Analytics Automation – Enhancing Analytical Processes and Outcomes

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Organizations across industries face the pressing need to extract valuable insights from their data and analytics more efficiently. This is where analytics automation becomes crucial. Analytics automation is a powerful functionality to streamline the discovery and use of analytic assets (such as reports, dashboards, and visualizations) from one or multiple source systems. In this blog, the value and capabilities of analytics automation are explained and related to the other components of an Analytics Hub, including the BI portal and analytics catalog.

Foundation for Analytics Automation

ZenOptics simplifies the process of extracting and integrating analytics asset metadata into the Analytics Catalog through its smart connectors and platform. Analytics automation incorporates AI (augmented intelligence, in this case) into the analytics catalog to provide cross-platform indexing, metadata about the analytics assets, and usage data - all in the centralized location of the ZenOptics analytics catalog. ZenOpics then leverages machine learning algorithms and smart algorithms to identify patterns, relationships, and trends in data. This automation enables ZenOptics to generate meaningful, robust recommendations that foster greater efficiency during analyses and decision-making processes.

Analytics Automation for Discovery

Most people typically know, or at least have an idea, of which analytic assets they commonly work with to conduct their business. However, they don’t always know if there is a supplementary – or perhaps even better – analytics asset that they should be using unless they have some sort of assistive intelligence helping to recommend useful information. For example, analyzing sales results for the month of August by region provides a comparison by geography for a specific time period. However, if the required analysis is a trend or budget comparison, then a different analytic asset is needed to obtain the knowledge and insights of the data over time. Conducting an exploratory search in the available BI tools and reporting applications to see if an analytic asset already exists is a time-consuming exercise. Further, if you don’t have access to the analytic asset or the BI tool, you won’t know what else is available – and in those cases, you either build or request another report and thereby contribute to the report sprawl within your organization.

Analytics automation aids the discovery of enterprise analytic assets to individuals with relevant recommendations related to a search term, file name, keyword, metadata element, metric, KPI, or other term that is being viewed. Within ZenOptics Analytics Hub, an individual can conduct a search and have a list of analytic assets compiled - both of the assets that the individual has access to and those they may not. For those analytics assets where the individual does not have permission, s/he will be able to view the name of the report, the description, helpful metadata for that report, and the report owner and then be able to request access. This functionality facilitates discovery of information that individuals may not be aware of and greatly reduces requests to build new analytic assets.

Analytics Automation for Analytics Workflows

By automating repetitive and time-consuming analytical tasks, organizations can streamline their data processes and focus on critical analysis, strategic planning, and decision making. Analytics automation offers benefits such as faster analytical analyses, enhanced accuracy, and increased agility, therefore enabling businesses to gain a competitive edge.

Analytics automation in ZenOptics workflows is the ability to bundle analytical assets from one or many different sources (e.g., BI tools) that have been integrated into the analytics hub to support a business process. For example, financial month end closes require the reconciliation of subsidiary ledgers and systems to the main accounting system each month in order to close the financial records. As part of the reconciliations that need to take place, comparing revenue and sales from a CRM system to revenue reported in the accounting systems requires reviewing reports from each of those systems to ensure that all of the sales transactions in the CRM system have been appropriately accounted for in the accounting system and that revenue recognition has been handled correctly. This activity requires consistency each month and utilization of the appropriate and same analytical assets that correspond to the same time period. Within ZenOptics Analytics Hub, an Analytics Workflow is a bundle of analytical assets that have been organized, synchronized and shared with colleagues to help facilitate analytical processes and collaboration such as a financial month-end closes, regulatory reporting, and compliance.

Benefits of Analytics Automation

Utilizing analytics automation brings numerous benefits to organizations:

Increased Efficiency: Automating analytics discovery and workflows minimizes the manual tasks associated with gathering and preparing assets for business processes - therefore reducing the time and effort required to derive insights. This boosts operational efficiency and allows teams to focus on high-value analysis and decision-making.

Enhanced Accuracy and Consistency: Manual business processes are subject to human errors, but with ZenOptics, the risk of mistakes is minimized because the analytic assets are curated, defined, and certified as trusted. This ensures the use of appropriate analytic assets and the standardized application of analytical processing, thereby resulting in consistent, reliable insights.

Accelerated Time-to-Insights: ZenOptics streamlines the end-to-end analytics process, enabling organizations to obtain actionable insights faster. By automating repetitive tasks through workflows and providing intuitive collaboration and efficiency features, ZenOptics shortens the time between analytics discovery and meaningful analysis.

Improved Collaboration and Governance: ZenOptics promotes collaboration among teams by providing a centralized platform for analytics access, sharing, and collaboration. It enhances analytics governance through its analytics catalog and provides analytics discovery, certification of analytical assets, security and compliance, analytics usage statistics, and monitoring across the organization.


In the era of advanced analytics, organizations need robust solutions to automate and streamline their analytical processes effectively. ZenOptics Analytics Hub supports this need through its analytics automation functionality, which enables businesses to unlock the full potential of their data and analytics. By leveraging ZenOptics' capabilities for analytics integration, preparation, workflow, governance and collaboration, organizations can achieve increased efficiency, enhanced accuracy, accelerated time-to-insights, and improved governance and collaboration. With ZenOptics, individuals and organizations can confidently navigate the complex data and analytics landscape and make information-driven decisions that deliver success in today's competitive business environment.

Published November 28, 2023
About The Author

Jonathan Wu has more than 30 years of experience in the field of Data and Analytics, which began with defining the reporting requirements for developing a multi-currency portfolio fund accounting system at Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors in the mid-1990s. He has practical experience designing, developing and implementing data and analytics solutions at organizations such as Silicon Graphics (acquired by HPE), Visa, Pfizer, and the State of Hawaii Department of Health. Jonathan has held various executive leadership positions with several leading Data and Analytics companies beginning with the co-founding of BASE Consulting Group in 1994. In 2003, BASE merged with Knightsbridge Solutions and was subsequently acquired in 2006 by Hewlett-Packard to establish their Information Management Practice. In 2007, he joined Sand Hill Angels (SHA), a group of Silicon Valley executives and accredited investors that are passionate about entrepreneurialism and the commercialization of disruptive new technologies through startup companies. In 2016, Jonathan was elected Chairman and CEO of Diyotta, a pioneer of serverless data integration technology in the cloud and a SHA portfolio company, which was acquired by ThoughtSpot. He is currently the COO for ZenOptics, a SHA portfolio company. In addition to his primary work activities, Jonathan served as a Business Intelligence columnist for DM Review and Information Management magazine for many years, and a faculty member of TDWI/Transforming Data With Intelligence, Santa Clara University and the University of California, Berkeley Extension.

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