Zoho Analytics: How it Works and Lessons LearnedJul 16, 2020
If you are new to the Zoho Suite of applications, then you will understand what I mean when I say there are a LOT of options - so many that it can be overwhelming at times. What's more challenging is that you can find similar features and functions available in different Zoho apps, and they are used in slightly different ways.
Over the years of learning as much as I can about this suite of software tools, I have often enjoyed the variety of challenges. Other times, I just want a straight answer. Among the apps that the Beckmann Collaborative team has learned (and will continue to learn about) is Zoho Analytics. What a powerful tool for a business!
What is Zoho Analytics?
This is a business intelligence (BI) data analytics platform. It lets you create beautiful charts and reports to easily analyze your business data. Who doesn't love data visualizations?
I can get what I need from Google Analytics and my individual marketing channel analytics. So why would I bother with this platform? Ah, yes. This is the big differentiator for Zoho Analytics. Instead of logging into 5 different places to seek your data, we can combine our data into ONE PLACE and even blend our data sets.
Translation: Log into one place to see Website, CRM, social media, email marketing data, etc.
Tracking KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
As a marketer and business owner, KPIs are among the most important things for me to pay attention to on a regular basis. In the final quarter of each year, my team comes together to review how we did for the year and define what we want to achieve in the coming year.
With our big picture SMART goals set for the year, we can begin to think about setting our KPIs for those goals. If the goal is to increase revenue by 20% over the year, then some of our KPIs might include lead generation (how many new leads come in each month), proposal creation, and deal close rate. More granular KPIs may be related to our marketing tactics, such as the engagement rate of a social media post or the click-through rate on our emails.
The data for our goals and KPIs can come from several sources: Zoho CRM, Zoho Social, directly from social media channels, Zoho Campaigns, or another email marketing provider.
Pulling in Multiple Data Sources
Zoho Analytics connects with other apps within the Zoho suite and beyond. This is where the application because super powerful.
We can create a Dashboard full of reports, pulling in data from Zoho CRM, Zoho Projects, Facebook, Google Analytics, QuickBooks, Google Drive Spreadsheets, cloud databases, and so much more. This is the big selling point for me.
It is so frustrating when you must toggle between reports and dashboards on different platforms to figure out what is happening in the big picture of your business. Zoho Analytics lets me make a variety of reports, charts, and data visualizations from my data that is coming from multiple sources. I add those reports to a single dashboard and voila - I can see everything side by side.
Big Lessons Learned with Zoho Analytics
Among the many lessons learned while setting up and using Zoho Analytics for Beckmann Collaborative was user access, workspaces, data source setup, organizing in folders, and restoring trashed reports.
1. What is a Workspace?
In Zoho Analytics, you can setup multiple workspaces to organize your data. Really, the big defining piece of a workspace is that a data source (i.e. Zoho CRM) can only be in one workspace. So if you plan on making a dashboard that shows reports from multiple places, then make sure to add them all into the same Workspace. https://www.zoho.com/analytics/help/workspace/
This is the structure of how Zoho Analytics is setup:
Here is what your homepage might look like with a few Workspaces already created:
2. How to Add Data Sources Navigate, notice what is checked off
There are two ways to go about this:
1. Creating a new workspace. In that case, you will click the "Import Your Data" button in the top right corner of the home screen of Zoho Analytics.
2. You may want to add additional data sources to an existing workspace. Along the left side navigation is "Data Source". When you click on it, you will see the list of existing data sources (i.e. Zoho CRM, a spreadsheet). Next click on "Add Data Sources" button in the top right corner.
In both instances, you will get a screen with a variety of options to choose from.
3. Adding Other Users Difference between a user and a workspace admin
By default, whoever created a workspace in Zoho Analytics is the administrator. Adding other people in your organization as users to Zoho Analytics does NOT automatically add them to your workspaces. This was such a revelation to me. I see why the functionality is like that - allow users to have workspaces with private data sources or those they want to selectively share based on security (i.e. Quickbooks).
If you want other people in your organization to have access to your workspace, then you need to add them as users or workspace admins. You'll find this under Settings > Manage Users.
4. Using Folders to Get Organized
Some folders are auto-created after you connect a data source to your workspace. Folders are great, but some of the automated folders can be annoying. I suggest making it your own. To see your list of folders, click on the Explorer (from the left navigation).
- Decide on your folder structure and create new folders (or just re-name existing ones). Then you can click on the 3 dots to move a report into it's corresponding folder.
- Eventually, you may have a bunch of empty folders, like me. You can delete those folders in the same way. Click on the 3 dots and choose to Delete Folder.
5. Oops, I Deleted a Report
Don't worry. Deleted reports stay in your trash for 45 days, and you can restore it.