For the Fall Release, we wanted to offer our customers not only a description of new features and improvements, but also some thoughts about the feature by the Product Managers here at Jive. The improvements to Analytics Service and Data Export API will be available to our Cloud customers in our Fall Release, and to Jive 7 customers with hosted and on-premises release later in the year.
The following post was written by Josh Richau, Sr. Director for Product Management for Analytics.
One place for all your answers
The process of collecting and analyzing data and turning that data into actionable insights is tough. Data can be hard to come by and a nightmare to clean up, and the tools available to us don't do what we need them to do. For years, our customers have been asking us to improve our analytics offering, and to increase it's usefulness. You asked us to not only add more functionality and types of reporting capabilities, but also to improve consistency, speed, accuracy and increase accessibility. We've been listening.
Our analytics vision is that all the answers, metrics, reports and data you need should be accessible from one place, and shouldn't require an advanced degree to read and understand. We also wanted to create a highly accessible Data Export API for analytics data, to improve the consistency and speed of analysis. With our new Analytics Service, you can access your network's data and analyze it via Excel or import it into a 3rd party BI vendor easily, simply, and clearly.
In the process of developing Analytics Services we had the following Big Concepts in mind:
- Make the easy stuff easy: We offer CMR, Impact Metrics, Jive Business Analytics, and other future offerings. But we recognize that for many customers there is a very specific reporting need that's hard to anticipate before it appears. We wanted to make it easy to get the data, so you can use the data for anything that you'll need.
- Dumping data doesn't get you far fast: By providing an API access to the analytics database we wanted to improve the speed and accuracy of your access to the data. You're now able to get results when you want them, however you like them, by hooking up to the Data Export API. No more DB dumps.
- One number to unite them all: In the past there have been issues with inconsistencies across solutions. The Analytics Service will become the backbone of integrations and data analysis so all of your products run off the same APIs, meaning that there's one truth. Differences in numbers should not exist any more, unless they represent differences in formulas, date ranges, or definitions.
- You don't need to be a BI tool specialist: A lot of the time you want to have more flexibility in the reporting, but you're not an expert in BI tools. With the Analytics Services you will have the option of exporting results to Excel and work with familiar software to turn your questions into answers.
- We're making you life so much easier if you are a BI tool specialist. With a standardized access to our API and eventual templates built by Jive and our partners you should have a much easier time doing you standard reporting
How analytics improves Jive
In addition to improving accessibility to analytics data, our new Analytics Service improves our product across the board. Impact Metrics and Community Manager Reports will run on top of the Analytics Service as of Jive 7. This enables us to deliver real time results in these products and improves consistency dramatically.
How do I access the Analytics Service?
You can get access by going into the new Add-Ons option in your profile drop down and selecting Analytics Services. Once there you provision an API key that you can use or distribute as necessary. You can revoke the key at any time, which means that it's a good idea to create one key per function use (different people, different partners, or different tooling - up to you).
For the less BI Savvy: How does exporting to Excel works?
To get the data into Excel, you first need the credentials mentioned above. You then hit the RESTful API - one call to login and get an authorization token, then another to hit the actual API. The API returns a CSV file, and the CSV is easily read by Excel. An example of why this is great: if you know your way around Excel, you can quickly and easily get a report on the number of documents created in the last hour.
For the BI lover: Importing to BI tools.
Importing into BI tools is the same as exporting to Excel. Just download the CSV file and read the data with your BI tool of choice. We are actively talking to partners and the vendors about how to more easily include "import from Jive" functionality into commonly-used BI tools like. Look for more announcements around this in 2014 after we have rolled out the service and had a chance to work through both importing and templating with these vendors.
It's available to EVERYBODY (who has admin access) as a standard part of the Jive Cloud Fall Release and Jive 7 instances. For on-prem folks, the Analytics Service is an opt in service (much like cloud search or the recommendation engine). For on-prem customers choosing not to opt in, the existing analytics database will remain as the source of analytics data.
The ultimate goal of the Analytics Service is to make sure you have the data you need to get your work done and to improve your user experience using Jive. Our mission is to decrease the time it takes you to get the answers you need and to increase the overall quality and accuracy of your reports. I believe that the decisions made can only be as good as the information used to make the decision--so it's time to start taking analytics seriously.