Analytics Catalogs have been listed as a Gartner Critical Capability since the 2022 version of their Critical Capabilities for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. The goal of an Analytics Catalog is to unify and centralize all of a company’s analytics. There are many benefits to using this up-and-coming technology and here are the Top 5 as rated by Analytics Catalog users.
Centralizes the analytics experience for happier users.
Companies average 4 BI tools or sources of analytics. This makes it hard for users to find the information they need to make data-driven decisions. An analytics catalog allows for content to be organized for consumer consumption by job function, area, or role into a single-entry point. Users are provided with search and favoriting of all analytics from differing platforms making easier it to do their jobs. Easy to access analytics means quicker decisions based on data and more confident decisions.
Makes changing BI vendors easier by insulating users from change.
A new Analytics / Business Intelligence tool is created every day. Technologies change and the tools do too, but users are the ones that suffer. With an Analytics Catalog, users can continue to go to the same location and get the same governed content while technology teams change the underlying technology. We all know change is hard but with this technology we can avoid big bang changes and replace the regularly used content from the outgoing system piece by piece as the replacement system comes online.
Gives Analytics / BI teams and executives real usage details.
Some BI vendors make tracking analytics usage really difficult and when you have multiple BI tools, bringing that together is a “big data” project. Having a single point of entry to all your analytics via an analytics catalog creates a single source of audit data for analytics consumption regardless of the underlying BI vendor. Usage can be tracked by user, by BI platform, source and by asset just to list a few ways you can look at the data.
Usage can also come in the form of feedback. With a good Analytics Catalog solution, commenting and ranking is also available to help teams pure or improve the content they provide.
Increases analytics adoption and literacy.
Adoption starts with engaging the consumer. When consumers have multiple places to go, multiple experiences (some tailored and some not) it makes it hard. The analytics catalog creates a single place and experience for the consumers. A really good analytics catalog will let you provide different experiences for different groups of consumers.
Data literacy really comes down to – does the user understand the data and the context they are consuming. There are so many fancy chart types, but you’ll find that the most used are the simplest (bar, column, pie) because they are easy to understand by the widest audience. To get to those fancier and sometimes better charts we need to explain and teach what they are showing. Lastly the ability to add context in the form of commentary is also helpful for consumers. Analytics catalogs here help by allowing grouping of analytics content together that is related. Could be a certain topic or related to a workflow. A great analytics catalog can put these assets or pieces of them together and allow for the create to add the text for explanation of what and why.
Provides pathways for Analytics Governance across the organization.
Analytics Governance is different from data governance. Data governance is rarely enforceable once in a BI tool. Analytics governance provides oversight of analytics assets, their creation, modification, and management. The data powering an asset can be governed by does not eliminate the possibility of someone hiding key elements or creating their own view by adding calculations or filters.
A good analytics catalog will allow users to differentiate content that is certified from not certified. A better analytics catalog will allow users to assist with the analytics governance by allowing them to provide feedback that can be tied to the usage data collected by the platform.
We love Analytics Catalogs and truly believe that any organization with multiple tools BI tools needs to jump on this technology for its users and to get the most of their existing and future analytics investments.