We're the top company on Modern Data Stack! Give us an upvote here.
bubbles svg

Cloud Data Viz and Analytics Health Check

Uncover the fitness of your Cloud Data Viz & Analytics

Get my free score

What is a Data App?

The term ‘Big Data’ was coined a few years into the new millennium. However, the preface ‘Big’ doesn’t do the term justice. Data has become so ubiquitous in the success of modern business nowadays that it really should be called ‘Essential Data.’

Data powers and enables the decisions of virtually every business across practically every sector. Around 60% of companies worldwide say that they use Big Data analytics to drive decision-making.  

Moreover, the big data analytics industry is anticipated to grow from about $241 billion in 2021 to over $655 billion by 2029.  

However, simply having data analytic capabilities in your firm is not enough; what’s vital is devising reliable processes for applying analytical data findings to your daily operations. 

In short, companies need to develop Data Applications (or Data Apps) to examine massive amounts of data and instantly reveal relevant business insights or initiate autonomous action. 

This article will outline what a Data App is and how businesses can develop data applications to enhance the user experience and spur company growth. 

What is a Data App? 

As mentioned previously, a Data App describes software that gathers a set of data points, analyzes them, and then reveals business-relevant insights to users or initiates an action (sometimes Data Apps do both).  A data app is effectively a data product serving internal/extenal stakeholders (or both) to perform a task, be it gathering insight, data input, advanced analytics (think AI/ML) or managing data.  

Data Apps as a concept is still a relatively new term; as such, there are several misconceptions surrounding what is and isn’t a Data App. 

Firstly, all applications are created from data, but not all could be considered Data Apps. 

For instance, a product recommendation application (such as those found on our favorite e-commerce websites) is a Data App that examines users’ onsite behavior and brings up suggested products they want to buy.  

In contrast, The New York Times Crossword app wouldn’t be considered a Data App because it runs offline and doesn’t analyze user information similarly to perform functions. 

Moreover, in the world of business intelligence and analytics, Data Apps incorporate a graphical user interface that enables the end-user to run customized queries from a database. 

Astrato is an example of a highly-intuitive no-code framework designed to help users build powerful data visualizations and custom Data Applications that actively drive better business outcomes. Part of the modern data stack, it enables companies of all types to build Data Apps that support informed, data-driven decisions.

What is the purpose of a Data App

Data Apps can be applied in a vast array of business settings. Here, we have rounded up some data usage case examples across many different industries:  

Use case in Retail 

Ritual is an e-commerce company that uses real-time analytics to personalize multivitamins for its customers. 

The brand deploys a Data App that analyzes customer purchase histories to create personalized ‘Affinity Profiles’ for Ritual customers. The personal information collected through its Data Application tools are delivered to the brand’s marketing department. From there, targeted banner ads and real-time offers are pushed to the customer automatically. 

Ritual’s Data App tools are highly adept at guiding customers through their shopping journey, helping the company boost their average order values (AVO) from each site visit.  

In addition, this clever use of data analytics increases the lifetime value of each customer. This is because choosing supplements is a highly personal and health-centered task. Customers benefit from Ritual’s Data App’s capabilities in giving shoppers informed advice on how to improve their well-being, which is something you can’t really put a price on. 

Retailers like Staples also use Astrato to enhance their operations. For example, Technology Specialists working at the firm use Astrato to build analytics dashboards that incorporate real-time data, without having to pull new information in manually. 

Use case in finance 

Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital uses a suite of internal Data Applications to help guide investment decisions. 

As the firm works with a diverse range of consumer and enterprise clients, the company pulls from a wide range of external and internal data sources to help individuals’ and organizations’ money go further.  

The Data App tools Sequoia Capital deploy have been hugely beneficial in helping financial analysts build a detailed map of the start-up universe. 

Enhancing the firm’s capabilities in making investment recommendations faster is pivotal to the brand’s success, as the nature of the start-up industry is constantly in a state of flux. 

With the help of its Data Apps, investment clients are reassured that they will get detailed, timely, and highly accurate financial advice – which is crucial to a firm’s financial health.  

Financial service providers like ING Group also deploy smart Data Apps tools to help companies manage their tax obligations. But the key to building superior data apps like these, is creating intuitive, approachable data tools with robust functionality that supports the deployment of powerful data apps. A senior BI consultant from Victa BI commented that the Astrato team listens to customer feedback and regularly adds valuable platform enhancements to improve functionalities. 

Use Case in Logistics  

Command Alkon, a global supplier of integrated solutions for the construction industry, uses data collection software to track more than 80% of concrete deliveries in North America.  

Deploying Data App insights within the logistics industry is vital in today’s economy, as so many external factors can potentially affect the delivery of critical services and equipment. 

Concrete deliveries, in particular, are highly time-sensitive because the material can harden or perish quickly if all links in the supply chain are not optimized. 

Data App tools give operations leaders all the data insights they need to optimize their supply chain. 

For example, logistics teams can track all shipments to the last mile, be alerted to any delays in delivery, and get intelligent insights on the possible root causes of any bottlenecks in the delivery cycle. 

Companies like Alaras (who offer consulting services within the supply chain management sector) also partner with Astrato to empower their decision-making. 

Can legacy infrastructure obstruct Data Applications? 

To get the most out of Data Apps, businesses must analyze their IT systems and create a solution that is specifically designed to meet their requirements and goals. However, if you don’t have access to skilled app developers who can code you a Data App solution from scratch, or you have a large amount of data trapped in silos, this can be extremely challenging.

A data silo is a repository of data that’s governed by one business unit, isolated from the rest of an organization. Kept in a standalone system, siloed data is incompatible with other data sets, which makes it hard for stakeholders outside of that department to access and use the data in a meaningful way, without hassle. This is bad for business as it can lead to inconsistent data, less collaboration between users, a silo mentality in departments, and flawed decision-making.

Silos aside, archaic IT infrastructure can also cause a number of unwanted problems when it comes to business operations. Namely increased costs, a lack of data quality, security and compliance risks, and the absence of data mobility. 

In order to take advantage of Data Applications and ensure your business remains future-proof, you must first be willing to modernize your IT infrastructure and practices. 

Investing in low/no-code platforms like Astrato can help businesses without access to professional developers quickly work towards building their own Data App solutions by mobilizing business users and empowering them to work with data tools..

How Astrato can help you build Data Apps 

Astrato is a powerful BI solution that utilizes a no-code framework to assist you in building smart Data Apps to meet the needs of your department and end users.

You can use Astrato to easily connect to Cloud Data, create custom data visualizations, and build powerful Data Applications that actively drive better business decisions.

So, if you would like to learn more about Astrato and how its Data Application-building capabilities can help your business grow, get in touch now