Boost operational efficiency through embedded analytics

Embedded analytics improves speed of data presentation to external users while aiding data governance and security. Here’s how Tableau is helping customers get the best out of their data

Getting the best out of your data efficiently is paramount in today’s business world. Whether maintaining strong customer experiences and analysing where to cut costs, or driving revenue growth, business decisions based on pure gut instinct are no longer enough to succeed. The key to data-driven decision making is fast, efficient and timely delivery of data analytics, getting actionable insights and intuitive visualisation through embedded analytics. A leading vendor in this market is Tableau.

With embedded analytics, organisations can share tailored dashboards to fit their customers’ specific needs. By doing so they are able to deliver insights quickly to third parties so they in turn can make data-driven decisions. We see embedded analytics in our everyday lives through banking apps and fitness apps. Software vendors deliver us insights in the blink of an eye using data visualisations. It’s way easier for us as users to understand our spending habits through graphical representation rather than searching through our statements.

“We help people see and understand data. Tableau is a platform that users love to use,” says Pete Chizlett, regional vice-president, sales EMEA – embedded analytics and OEM solutions at Tableau.

We can apply the same principles as the aforementioned software vendors to business to business interactions. By sharing information about an organisation through a business portal or a website is a hugely efficient way of meeting business objectives. For example, if an airline needs to demonstrate compliance with the latest training requirement for the local regulator, they can expose that data directly to them via a portal that is embedded with Tableau dashboards.

‘Many people are already saying that data is the new gold or the new oil, and this will only be more true as time goes by.’

Sarah Robertson, product director at Experian

Speed of data delivery

Tableau Embedded Analytics unleashes the power of business data that would otherwise be kept internally. We enable users to access the information they need quickly but also save lots of time and resources in preparing and sharing the data. Many companies have worked very hard to ensure data governance is in place internally but still send spreadsheets if their customers ask them for a “report”.

By automating the centralisation of their external reporting needs into Tableau, companies can ensure they expose Tableau safely to third parties by embedding it into a secure B2B portal. Tableau’s embedded analytics customers save themselves fortunes in data administration but also ensure that they are always compliant with governments and regulators. If they want to share data with their suppliers then again, they expose real-time or near to real-time data creating operational efficiencies through their supply chain.

A growing area where companies are struggling to keep up with demand is being able to demonstrate their sustainability credentials. Most companies nowadays have some kind of sustainability target either self-imposed or dictated by their industry or government. To be fair, most companies report on what these goals are. However very few are able to report on their progress towards these goals and fewer still do so in a way that means their progress is tracked in near to real time.

Tableau’s customers are able to surface live dashboards demonstrating their performance against targets given any metric that is important to the viewer. The viewer is able to filter on the topic that they are interested in, whether it be air travel emissions or charitable donations. No longer do interested parties have to scroll through out of date pdf documents for minutes or hours to find the information they are interested in.

Enhanced governance and security

With data regulations continuing to evolve, it is vital that organisations stay compliant. This is another area where embedded analytics can aid businesses.

According to Chizlett, trust is the number one value for Tableau. “We are constantly thinking about how we protect our customers and their assets when they interact with any of our technologies.

“We invest heavily in both security and governance to the point where we deploy standards that are above industry averages.”

Data can be secured with the limits necessary for compliance, without compromising on self-service access. The Tableau Prep tool suite cleanses, prepares and maintains the high data quality required, ensuring that all assets are accurate.

When it comes to data security, Tableau customers can choose to keep their analytics secure by:

  • implementing security solely based on your database authentication
  • implementing security solely in Tableau
  • adopting a hybrid security model where assets in Tableau corresponds to data elements in the underlying database.

Experian: a case study

During the pandemic, global information services company Experian partnered with Tableau to build its Safeguard dashboard, which helps public sector organisations use demographic data to pinpoint and protect vulnerable communities. The life-saving insights delivered by the dashboard allow for focus on local communities, helping to quickly identify who needs urgent care. With time being of the essence, the solution was developed and delivered in just two weeks.

“We knew that Tableau’s deep analytics and high-quality visualisation capabilities made it a great fit for the project,” says Sarah Robertson, product director at Experian. “Firstly, we wanted Experian Safeguard to be accessible to a wide range of organisations, which meant a Tableau Server solution worked extremely well.

“Secondly, we wanted it to be easy to pick up and use without the need for training and Tableau’s intuitive user interface allows people to do exactly that.

“Finally, we wanted it to be fully scalable, which we could achieve very easily by deploying Tableau in an Amazon Web Services [AWS] environment.”

It’s estimated that around 70 public organisations made use of the Experian Safeguard dashboard, including local authorities, healthcare trusts, emergency services and charities. The capability to keep at-risk people and communities using data further demonstrates how powerful analytics can be in not only business, but everyday life.

Robertson adds: “As a data person, it’s been incredibly interesting to see how the UK government has used it to effectively communicate with the population as a whole.

“Dashboards and visualisations showing demographics overlaid with COVID cases and deaths have played an increasingly central role in keeping the public informed as the pandemic evolves. Data will likely be even more important in the aftermath, as we try to gain a better understanding of what happened and how we can avoid something similar in future.

“Many people are already saying that data is the new gold or the new oil, and this will only be more true as time goes by.”

Now is the time for embedded analytics

With operational efficiency proving paramount in maintaining seamless operations and customer trust, adopting embedded analytics today is a must.

“All businesses have massive amounts of data and are trying to work out how they can monetise it,” says Chizlett.

“By monetise I don’t necessarily mean charging for their data, but certainly making commercial use of it, whether that’s through improving customer service, increasing operational efficiencies or introducing new data products to their customer base.

“Exposing analytics externally by embedding them into an application or portal is a great way of monetising data relatively quickly.”

Tableau customer Experian is a great example of how they improved operational efficiency by creating a data product that delivers interactive visual insights that drive engagement and customer satisfaction – discover more here.

This article was written as part of a content campaign with Tableau


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