New Feature: Analytics Integrations and Writeback

Linus Tse
Analytics Consultant
April 13, 2023

What does the future of modern analytics look like? At InterWorks, we’re always looking to the future and trying to answer this question. Here, I wanted to speculate about what that future could look like by focusing on an area that interests me: analytics integrations and writeback.

The Current State of Dashboards

Dashboards are great. Everyone loves them. They tell impactful stories, show your data in an intuitive and easy to understand way, and break down important concepts into digestible pieces. However, as companies are maturing in their analytics journey and asking more from their dashboards, I find that dashboards in isolation can often be limited. For example, the generic platforms that host dashboards are often extremely limited in customization options and features (which is why we built Curator in the first place.)

Dashboards Should Not Be Dead-Ends

Another limitation of dashboards that has become increasingly clear in the last few years with the rise of SaaS tools (for example, Adobe's Marketo) has been the disconnect between dashboards and other systems that people are using on a daily basis. Today, users open their dashboard, set a couple filters and drill-down for their insights, but they don’t have ways to easily take action on the valuable insights they find. It can be difficult for users to share these insights around the organization, time-consuming to update other upstream enterprise systems and, most importantly, challenging to measure the outcomes of these actions.

That’s why I believe that dashboards should not be dead-ends, but that dashboards should seamlessly connect to the other systems important to business. Data is no longer a linear journey. It’s a cycle where analysis and found insights drive data-informed decisions, which are fed back into the larger enterprise ecosystem.

Above: The old way of linear data movement

Above: A new way of cyclical data movement

Analytics Integrations & Writeback

To that end we’re excited to be introducing an early release of a Tableau Integrations & Writeback feature to Curator to upgrade your read-only dashboards to powerful applications which can connect to third-party cloud systems. A few key features we’re highlighting today:

  • Enhanced Writeback: Pre-built integrations to databases and third-party systems. Key integration options include Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, ServiceNow, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Teams and many more
  • A Turnkey Solution: Plug and play add-on to existing dashboards. This feature works entirely with pre-existing Tableau Desktop and Server set-ups where, as long as the fields to be sent are available in the workbook, our solution will be able to write-back the data to the relevant upstream systems.
  • Always Up-to-Date: Our feature will write-back data to your applications instantaneously so that your team always has the most relevant data when making decisions. Likewise, the dashboard will be reading data off a live connection from the database and applications.

Above: Some of the third-parties our feature works with.

For example, we recently worked with a team to integrate their dashboards with Service Now. They were able to discover insights and see relevant tickets in their dashboards and, with this add-on, they were able to directly change the status of the tickets and also add comments. Another use case we recently encountered was working with a financial reporting team where they wanted to empower end users with the ability to add comments to certain outliers and KPIs for the rest of the organization. In addition, the write-back capability allowed users to make adjustments to the data based on exceptions.

Why Curator by InterWorks?

We’ve spent the last 10 years working and partnering with enterprises to build solutions to meet their unique needs and have packaged our learnings into this elegant solution. There aren’t any out-of-the-box solutions to this problem today with as wide-ranging of available connections and as flexible as Curator. Enterprises that undergo projects to build custom solutions invest significant time and resources as well as a large team of data architects and full-stack developers. What often catches teams by surprise, however, is the ongoing maintenance work to keep the solution running with 3rd party API connections that are brittle and ever-evolving.

Leverage our expertise and our experience. Don’t spend countless hours and project budget on areas that are not your core competency. Reach out to your InterWorks contact today to discuss how quickly we can get a writeback and integration solution up and running in your environment.