Analytics Hub: A Single Source for Trusted Enterprise Analytics Assets
In today’s business environment where established organizations seek digital transformations and newer organizations embrace a modern technology stack, one common and persistent goal holds true: the desire to utilize data in the most productive manner for the betterment of the organization. Innovation in the area of digital data generation, collection, and processing is now well established and embraced by many data-driven organizations. However, the utilization and consumption of data, information, and analytics in the form of reports, dashboards, and visualizations is still undergoing an evolution. Traditional business intelligence (BI) applications and BI portals cannot address information formats which now include embedded analytics, augmented analytics, business applications, external documents, and data workspaces. They require a broader and more comprehensive approach to meeting the information needs of business users. An analytics hub represents the evolution of BI portals and ushers in a new era of analytics productivity.
What is an Analytics Hub?
The foundational components of an analytics hub are application layers that enhance and provide rich capabilities for business users to search, discover, interact, and analyze information that facilitate business decision making. These foundational components are all critical to deliver a cohesive, intuitive analytics experience for users. [See Figure 1.]
At the core of an analytics hub is the BI portal. The BI portal establishes a single interface for users to access and interact with all their analytics assets – including reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, PDFs, and others – from one place regardless of the underlying tool or application. User productivity increases because they no longer need to separately logon to or be trained on each of the separate BI and reporting applications.
Layered on top of the BI portal, an analytics catalog serves as the essential technology to create a glossary of existing content – along with appropriate metadata for enhanced, contextual understanding of terms, metrics, and key performance Indicators. The analytics catalog further provides users with curated, organized content and the capabilities of classifying, searching, discovering and understanding the analytics metadata for standardization and consistency. As a result, users can discover the analytical assets that they have access to as well as those that they don’t have security permission. In those cases of non-access, the name and information about the analytic asset are displayed but not the content.
Adding to the capabilities of the analytics catalog, the next layer establishes analytics collaboration. Users benefit from communication tools, the ability to discover and connect with subject matter experts and report owners related to a certain topic of interest, and to connect and share resources directly with individuals and teams – all within the established governance and security parameters. With the example previously mentioned in the analytics catalog description, a request can be submitted for a non-access analytic asset by contacting the business owner who will determine the appropriateness of the request.
One of the unique and critical features of an analytics hub is analytics automation. Here, users are able to automate the assembly of analytic assets from the analytics catalog to support complex analyses and business processes. This further enhances the user experience, improves productivity, and supports analytics governance. For example, a cash forecast analysis can be automated by assembling analytic assets for current cash balance, check register, accounts receivable aging, accounts payable aging, forecasted sales and forecasted expenses. Having analytic assets grouped together in a meaningful manner, refreshed for a synchronized period and shared with a team, establishes a standard analytical process for completing the desired analysis as well as simulates knowledge sharing.
The collection of the previously discussed components combined with the ability to monitor usage and activities provides the capabilities for analytics governance. In addition, BI application management can be performed based on user licenses, usage and analytic assets that are measured and monitored. Value from analytics can be measured based on usage and feedback. With this layer, life-cycle management can be performed from concept to sunsetting of analytic assets.
As the innovator and recognized leader of Analytics hub technology by Gartner Group, ZenOptics released its Intelligent Analytics Hub in 2019 and was declared a Gartner “Cool Vendor” for its innovative technology. Today, ZenOptics continues to pioneer innovative capabilities and features that render tremendous business value to users of its technology in the form of increased productivity, greater insights, and confident business decision making.
ZenOptics has assembled a world-class team of experts in the field of data and analytics, backed by Silicon Valley and global investors, to execute on their vision of providing software that enables data driven organizations to succeed by utilizing trusted enterprise analytical assets. The result is a dedicated, customer-focused team that is passionate about driving analytics value.
What can an Analytics Hub Do for You?
Customers across industries worldwide have realized increased value from their analytics and digital transformation initiatives due to the power of an analytics hub to enable business end users. For example, beverages company Brown-Forman uses ZenOptics as a one-stop-shop for all reporting needs, therefore establishing an easy to access single source of trusted analytics resources. Global biotech enterprise Illumina amplified the power of its analytics competency center by creating a unified analytics hub to rationalize and simplify its reporting environment. Sysco Canada Food services has streamlined its reporting processes for executive reporting, saving time and enhancing productivity for reporting teams and executives.
These are merely a few examples of common use cases organizations recognize to drive increased value from analytics assets. Learn more here to find out what an analytics hub can do for you.