!”

You can download a copy of the report here.

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