Democratising Data: How embedded analytics can make actionable business intelligence a reality

clock • 3 min read
Appnovation and Looker

Appnovation and Looker

Top tips for how embedded analytics and human centric design can help businesses extract value from their data and improve their insights into customer behaviour

If data is the new oil, many businesses must feel they are scrabbling around in the desert, knowing the oil is nearby but not how to refine it. A key frustration of the digital age is that companies are surrounded by data but starved of business intelligence and actionable insights that can deliver a better understanding of customer behaviour and improve business outcomes.

One pivotal problem is that many boardrooms haven't worked out how to transform their data in a way that is useful and accessible to the people who need it. Often, data sits in a siloed IT division when it should be easily accessible to everyone in the organisation, exactly when and where they need it.

Businesses recognise that smarter use of data to enhance workplace capabilities can be achieved by embracing embedded analytics. Embedded analytics addresses the challenges of siloed and inaccessible data by enabling companies to integrate their analysed data into their product or existing business workflows. This makes it easier for teams to see and understand data visually via dashboards, charts, or reports. By adopting embedded analytics, businesses are able to democratise their data, so everyone has access to data when and where they need it to make informed decisions.

Companies can also leverage embedded analytics to ‘productise' and monetise data by surfacing actionable insights from a company's data lake that customers are willing to pay for, such as a retailer providing suppliers with a new digital offering around weekly competitor sales analysis.

The desire to democratise data through embedded analytics is a key reason why global digital consultancy Appnovation has partnered withLooker, a powerful data exploration and discovery platform that is part of the Google Cloud ecosystem. By combining Looker embedded analytics with Appnovation's data experience layer, we want to help every decision-maker within a company to grasp vital intelligence or emerging trends at a glance or dig into the metrics that matter.

These insights can be delivered across all devices and channels in bite-size chunks or full-scale reports- with the ability to customise according to departmental or individual needs. For sales teams on their way into work, for example, succinct nuggets of intelligence about their clients, including key people moves or the latest financial results, could be texted to their mobiles, allowing them to make real-time decisions throughout the day. For data personnel, who are scouring figures and findings 24/7, an interactive dashboard could be designed that enables them to drill down as deeply as necessary.

There's no question embedded analytics can be daunting, so here are three tips for companies that are serious about making their data work harder:

  1. Be honest about data maturity: Many companies are not as advanced in their data journey as they would like. The first step is always to be honest about your organisation's data maturity. Otherwise, it will lead to a lot of wasted effort and expense.
  2. Prioritise simplicity and speed to market: The temptation with becoming a data-led organisation is to invest in expensive data tools- but this invariably leads to pushback from within the organisation and a failure to identify priorities. The key to effective use of data is to start small and get to market fast. The emphasis has to be on iteration and experimentation - building on successes when they occur.
  3. Enable human-centric design: Rather than expect employees to get to grips with unfamiliar data tools, data insights and intelligence should be integrated into a workflow they already understand. This requires a strong focus on co-creation, iteration and user experience - all of which introduce a human element to the process. Companies that focus on the ‘who, when and why' of their data analytics strategy help to ensure that the resulting intelligence is meaningful to people and compatible with their culture.

Click here to learn more about how Appnovation works with Looker to help organisations unlock the full potential of their data, drive value, and gain a better understanding of customer behaviour. If you need quicker, more informed data-based decision making, please get in touch with Andrew Dunbar (

This article was produced in association with Appnovation

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