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Why You Should Start Using Print Analytics

Posted by Brian Wistisen on January 7th, 2019

In the age of Big Data, we all know how important it is to gather and, above all, analyze digital information that was once difficult to capture. With the right tools, we have the ability to gain unprecedented insight into activity, costs and trends that were all but invisible to us before. We can then use that insight as the basis for everything from small-scale behavioral changes to sweeping efficiency initiatives, all of which can serve to significantly streamline operations and save money over the long term. Enterprise printing analytics are a perfect case in point.

To illustrate that, consider a few rules of thumb regarding print control. Gartner estimates that an organization's total print costs account for anywhere from 1–3% of its overall revenue, and at least one study has suggested that maintaining better control over office printing has the potential to reduce print spending by as much as 30% for every $500,000 in annual revenue. Even if you were to apply ballpark figures, using those stats to compare your organization's actual print spending with potential savings should highlight how much money could be recouped with the right enterprise printing solution.

The problem is that ballpark figures aren't good enough when you're developing a strategic, systematic plan to tighten print control and rein in print spending. You need to have a good fix on specifics, and that's not always possible with most enterprise printing solutions out of the box. To truly understand your print environment and make cost-saving improvements, it's essential to have full awareness of detailed print costs and be able to tie those costs to real-world activity at the macro and micro levels.

What You Gain from Increased Print Control and Oversight
Although it's the organization's bottom line that ultimately stands to benefit, the usefulness of print analytics goes beyond a simple dollar value.

For example, with a clear window onto your entire print environment, regardless of its scale, you can begin to see how the number and size of print jobs varies across your network. Are there remote locations that are generating high levels of print traffic? How might their WAN connection be impacted by your choice of enterprise printing solution? Is that the possible cause of print-related support requests? In-depth print-auditing capabilities can help answer those questions.

The same goes for process optimization. Sound enterprise printing analytics can help to identify print activity that's leading to errors or inefficient protocols. If one ordinary user is generating a disproportionate amount of color documents, it's clear that the default driver profile settings (or after-hours printing) need to be examined. Or if the vast majority of users in a department are printing to a single device while another nearby printer is seeing very little use, then it's time to start examining how their printers are installed.

And let's not forget a major advantage of increased print control: security. With a complete digital trail for secure documents, admins can quickly identify and review suspicious print activity or provide the information that e-forensics teams need for investigations.

Yet few enterprise printing solutions actually offer comprehensive, integrated enterprise printing analytics that are worthy of the name. What's needed is a next-generation solution that is capable of providing a full suite of print auditing and reporting features.

PrinterLogic Contextualizes Your Print Environment
From the moment of implementation, PrinterLogic puts powerful enterprise printing analytics at your fingertips. You can examine your print environment through the lens of advanced data points (e.g., print job date/time, document name, color versus grayscale) and easily determine which network printers see the heaviest utilization over a certain time period. You can even link the usage data to the actual cost of printing. This means you can easily break down print-related costs by those all-important specifics that are so elusive when using other enterprise printing solutions.

PrinterLogic's print auditing features also allow you to pinpoint your top users by print volume and be alerted when classified documents are printed. This information is incredibly useful in those rare—but, sadly, not rare enough—cases that a departing employee is printing out privileged client lists or confidential schematics. This highlights how superior print analytics can feed into greater print security.

Better still, PrinterLogic has a built-in reporting function that can automatically email print activity to department heads and decision-makers at scheduled intervals. It was through this feature that AAA Carolinas succeeded in saving "a pretty good stack of dollars," simply by identifying unnecessary color printing and exerting better print control over monochrome defaults.

Implementing these enterprise printing analytics in your own print environment is just a click away. Sign up today for a free 30-day trial of PrinterLogic's on-premises print-management solution, Printer Installer, or start an equivalent trial of its SaaS counterpart, PrinterCloud. Either of these advanced enterprise printing solutions will provide your organization with print analytics that equate to more control, more oversight and more cost-saving opportunities than ever before.

Brian Wistisen
Brian Wistisen
Brian has nearly 20 years of product management experience in leading IT companies such as Intel, Symantec, CA Technologies, Dell, and SanDisk. He joined PrinterLogic in 2018 as VP Product, where he leads a team that researches customer needs and defines product strategy. Brian enjoys working in his community to help mentor young men through volunteer service, athletic programs, and scouting. He has a B.S. degree in Business and Information Management from Brigham Young University, where he later received an MBA. He and his wife live in Saint George, Utah and have five children.

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