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SharePoint 2013 analytics paves way for better BI

SharePoint 2013 analytics can provide companies with insight into user trends. But SharePoint's canned analytics can preempt real analysis.

SharePoint 2013 analytics come out of the box and can provide companies insight into user trends and preferences. But the improved analytics can come with some downsides.

Scott RobinsonScott Robinson

Analytics are useful for fine-tuning public-facing websites and internally facing enterprise sites. Analytics can open up a whole new world of enterprise business intelligence to understand customers and other constituencies.

SharePoint 2013 analytics come out of the box and can help identify important trends -- site usage and traffic, user preferences, user entry and exit points to sites and so on -- on SharePoint internally facing sites as well as on publicly facing websites.

Scott Robinson, a SharePoint and BI expert, sat down to talk about the role of analytics generally and the ways in which SharePoint 2013 analytics can enlighten business decision makers.

'The advantage we have in leveraging monitoring is that the seller of a product or service can go out and have a conversation with customers, rather than the old days of taking surveys and getting only a rough idea of how to spend money to market a service or product," Robinson said. 'We can get down to a granular level with social media by knowing all our different customers, and differences between them and who in our potential pool of customers are not likely to become customers. We can get maximum bang for our buck when we're out there trying to do business. It's incredibly valuable in terms of making us more efficient -- and it's here to stay."

But Robinson also noted some of the downsides. "There is a two-edged sword of having canned results," he said. 'When we have results that are all wrapped up and ready to go, we tend not to think deeply about what they mean."

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