When Luke Bongiorno joined Nintex to manage Nintex Analytics, his career came full circle after years in mobile. But data analytics has evolved in the 16 years since he worked as a business intelligence lead for a fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer.
Companies have invested in data for a long time to gain intelligence on customer wants, competitors, marketing campaigns and product success. But data analytics was bespoke, structured and corporate. Interpreting the data required specialist skills, Luke says. Many people made a ton of money doing just that.
The recent “reinvigoration and excitement around data” is due to the growing movement of self-service data analytics, he says. Instead of having to pay a company to interpret data, people want to have quick and ready access to those data insights themselves.
“All the big players you think about – Splunk, Tableau, Microsoft – are all going with the self-service model,” he says. “It’s down at the roots level. That’s where the excitement comes from. And the technology has caught up. We can process data cheaply. Data has always been considered important but rich analysis was locked behind a corporate paywall. Now we’re democratizing that.”
What’s the Purpose of Nintex Analytics?
“Nintex Analytics is an absolute commitment on our part to do for your process analytics what we did for your process automation,” says Nintex CEO John Burton. “We want to help you instrument your business and provide you the tools to deliver the agility that you need.”
Luke loves John’s comment because it emphasizes the evolution in data analytics that excites him.
With the Nintex Workflow Platform, Nintex made it easy for everyone – not just technical team members – to build workflows. So naturally our objective with Nintex Analytics is to make it easy for everyone – not just BI team members – to act on data.
Time and time again, customers tell Luke how much they love Nintex Workflow – “we’ve made them heroes at their organization. Nintex lets you achieve things you weren’t able to achieve.”
That same objective led to Nintex’s decision to develop a data analytics service, with Nintex Workflow Cloud enabling it to become a reality. And it’s the success of Nintex Workflow that makes Nintex Analytics all the more important for customers.
“A lot said, ‘We love Nintex so much that it’s hard to manage,’ ” Luke says. “The thinking was if we’ve caused challenges for customers because of our success, we should solve those challenges for them, provide that value.”
How Does the Development Process Work?
Luke joined Nintex in February 2015 to manage Analytics, excited at the idea of returning to his roots in data analytics and at the opportunity to manage a product through its entire lifecycle.
The first step of the process? Gather data. Luke interviewed 50 customers and partners, asking them how they use the Nintex platform now and what are their existing challenges. This stage of the process was perhaps even more important than usual since data analytics is a new space for our company.
“When I walked in, I had a lot of questions,” he says. “You usually don’t have a lack of ideas. What you need to do is whittle down the ideas to the two you want to focus on. That was the case with Analytics.”
Managing a new product isn’t an easy job since there’s no background data to draw on – as there would be for a new release of an existing product – but Luke “has a very good grasp of where it needs to be,” says Nintex Chief Technology Officer Alain Gentilhomme.
“He’s the guy who is defining what Analytics is today and what it will be in the next couple years,” Alain says. “He does that by talking to a number of people. The role of a product manager is you take data from 50 different people, put it into a crystal ball, you shake it and these are the three things we can do with it. That’s a very hard thing to do. He’s a good guy, very passionate.”
The development phase took a mere 10 months. Analyticswill continue to evolve – Luke continues to gather feedback now the product’s been released. So far, the feedback is “really positive” – “People are really excited by the potential of it.”
And this is just the beginning. Ninsters from Product Management, User Experience and User Assistance meet twice a week to brainstorm ideas to make Nintex Analytics more valuable for customers and partners, and make sure their experience using it is top-notch.
The initial focus is on adding value in two ways:
- Operational Value: How many processes are running in your organization? Where are they located? Who’s using the processes? Luke says Nintex Analytics will provide tremendous value by providing these data analytics to organizations via the Usage Lens. Expect two more lens in future iterations of Analytics that will focus on providing additional organizational value – the Monitoring Lens and the Inventory Lens.
- Aspirational Value: Which workflows generate a Return on Investment? Which could be improved? Are your customers helped or hindered by your processes? The customers and partners that Luke spoke with didn’t specifically ask for this. But based on his conversations, he knew that enabling customers and partners to answer these questions could prove incredibly valuable. So we developed the Process Intelligence Lens, which allows you to instrument and measure the business processes you automate with the Nintex platform.
What Does a Microsoft Exec Think?
With any data analytics platform or tool, attractive data visualizations are key. But they’re “extremely hard” to build from a development perspective. So instead of building a new data visualization tool, Nintex opted to use best-in-breed tools like Microsoft Power BI to provide striking, colorful visualizations of your workflow data.
With any data analytics platform or tool, interactive and actionable data visualizations are key. But they’re “extremely hard” to build from the ground-up from a custom development perspective, Luke says. So instead of building a new data visualization tool, Nintex opted to use best-in-breed tools like Microsoft Power BI Embedded , a new Azure Cloud service, to provide striking, colorful visualizations of your workflow data.
“We’re excited about this collaboration with Nintex,” says John Doyle, Sr Director, Business Intelligence Product Marketing Microsoft. “Organizations are investing in systems of intelligence to achieve their digital transformation objectives, and Nintex [Analytics] will add tremendous value to companies that want to bring intelligence into their business process automation solutions. Our relationship with Nintex is a strong one and we’re happy that Microsoft Power BI Embedded can enhance Nintex’s new products with interactive, actionable visual analytics.”
Curious to see Analytics in action on your data? Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Nintex Workflow Cloud today!