Good Gets Even Better: The Radical New Features of GoodData Spectrum

Good Gets Even Better: The Radical New Features of GoodData Spectrum

When I get an email from an analytic platform vendor asking if I’d like to check out a new feature release, it feels a bit like Christmas. It’s like getting a present that’s oddly-shaped where you have no idea what lies inside. Will it be that awesome new gadget I wanted or will it be an ill-fitting sweater?

When I heard from GoodData that they had a new release that they wanted to share, all sorts of images popped into my head. Would this be a new iPad or a pair of pink bunny-shaped earmuffs? Hmmm…

The Embedded Analytic Vendors List

The Embedded Analytic Vendors List

I've had several conversations lately where, at some point, I get the question "which vendors provide data product capabilities?"  It only took me hearing this question 5 or 6 times before I thought that perhaps I should create a list of embedded analytic providers.

My hope is that this will provide a good starting point for product leaders trying to select a vendor for their analytic application. 

Note: this isn't a list of recommended vendors or platforms, it's just... a list. If I've left out a vendor that you feel should be included, please let me know.

Periscope Data Releases a Game Changer

Periscope Data Releases a Game Changer

I was prepared to be unimpressed when I received a product announcement email from Periscope Data a few weeks ago. I assumed that they had added new theme options, could now connect to some obscure database, or had received some fresh new certification. Boy, was I wrong. This is a game changer.

The Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Building My First Data Product

The Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Building My First Data Product

When I received the task of monetizing the data generated within a company that first time, it’s possible that I was… a bit… perhaps… overconfident. I mean, it’s theoretically accurate to say that I thought I knew way more than I really did when looking back at that first project. I’ve heard it said that the human body completely regenerates itself every ten years, so I feel completely confident in saying — that other guy made a lot of mistakes. 

The new me, however, has learned from that other person’s missteps.

Vendors You Should Know: Looker

Vendors You Should Know: Looker

When you look at the analytic landscape, it becomes apparent that most platforms are either directly focused on enterprise analytics or are derived from platforms intended for use inside a businesses walls. 

It’s rare to find a platform that works both for internal analytics and for data product teams. Looker is that rare platform that, while initially focused on internal use cases is an excellent choice for those seeking to build data products with embedded analytics.  

Looker’s cloud-based approach offering fast, flexible, and powerful analytics allow data product teams to focus on creating value for their customers rather than on the care and feeding of analytical systems.

Vendors You Should Know: GoodData

Vendors You Should Know: GoodData

Data products are different from enterprise analytics, and as a result, product owners need to seek out slightly different functionality when selecting a platform on which to base their data-driven functionality.

Beyond the data loading and visual analytic requirements, product teams need:

  1. Robust embedding capabilities
  2. Tools to manage customers through the product lifecycle
  3. Flexibility both to get up and running (and producing revenue) quickly and to adjust to the changing needs of customers.

Vendors You Should Know: Izenda

Vendors You Should Know: Izenda

Building a data product can be a real nightmare for a product leader. 

An actual nightmare as in, it can keep you up at night working about all of the things that can go wrong. 

Will it function in an embedded environment? Will it scale to thousands of customer tenants? Will it make life difficult when I need to rollout a new version? Will the vendor “pivot” and stop focusing on data products?

If you are building an application with customer-facing embedded analytics and you value your sleep, you need to make the right choice when you pick a platform.

I’d like to introduce you to Izenda—a platform purpose-built for embedded analytics backed by a team that understands what it means to make analytic-powered applications successful.

Vendors You Should Know: Periscope Data

Vendors You Should Know: Periscope Data

Often analytics fall into one of two camps: either you’ve got powerful functionality that can serve the needs of the data scientists inside your business, or you can have flexible, user-friendly analytics that are suitable for use by customers as part of a data product. 

The “analyst” oriented tools are extremely powerful, but they require expert knowledge of databases, data modeling, and languages like SQL, R, and Python. The “customer” oriented platforms look great and are easy to use, but often lack the capabilities to perform the sophisticated analysis required by analysts (or many power users).

The use cases just don’t overlap—you’d never use one product for both of those scenarios. Or would you? 

Engaging Analytics: Driving Value with Mission-Based Design

Engaging Analytics: Driving Value with Mission-Based Design

What if you built a data product and no one came? What if you spend months evaluating vendors, connecting to data sources, designing beautiful dashboards and no revenue was generated? If your customer-facing analytical application became a cost center rather than a tool to drive customer engagement and revenue? It's not a far-out scenario — it happens, and it happens frequently. And it happened to me.

