Gain New Insights with Zoho Analytics

Mar 17, 2023 | General

Gain New Insights with Zoho Analytics

The average company is doing nothing with their data.

  • Only 60% of companies around the world use data and analytics (MicroStrategy)
  • Between 60% and 73% of business data goes unused for analytics (Forrester)
  • 75% of managers lack data literacy (TechJury)

These statistics show that learning to fully utilize your data will likely put you ahead of the competition.

One of the best tools to help you do so is Zoho Analytics.

Why Zoho Analytics?

Zoho Analytics delivers deep insights to users based on their business data. This tool takes your raw data and helps you turn it into useful information in the form of insightful reports and dashboards. The results of which can help you make better and more informed business decisions. If you are curious or have a question about your business, Zoho Analytics is where you can find those answers.

Analytics allows you to:

  • Track your key business metrics
  • See longtime trends
  • Identify outliers
  • Predict the future 

What is Zoho Analytics?

Zoho Analytics is a Business Intelligence Platform that exists in the Zoho ecosystem of applications. If you have Zoho One, you have immediate access to this tool. Various other Zoho packages may or may not include Analytics, but it is always available as a stand alone application. 

How does it work?

Zoho Analytics copies data from other data sources. These sources can include other Zoho applications such as the CRM or Desk, non-Zoho applications for which Zoho has built an integration, external databases, or even files on your computer.

Zoho Analytics provides tools for the user (mostly drag and drop) to learn and gain insights about their business.

Data Versus Information 

The word “data” is often thrown around in business. You’ve heard of big data, data privacy, and data mining. Most businesses have a plethora of data and use various information systems to store it, but data is not necessarily readily usable information.

The key difference between data and information is that information contains meaning.

Data refers to raw facts that have no specific meaning attached. Information is a group of data that collectively carries logical meaning. Data is independent of information while information is completely dependent on the data it was derived from.

Information allows business operators, executives, and managers to learn and gain insights about their businesses. The proper use of information can lead to more informed decisions that may not have been possible if decision-makers had to rely on their intuition alone. The ability to leverage currently existing data and convert it into information can lead to insights and decisions that can improve business aspects such as revenue generation or cost management.

Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) is the process of analyzing data and delivering actionable information that can assist business operators, executives, managers, and even workers in making more informed business decisions. BI is about putting analytical tools in the hands of business users outside the traditional IT or IS organization.

A unified BI platform like Zoho Analytics allows decision-makers to gain new insights rapidly. You don’t need to be a wizard at writing SQL queries. Although queries can be helpful, they are not necessary when getting started in Analytics.

There is tremendous power in the aggregation of data. Imagine you use Zoho CRM for Sales, Zoho Desk for quality control, and an Excel spreadsheet to monitor other aspects of your business. Then imagine all of these sources are brought together, and Analytics is the intersection where they meet. At this intersection, you can see results you wouldn’t necessarily capture if you were looking at just a single data source.

Dashboard created in Zoho Analytics to depict sales trends.

Dashboard created in Zoho Analytics to depict sales trends.

A key advantage of Analytics as a cloud-based service is that your analyses will update as your data changes. As your data sources change, data is inputted, updated, and deleted, your Analytics components such as dashboards, reports, and KPIs change as well. These visual representations change to reflect the data accurately. There is no longer a need to update an Excel spreadsheet and then massage and reformat the data when an update is made.

This is meant to be a tremendous time and headache saver! 

Where should I start?

Zoho Analytics can seem a bit daunting at first sight. The potential, power, and features are massive. BI tools are extremely powerful and even the user-friendly ones can be difficult to get started in. It’s easy to open Analytics, see the CRM tables, and think, “What do I do here?”

Remind yourself to be curious.

What do you want to know? What’s an aspect in your business that you don’t feel you confidently understand? What is something you suspect you might be wrong about? Then ask yourself, “How might I pull data into reports to see, confirm, prove, or disprove my thoughts or questions?”

Utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) features available inside Zoho Analytics.

The next step is to utilize an AI tool readily available inside the application. Her name is Zia. Zia is Zoho’s built-in AI chatbot. If you are curious about something but don’t quite know how to frame the report, Zia is your girl. When accessing Zia, a list of recent questions followed by a list of suggested questions are shown.

Zia chatbot window inside Zoho Analytics.

If none of these are what you are looking for, take a stab at typing your question in the chat. Possible data will be shown in a dropdown to choose from as you type. After clicking Enter, a component will be created to show the results of the search. These components can be edited to further fit your criteria.

Zia component showing total Amount grouped by Product Name.

Zia component showing total Amount grouped by Product Name.

 

Before you know it, you’ll be whipping up components and reports like nobody’s business!

Reports in Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics allows for rapid development of reports and other forms of analysis. You can build the reports you need without relying on some expert to build the reports for you and then go through rounds of revisions.

It’s important to remember that BI and analytics are designed to be ad-hoc by nature. It can be challenging to jump into Analytics and think you need certain reports, and they need to look a certain way. It might be easier to think of one thing that you need and think of ways that you might start to look at the data. As you work, keep in mind you can figure out how to formalize the report later.

You can always start with rough ad-hoc reports and then work on polishing them. Tools like Analytics are perfect for this. Building a report should not require a substantial amount of time. All tools require an investment in learning, but the drag and drop feature keep the time investment to a relative minimum.

We, at AspenTech, hope that this information has given you the confidence to dive into Zoho Analytics head first.

The first step is simply being curious and having questions. The results can be valuable information that can assist you in making better decisions for your business. If at any point you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out to us!   

If you’d like more information about Zoho Analytics or questions about any Zoho products or you’d like to consult with one of our Zoho experts, please call (866) 880-4228 or send us an email at zoho.support@aspen-tech.com. We are happy to help!

Need Help? Don’t Have Time to Do It Yourself?

At AspenTech CRM, we meet your customer data challenges head-on. We address every issue you might have with your Zoho implementation – whether it involves selection, technology, training, or process – and create a manageable plan. We then work with you to implement that plan so you can use your systems to their fullest potential, giving you a 360° view of your customers – and your business. Contact us or call 866-880-4228 to start a conversation with one of our experts.

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