It was great speaking with Bobby Johnson, CTO and Founder of Interana about the findings from its inaugural State of Data Insights Report. Interana surveyed nearly 200 respondents from a variety of companies and roles — ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, C-level executives, and VPs to individual contributors — to assess how today’s businesses access, use, and analyze data. Results indicate that the majority of respondents find shortcomings in their current analytics solutions, with nearly 70% of organizations encountering behavioral questions on a weekly to monthly basis that they could not answer using their current tools.
The findings from the study are consistent with what I have heard interviewing executives for DZone's Big Data Research Guides.
Analytics Need to Be Accessible, Fast, and Flexible
As organizations continue to learn how to turn the massive amounts of data they collect into insights that lead to action, they need solutions that are flexible, fast, scalable, and available to the majority of employees. Yet, the Interana survey demonstrates that these key functions are not always easy to obtain. Nearly a third of those surveyed cited slow query speeds as one of their top analytics pain points, with 73% of those surveyed indicating that it takes days to weeks to get the behavioral data insights they need. Flexibility was another major concern, with nearly half of respondents (43%) stating that their current analytics solutions are not flexible enough to meet their needs.
According to Bobby, many organizations pursuing a Big Data initiative are looking for a "lightning bolt of insight" rather than optimizing the most complicated things like how quickly you can answer a question. Companies will benefit most from big data by widening the circle of people who have access to data and can ask questions of the data.
Sonos has done a great job of taking the data from IoT devices in speaker boxes and mixing it with data to understand how long it takes for a user to play their first song. The objective is to make it a simple and easy as possible for Sonos customers to begin using their device. Sonos is able to look at the data and drill down into where people are having problems in order to improve the user experience. Hundreds of Sonos employees are using software to see the user journey and running ad hoc queries to learn new things to improve the UX.
Other Key Report Findings
Other key report findings include the following.
Current Analytics Solutions Aren’t Meeting Business Needs
While the majority of companies (88%) understand the importance of being data-informed and having an analytics solution in place (91%), many of them struggle when it comes to delivering analytics solutions that are accessible, fast, and flexible enough to give them the insights they need.
The majority of respondents found shortcomings in their current analytics solutions, with nearly 70% of organizations encountering behavioral questions on a weekly to monthly basis that they could not answer using their current tools.
Analytics Is Becoming More Important to a Wider Variety of People
Analytics consumers come from various teams and bear various titles, with no single team or title comprising an overwhelming majority.
The heaviest analytics consumers are in product management (20%), engineering and product development (20%), and marketing (16%), but can be found in almost every standard department, from growth to IT to operations.
Most analytics users are in a management or strategic decision-making role in some capacity (76%) — but they do not dominate any one type of role or title.
Most Respondents Can't Answer Data Questions Themselves
While many of the organizations surveyed reported actively using analytics solutions, 62% of respondents claimed that only a select few people within their organization are equipped with the right tools or knowledge to make data-informed decisions.
There is a tremendous opportunity to get everyone in a modern business looking at the data as part of their day-to-day workflow. At Facebook, more than 50 percent of the employees are using analytics tools to improve UX.
The best way to care about the customer is to look at the data about what people are experiencing.