GoodData® provides groundbreaking BI for data monetization to enterprises, independent software vendors, and system integrators who seek to quickly create and distribute valuable information to large networks of customers and partners. Our real-time analytics distribution platform is highly scalable and secure - allowing companies like Target, Discovery International and Zendesk to deploy engaging data products that are guided by GoodData’s expertise in delivering widely-adopted analytics solutions.
8 Questions with GoodData
1. GoodData is a well-known entity across the data landscape. However, for those who may not be as familiar with the company, can you tell us a little bit about GoodData and your work in the analytics field to date?
GoodData ® provides groundbreaking BI for data monetization to enterprises, independent software vendors, and system integrators who seek to quickly create and distribute valuable information to large networks of customers and partners. Our real-time analytics distribution platform is highly scalable and secure - allowing companies like Target, Discovery International and Zendesk to deploy engaging data products that are guided by GoodData’s expertise in delivering widely-adopted analytics solutions.
2. In your opinion, what are the key challenges CAOs across the enterprise currently face?
We see four main areas of concern:
- Efficiency - CAOs, like CDOs and CIOs, need to be able to leverage the data they have internally in an efficient, cost-effective and scalable manner.
- Monetization - Using their data to create more value for other businesses within their networks - such as customers and partners. New external analytics offerings are becoming a competitive imperative for enterprises across industries, and have the opportunity to improve partner relationships, increase customer retention and even create net new revenue streams.
- Innovation - As with all tech leadership, the CAO role is moving from infrastructure management to business-oriented innovation. It’s no longer the task of the CAO to make sure nothing breaks. Now is the time for analytics-driven business transformation.
- Enablement - All business managers need to understand their dashboards, and ultimately, their data. This means CAOs and their teams have to deliver an analytic experience that will enable everyone from the CEO to the regional sales manager to dive into the data and do their own data discovery, in a controlled fashion. Traditional analytics and data discovery tools have been developed for a more technical analyst, but business managers are becoming increasingly accountable for understanding the data themselves, and the CAO needs to enable them.
3. Are you seeing some specific trends/behaviors developing as a result of this?
We are seeing a pretty dramatic shift of the primary audience to not only consume but also create analytics within the enterprise - both for internal analytic projects and externally facing data products. The shift from focusing on the technical business analyst to the business manager has many implications, most of which have to do with providing extremely intuitive tools that augment their skill levels. Essentially allowing the business manager to be much more self sufficient, while at the same time maintaining all of the enterprise-level administrative and security controls.
Enterprises are increasingly focused on business agility - Competition is at an all time high in most industries. The rise of SaaS companies puts a significant level of pressure on large enterprises to be more agile and data driven in every aspect of their business. In order to deliver on that expectation, the line of business managers are expected to know, understand, monitor and make decisions based on their analytics every single day.
Business user self-service is a key requirement for most companies - In order to empower business managers with data and analytics, CAOs and analytics vendors are challenged to provide intuitive tools that are easy to use, but don’t compromise the enterprise capabilities that their IT teams require. Essentially masking the complexity of the tool to simplify the end use experience.
Operationalize best practices to accelerate decision making - With so many different types of analytics on the market, many enterprise organizations are starting to put a heavier emphasis on in-product best practices and benchmarking capabilities as well. In previous years this has resulted in pre-packaged offerings, but enterprises need to create their own differentiated, data-driven strategy so this need for best practices is manifesting more in starter templates, recommendations and even benchmarks to guide how they craft their own view on the data.
Personalized everything - In the digital age we (consumers) have developed extremely high expectations from the tools that we use. Google, Amazon and every other technology giant have trained us to expect the services we use to be tailored to our specific needs. This requirement is ever more prominent as business managers become the primary users of analytics. They are frustrated not only by usability hurdles, but having to sift through dashboards and reports that are not customized for their departments, products and regions becomes an urgent complaint. The expectation is that their analytics will be served on a silver platter, and available on every device.
Security, security, security - Enabling more users inside and outside of an organization to access enterprise analytics puts a magnifying glass on the security of the system from almost every angle: Data privacy, user permissions, access locations, administrative access and rights, operational considerations, you name it. Enterprises are becoming increasingly open to outsourcing their analytics, but not without a serious vetting of their infrastructure and operational security.
4. A key strength of GoodData's analytical services is the ability to facilitate across various lines of business, with solutions for sales, marketing, social and enterprise analytics. With different departments all looking to use analytic software, have you observed internal communication presenting a big challenge for organizations?
Communication can be a challenge, especially when IT and business stakeholders don’t check in at the beginning of a project. It’s key, in this business-goal-driven age of IT, to consult end-users and business innovators before building or buying analytics for your department, business unit, or organization.
5. Switching focus back to the CAO, how vital do you see their role in setting the strategy, direction and communication from the top down?
CAOs and related data management-focused IT leaders are witnessing an expansion of power like never before. Instead of owning the tedious, menial tasks involved in updating systems and managing warehouses, cloud analytics solutions free up time for CAOs to drive business results. It’s no longer about integration; it’s about innovation.
6. On to the CAO Summit: What is your expectation out of the summit?
We hope to exchange ideas on the future of analytics with the top analytics executives in the country. More specifically, we would like to get their perspective on how data (both internal and external) and analytics can be a dominant driver of differentiation for their business and value for their customers and partners. We’re seeing most of our customers start to define a monetization plan centered around their analytics strategy, and would love to discuss these opportunities with the most knowledgeable executives in the industry.
7. The theme for this year’s CAO Summit is “Advancing Analytics” with a focus on Analytical Maturity across the enterprise. When you hear the term “Analytical Maturity”, what does that mean to you?
For us, analytical maturity means expanding the usage of your analytics beyond internal tools that are focused on operational efficiency, to externally facing products that create more value for an entire network of businesses or partners. The majority of organizations view their data as an internal asset, when the reality is that most of the other businesses that they work with would benefit from visibility into that information - many of them would even pay for it.
8. Finally, what do the next 12 months look like for GoodData?
We’re focused on creating a best-in-class experience for line-of-business managers to gain value from their data, and distribute it within and beyond their organization. We’ve just been recognized as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Agile Business Intelligence, Q3 2015, so there are only great things ahead.