FAQs for Delivering Data and Analytics

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The Analytics Catalog is the essential technology to create a curated inventory of existing analytic assets that are accessed through a BI Portal – along with appropriate metadata for enhanced, contextual understanding of terms, metrics, and Key Performance Indicators. This establishes a common glossary of terms and KPIs for consistency and standardization, along with the ability to contextualize the information through a guided stewardship process. An Analytics Catalog is often also referred to as a Report Catalog.

Through a single interface, a Business Intelligence Portal or BI Portal provides individuals with direct access to a variety of analytics assets, including reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, applications, and data, which simplifies and streamlines the daily work of analysts and businesspeople, thereby increasing productivity and efficiency. This is also sometimes referred to as an Analytics Portal or Reports Portal.

A data catalog is created for the inventory of data that an organization collects and processes, such as customer name, product codes, etc., whereas an analytics catalog is focused on the inventory of analytics assets in the form of reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, and documents along with their associated metadata. Typically (outside of specific use cases), a business user will not necessarily be interested in the raw data elements, but rather in the output of those elements in the form of a report, spreadsheet, or other analytics asset. Therefore, the cataloging of such analytics is crucial to provide the contextual, standardized information associated with those assets.

An Analytics Hub is a software platform that enables productivity, manageability, collaboration, and governance. The foundation of an Analytics Hub is a set of application layers that provide rich capabilities for individuals to search, discover, interact, and analyze information. These application layers are BI Portal, Analytics Catalog, Analytics Collaboration, Analytics Automation, and Analytics Governance, which are critical to delivering a cohesive, intuitive analytics experience for decision-making.

Analytics governance is a term encompassing the policies, processes, and procedures to manage the lifecycle of analytics and reports within an organization. It enables stewards to monitor and manage the usage of content across the entire analytics pipeline. Within the ZenOptics platform, our report governance and structured activities workflows for review and certification allow governance organizations and stewards to establish confidence that the information within reports/dashboards is appropriate for use. Consequently, this enables business users to work within the guardrails of sustained processes and guidelines.

A unified view of analytics is the ability for individuals to discover and access the reports, dashboards, spreadsheets, and other analytics assets they need from one centralized interface. As organizations advance their data and analytics strategy, many companies face a complex ecosystem of multiple tools and solutions to support analytics. This creates confusion and complexity for analysts and business users as they try to find, access, and understand the right information to make sound business decisions.

Report optimization and rationalization is the process of determining the relevance and usefulness of a report. Often in a data and analytics ecosystem, a proliferation of reports exists - often in a variety of tools. Report rationalization involves reviewing usage statistics and user feedback to make an assessment of the relevance of the analytic asset, and ultimately clean up the analytics environment. This ultimately reduces cost and effort of maintaining complex, sprawling environments as well as confusion for end users attempting to find the right information for business decisions.

Analytics collaboration provides individuals with communication tools, the ability to discover and connect with subject matter experts related to a certain topic, and connect and share resources directly with individuals and teams – all within the established governance and security parameters.

Analytics automation supports the assembly of analytic assets from the analytics catalog into groupings that support complex analyses and/or business processes. The automation streamlines the launch and refresh of the information needed for process-driven analytics needs. This enhances the user experience and improves productivity.