Advanced analytics: How to select a self-service solution

Until recently, advanced analytics were the province of statisticians and data scientists, but that's changing with the emergence of self-service options. Which one is right for your organization?

Business leaders want to see what's coming, not just read reports on what happened last week or last quarter. Advanced analytics represents a class of software that helps companies go beyond historical reporting to predict future opportunities and risks.

(For more information read my self-service analytics market overview of IBM Watson Analytics, SAP Lumira, and SAS Visual Analytics.)

Predictive analyses help identify best customers, develop better up-sell and cross-sell offers, understand financial risks, choose new products, and anticipate equipment failures.

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Until recently, advanced analytics were the province of statisticians and data scientists, but that's changing with the emergence of self-service options for analytics. Vendors are pursuing two broad approaches:

BI meets prediction: Products focused primarily on self-service Business Intelligence (e.g., data exploration, data visualization, dashboarding and reporting) are being enhanced with predictive features. Products taking this general approach include Microsoft Power BI, Qlik Sense, SAP Lumira, and Tableau, among others.

Analytics simplified: Products include the basics of BI but are focused primarily on advanced analytics and have simple, drag-and-drop or point-and-click interfaces with built-in automation features. In most cases, these tools are aimed at data-savvy analyst types. Products falling into this category include Alteryx, Alpine Data Labs' Enterprise Platform, SAP Predictive Analytics, SAS Visual Analytics/Visual Statistics, and TIBCO Spotfire.

Selecting the right advanced analytics solution for your organization will depend on the breadth of your deployment, the skill level of your users, and the nature of the decisions users are trying to support. Use the guide below to evaluate analytics solutions for your organization.

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Self Service Analytics Evaluation Criteria Constellation Research

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