Announcing the "Vendors You Should Know" Series

Announcing the "Vendors You Should Know" Series

When I built my first data product, I was at a loss as to where to begin the journey. So, like many, I started by doing as much research as possible, seeking out every analyst report I could find on the options for analytics.  The problem was, there just weren’t very many resources for data product builders. Most of the reports available at that time were focused on “enterprise” analytics—those analytics designed for implementing analytics inside the business for Sales, Marketing, Operations, etc. There was a lack of information for people seeking to discover the options for building analytics for customers, for those looking to turn idle data into actionable insights and hopefully, generate a little revenue along the way.

Unfortunately, the times haven’t changed much, and while more materials on data products and product-oriented embedded analytic platforms exist, most are written by analysts, not practitioners. The material they provide is quite good, but it lacks the clarity that comes from having built data products yourself, from having lived through all of the worries associated with taking the journey from strategy to design to implementation to operations management.

To fix this problem, we've created the "Vendors You Should Know" series, designed to give you the perspective of a practitioner who has been through the process themselves.

This series is designed to help data product teams understand the options for building great data products on the market today. It’s not a comprehensive survey of all of the platforms available—it’s a curated list of what I believe to be the best choices based on what I’ve learned building data products and helping others through the process.

I hope you find it useful.

Buying vs. Building Analytics.  What You Need to Know Before You Decide.

Buying vs. Building Analytics. What You Need to Know Before You Decide.

Being a product owner is a little like being a parachute packer… Nobody pats you on the back and congratulates you for each successfully completed task. People only seem notice when you get it wrong—and then, they really notice.

One of the first tasks faced by product owners building a data product (analytical functionality embedded in a core product) is to decide: should we buy it or build it?

Engaging Analytics:  Designing Dashboards for the CEO

Engaging Analytics: Designing Dashboards for the CEO

Recently, I’ve been frustrated with some of the articles I’ve read about building great analytics dashboards.  Their titles often led me to believe that they contained must-have insights about creating dashboards that engage users, but in the end, most are about use of color, pretty charts, and the latest feature a particular vendor has launched.  And in my experience as a data product builder, these things aren’t what will make your embedded analytics product a success.  

The Five Biggest Mistakes in Building a Data Product

The Five Biggest Mistakes in Building a Data Product

In my experience building data products over the last ten years, the technical parts of the project are rarely what will jeopardize success. Between the sophistication of today’s embedded analytic platforms and the implementation services offered by vendors, you’re pretty much covered when it comes to the technical side of things. It’s the non-technical stuff that’s going to be your downfall if you’re not careful.

Why Your Analytics are Failing (and how you can fix them)

Why Your Analytics are Failing (and how you can fix them)

It's the nightmare that keeps analytics leaders up at night:  

Our analytics—the ones we spent so much time and money on—the analytics that were supposed to generate new revenue and new customers, are failing.

Whether you are building a customer-facing data product or implementing analytics inside your organization for internal use, the fact is that some analytics projects do fail.  But when they fail, they almost never fail the way you think they're going to...  

Using a Data Prep Platform:  The Key to Analytic Product Agility

Using a Data Prep Platform: The Key to Analytic Product Agility

As a data product builder — someone building customer-facing analytics that to will be part of a product — the needs are no different but achieving agility can be a real challenge. Oh sure, every analytics platform provider you might consider claims that they can connect to any data, anywhere, but this leaves a lot of wiggle room. Can you really connect to anything? How easy is it? How hard is it to change later? What about [insert new technology on the horizon here] that I just heard about? If you want to build an agile data product, you've got a tough road ahead... as I found out.

Picking the Right Vendor for Your Embedded Analytics Product.

Picking the Right Vendor for Your Embedded Analytics Product.

It's one of the most important decisions you can make when adding analytical capabilities into a product.  And, unfortunately, it's an easy one to get wrong. What platform should you choose?  There are a hundred options these days—each claiming to have what you need.  How do you decide?  Here are three tips...

How Embedded Are Your 'Embedded Analytics'?

Before you start evaluating features or selecting vendors, you need to get a handle on what YOU mean when you ask for analytics in your product. Although it seems simple, it really isn't so straightforward. There are many ways to "embed" analytics in a product and the method you choose can create limitations for your product roadmap and determine the overall user experience for your customers.

Three Ways to Think About (and generate revenue from) your Analytics

A great place to start is by understanding the "Three Faces of Embedded Analytics".  It's a great starting point because this simple concept is directly tied to defining the underlying data you'll need to access and to the ways you might offer your data product to users.  Get it wrong and you can end overlooking some valuable ways to generate revenue.