How ‘zero-click analytics’ will empower enterprise-wide data adoption

Rob Davis, Vice President of Product Management, for MicroStrategy, outlines how the emerging field of zero-click analytics can ignite faster, better decisions, inspire collaboration, and uniquely transform business culture.

Despite widespread investment in analytics, the majority of business users lack easy access to corporate data and contextual insights to make better, timely decisions throughout the course of their day. These users are left to navigate their complex technology ecosystem and sift through applications or silos of data stored across a number of data and business intelligence (BI) tools, preventing a data-driven culture from becoming pervasive across the enterprise.  

‘Democratising data’ – making data accessible to staff throughout the enterprise to enable them to make informed, instant, data-led decisions – remains a challenge. According to research, more than nine in ten (91%) UK management teams have access to their organisation’s data, but less than half (48%) say that their frontline employees have access to their data*.

Imagine if you could put powerful analytics in the hands of 100% of the enterprise so that team members at all levels can make faster, data-driven decisions. How would that change decisions people make every day? What if answers found the user rather than the other way around? Is it possible to lower the barrier to entry significantly for those who are not data-literate or have traditionally relied on a self-service approach to finding answers?

To lower the barrier, organisations need to make it far easier for non-data-literate staff to access, examine and draw insights from analytics. This is where technology as a ‘zero-click analytics’ comes in. Just by holding a cursor over a word, business users can access critical information without having to leave their current application or search for answers, whether that is on desktop, mobile, via a voice interaction or even with Augmented Reality (AR). 

How does zero-click analytics work?

The concept of zero-click analytics is that users of all levels of data literacy do not need to change their behaviour, because the data comes directly to them on their business applications rather than the user having to look up information across multiple corporate systems. 

Zero-click analytics has the potential to transform the way we work across many sectors, especially as the workforce does a large chunk of their work on mobile and tablet devices. They expect access to information wherever they are. Empowering people on-the-go to easily receive contextual insights on their favourite apps and devices is an incredibly valuable proposition, because mobility is all about being able to turn insight into action. 

Decisions can be made in-meeting or on the shop floor there and then. So where can we expect to see zero-click analytics in action? 

For example:

  • Healthcare professionals could access up-to-date patient data at the bedside, which has the potential to save lives when time is of the essence
  • Structural engineers could access critical data to make decisions around design, materials or logistics on-site, there and then, even superimposing data over live imagery via AR
  • Customer services teams could create cards that give client-facing professionals a complete view of their customers in an instant. Agents could then access customer data in real-time to get a holistic view of the person they are speaking to during the call itself and make instant decisions or solve the customer query
  • Sales teams can draw on data from software such as Salesforce to ascertain a full view of their customer or prospect. They can enjoy instant access to contact details, account status, spreadsheets and other useful information to establish when a customer or prospect is most receptive to sales messages and tailored offers accordingly
  • Human Resources (HR) teams could instantly access staff details on relational databases and other applications to make critical decisions
  • Facilities managers can access information instantly to create efficiencies around better use of space or energy consumption
  • Retailers can tell a customer instantly if their product size and colour is in stock, or when the next delivery is due

Early adopters of zero-click intelligence include a major communications firm that managed to increase the adoption and breadth of its analytics programme, achieving greater accuracy on the data it surfaced. A supermarket with hundreds of stores nationwide uses zero-click analytics on tablets in-store to more effectively manage baking times and optimise the supply chain.

Zero-click analytics has the potential to democratise data throughout the enterprise. Organisations that want to revolutionize how people across the enterprise access, act on, and collaborate around their critical business data can now take the next steps to make faster, better decisions and provide a competitive edge.

*MicroStrategy Global State of Enterprise Analytics Report 2018

About the Author

Rob Davis is Vice President of Product Management, for MicroStrategy.

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