Top Challenges That Hinder Analytics Adoption — And How To Overcome Them

Reading time: 5 minutes

In today's information age, enterprises increasingly aspire to become data-driven. An astounding 83% of CEOs, according to an IDC study, strive for their organizations to become more data-informed. Yet, the path to achieving this goal is fraught with challenges. On average, large organizations face the complexity of managing 4-7 distinct BI & Analytics platforms, 129 business applications, several legacy tools, and widespread reliance on spreadsheets.1

The Challenges with Current Analytics Environments

Saurbh Khera, CEO of ZenOptics Inc., recently spoke with industry expert and author of Delivering Data Analytics, Nick Kelly during a webinar about the top three challenges organizations encounter within the current analytics environment:

Productivity Loss

A significant issue plaguing organizations is productivity loss due to hunting for reports and information needed to do their job. Saurbh highlighted that analysts spend approximately 1.8 hours daily merely searching for data. This inefficiency translates into an annual loss of about $25 million.2

Duplication of Content

Duplication of content represents another formidable challenge. A report or analysis generated within an organization may not be easily discoverable or known to exist. When information can’t be found, users or developers will create a new one, which leads to duplicate reports and dashboards. The result is wasted time and redundancy, which can lead to significant annual losses, Saurbh noted.


Saurbh also called out the operational risk of regulation non-compliance when information is not easily discoverable, with the potential for fines if information is missing or incorrect. Non-compliance with regulatory requirements can damage an organization's reputation and credibility apart from the monetary loss.

Barriers to the Ideal Data-Driven Enterprise

Nick elaborated on the roadblocks that hinder the transformation into an ideal data-driven enterprise. These obstacles include poor adoption of analytics tools, perceived lack of business value from these tools, difficulties in locating and managing analytic assets, inadequate understanding of user information needs, and inconsistent standards throughout the organization.

Real-World Approach to Overcoming Analytics Adoption Challenges

An effective approach to overcoming analytics adoption challenges involves technology, user experience, and change management. Saurbh underscored that "Providing lots of BI and analytics tools is not a strategy. It's about using those technologies effectively and making people aware of what is available. So, the disconnect between the strategic goal of using analytics and how people are trying to do so is the most critical part." Nick and Saurbh discussed activities that are effective to improve analytics adoption:

  • Data as a Vehicle for Change
    Consider data as a vehicle to monitor and drive change. Capturing usage statistics by individual, group, technology, and analytic asset establishes the initial values, which then can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of cultivating and facilitating change in culture, processes, and mindsets over time.
  • Understanding the Gaps
    Comprehending the gaps between analytics usage and requirements in your organization is crucial to facilitate change. The process of identifying the gaps can be as straightforward as utilizing a whiteboard, sticky notes, or wireframe kits to visualize the challenges and solutions.
  • Benefits-Focused Approach
    Center every BI analytics solution or process around benefits. Ask questions such as, “What do users gain from using it?” Highlighting the benefits and communicating effectively to users is a critical component.
  • Striving for a Netflix-like User Experience

    To increase adoption, we must strive for a user experience similar to Netflix — intuitive, personalized, and engaging. Nick advocates this approach. He said, "I've always been a big advocate of the single interface where you can do everything.… It's okay to have a proliferation of BI analytics technology as long as you can unify it in a single interface."

    This strategy requires understanding the value proposition of your BI analytics tools and obtaining regular feedback and input from users. Nick added, "The core to driving analytics adoption is having a feedback loop and for analytics usage to survive, evolve, improve, and iterate."

  • Value through Behavioral Change
    To truly transform into a data-driven organization, it is essential to inspire behavioral change. Start with the end in mind and work towards that vision, always emphasizing the benefits to the end users to encourage a change in existing patterns.
  • Measurable Outcomes
    Evaluate progress through desired and measurable outcomes. These could include boosting the adoption of your analytics tools by 50% within a year, enhancing customer engagement by 2% by Q4, or diminishing employee attrition by 0.5% this fiscal year, for example.
ZenOptics and the Path to Greater Adoption of Analytics

ZenOptics provides a software platform that addresses the challenges of analytics adoption by emphasizing the power of simplicity. By unifying cross-platform analytics assets in a single user interface, ZenOptics' analytics catalog simplifies the discovery and use of trusted analytics assets, unlocking the value of your investments and your people.

ZenOptics simplifies discovery and governance across your entire BI analytics ecosystem. It empowers teams to compose and collaborate around their analytics workflows, enabling you to assess and optimize the impact of analytics as usage scales. This is crucial in designing a beneficial experience that drives adoption and data culture.

Reflecting on the capabilities of ZenOptics and the insights from the webinar, several vital takeaways emerge for enterprises aiming to improve their analytics adoption:

1. Create an analytics environment that is easily accessible: Providing one-stop access to all analytics resources can significantly decrease the time spent on data search, thereby enhancing productivity. The unified interface of ZenOptics exemplifies this approach.

2. Foster and facilitate analytics governance: Mitigate chaos and establish trust by instituting a system that ensures analytics integrity and compliance. The governance capabilities of ZenOptics play a pivotal role in accomplishing this.

3. Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing: A collaborative environment fosters knowledge sharing, leading to improved business productivity, reduced duplication, and a more engaged workforce. The combined features of ZenOptics embody this principle, enabling teams to work more effectively in unison.

These key takeaways offer viable steps for organizations to address their analytics adoption challenges, demonstrating how solutions like ZenOptics can be crucial to their journey. To foster a data-driven culture, concentrate on your goals, implement effective strategies, and leverage powerful tools like ZenOptics. Contact us for a tailored demonstration of how ZenOptics can accelerate your organization’s analytics adoption.

About The Author

An experienced content strategist and editor, Julie Langenkamp specializes in thought leadership and prescriptive research in the data and analytics industry. Julie has delivered various types of content across print and digital distribution channels in corporate/startup marketing, analyst and advisory services, and traditional publishing environments. She is passionate about business data enablement and data culture and believes organizations need to focus on the experience of their data and analytics consumers (knowledge workers) to drive business objectives.

Get In Touch Send Email

Related Posts

Category: Blog Author: ZenOptics
Navigating Organizational Change with Continuity: Insights from Stephen Dine and Saurbh Khera
Read Blog
Category: Blog Author: Saurbh Khera
Navigating Report Chaos: Challenges and Solutions for Modern BI
Read Blog