At conDati, we approach analytics differently than everyone else in our space. Some of our key differentiators include:
- Focusing on instant answers
- Designing by imagining voice first
- Designing for touch as the primary hands-on method of interaction
- Blending many big data sources together
- We don’t let users create their own dashboards (what?!)
- Not creating overloaded dashboards
- Creating pre-made drill paths that anticipate the most common follow-on questions (sometimes 4 or more steps ahead of where you thought you wanted to stop)
… and many more.
This post is the first in a series that discusses the fundamental differences in the way we do analytics versus anyone else in the field right now. Design is an investment, and we get our edge by implementing challenging features and approaches in our interfaces that most are not bold enough to try and that no one is doing in entirety.
At conDati, we love analytics. But what is love, really? Well, for us, love means an obsessive need to change the analytics arena for the better. Many on our team have been focused on analytics for more than thirty years. We are backed by dozens of analytics patents, numerous awards and six successful analytics companies that have either gone public or been acquired. We live and breathe analytics, both at work and outside of work.
conDati's Anomaly Detection Dashboard
Analytics products should give you quick answers to difficult questions. Dashboards and reports should save you hours of work during your day, and they should not be more complicated than the data you are analyzing. You should not need an advanced degree or specialized certification to report on how your organization is doing to your stakeholders, and your audience should not need an advanced degree to interpret your findings.
Over the past few years, we’ve listened to marketing professionals as they told us their pain points. The evidence is clear; Maybe there was a time when you lacked enough empirical evidence to provide data-informed answers about how your campaigns performed. But at this point, with the “Martech 5000” at nearly 7000 companies, having enough data isn’t really the problem anymore.
Marketing teams are now data-informed, data-first: moreover, the offerings in the martech arena are solid. Many, if not most, are solving real problems for marketing. What we have noticed and you may agree, however, is that the new expectation is that these solutions should enable speed in marketing decisions—yet all too often, because of the sheer amount of data, coupled with poor visualization, marketing teams use decades-old methods to manually sift through the findings and create reports that were awesome in 2005, but just don’t cut it in 2018.
Marketers need answers from up to a dozen (or more) channels (43 percent of the survey respondents said they were currently using from six to 10 martech solutions, and 28 percent report using more than 10.). Talking to our customers has revealed universally that marketing teams are still wrangling data into csv files and sorting it into graphs and charts that will shape decisions. Not only is this fraught with potential error, it’s so time-consuming that the opportunity to act is often lost by the time you have received your report created. And now, with the added pressure to take advantage of the latest data science and machine learning approaches, you really need a solution that offers you in-the-moment, real time answers to your marketing questions. We imagine, and are creating, a world where you can get real-time answers to hard questions via an intuitively designed analytics product.
conDati's Treemap Visualization
Now, let’s set the stage for the problem we are solving and why our approaches to data viz are the critical enablers for speed in marketing decision making.
Google Analytics is by far the most popular system of record that we see marketing teams using. GA is also the best example of the problems we are trying to avoid in our UI. Google Analytics launched in 2005. If you go to Google Images and search for ‘Google Analytics 2005’ and look at the screenshots, you will notice something familiar about the UI. It’s familiar because the current UI is almost entirely identical to the 2005 UI. We can’t be too hard on GA though because most other analytics solutions/products make this same mistake: Descriptive analytics products come with tons of busy dashboards that have no relationship to each other and no logical navigation through the data.
Logging in to Google Analytics presents you with a side nav menu that has five parent menu items, dozens of sub menus, and dozens more individual dashboards (I stopped counting after I got to 50 dashboards). Do you want to know where in the world most of your users are coming from? Click the second parent nav item, the 9th submenu item, and the second sub-submenu item beneath that. Want to know how most users are ending up on your site? Click the third parent menu item (Audience), then click Overview. I won’t begin to address the problems with this overview dashboard and how it doesn’t clearly answer the original question you had… that’s for an upcoming post. But you’re beginning to see the problems we’re facing here - you have to have this navigation in your head (or fumble around like me trying to find what I need every time). We can do a lot better than that. Instead of dumping every dashboard you possibly can into a side navigation menu, what if you could just get a quick answer to a difficult question by clicking a single link?
conDati's Analytics 'Quick Answers' Menu
The image above shows the ‘Quick Answers’ menu that we’ve created in our product. During our public launch event last week in Silicon Valley I went up on stage to give a product demo. I clicked a link in this menu, and then jokingly said that my product demo was done. This isn’t far from the truth. In that single action I demonstrated how we’ve listened to our customers’ problems, and then created a single click interaction that produced an instant answer to a big data problem.
conDati's Heatmap Visualization
The result of that click is seen above in our heatmap visualization. Beneath conDati Analytics is a data warehouse, which we’ve built, that includes all of your critical marketing systems’ data. That data is loaded and then blended together so that you can see your digital marketing operation through a single pane of glass. This is the highest level of the marketing hierarchy, showing marketing success by channel. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, however. As you probably know if you’re in digital marketing. Still — just this single data viz showing all of your digital channels together has immense value in time, speed, and ultimately money. You can have it any time that you like, with only a single click.
I hope that I’ve intrigued you and that you’ll stop by to read the next posts in this series. We have a lot more to cover! Until then, here’s to next generation marketing analytics.