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Are all Software Applications becoming Analytic Applications?

Logi Analytics' recently published its second annual executive review of embedded analytics trends and tactics. It's called "2014 State of Embedded Analytics". In this report, they make an interesting claim:

"What's exciting to all of us at Logi Analytics is that ALL software applications are becoming analytic applications."

But are ALL software applications becoming analytic applications as Logi claims?  The supporting claim that “The median value of analytics as a percentage of overall product value is 35%” appears to support that directionally. Take note however of the buried context at the end of the report: 400 complete and partial responses from Logi Analytics customers and prospects.

The report overall is of some value in that it is pointing to the need for more effective decision-making in business. Producing observations is no longer enough. The importance of applications is in their ability to help people to make better or more competitive assessments and thereby act more effectively to achieve their objectives.

In the report they coined a term “Infused Analytics” which appears to be defined as "embedded analytics within core workflows and application functionality". It is confusing. It plays with an erroneous intuition that action takes place inside some sort of software. Here is where Logi burrows into the world of marketing rhetoric.

Action doesn’t take place inside of applications. The root of all action is in people and their language. This is a valuable perspective offered by Terry Winograd at Stanford. Action exists in the language and narratives of people. Therefore, in designing effective analytics applications, we need to understand people’s intentions, their roles, their capabilities and their social context as part of that context. In Logi’s figure on p.6 of their report all of the arrows need to be bi-directional and the user needs to be represented in a broader context. This is where leaders in this space need to take us.

So while serving information needs may be "about creating applications that users love” so that they use it – this again is more marketing rhetoric. What to aim at first is the effectiveness of fulfilling people’s and businesses’ intentions. Logi may or may not help you get there.

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Tags: Analytics, context, software, tools

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Comment by Nilesh Jethwa on December 3, 2014 at 7:01am

Every app has some form of reporting. Nowadays every app has a dashboard. But if we say analytics as part of the application then it would be just limited to the apps functionality or for the data that is interfaced with the app. Embedded analytics may as well sell your main product but an organization still needs a centralized place where it can pull all their data and perform analysis upon.

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