What Is Embedded BI?
Embedded business intelligence (BI) refers to the integration of BI tools and processes of taking data points and transforming them into resources that can be used by users to make intelligent business decisions. Tools and processes that are part of business intelligence include collecting, storing and retrieving data, the creation of reports, dashboards and other data visualization based on that data, and more. Embedded BI is different from traditional BI because it is not a standalone application but instead puts all the capabilities of BI directly within the applications users already use.
How Is Embedded BI Used?
Unlike traditional reporting and analytics tools, embedded BI is much more flexible and allows users to easily merge data from different data sources to suit their business requirements. It allows users to analyze business data faster and present the results without waiting for the organization’s IT professionals for help. Embedded BI helps users gather the data they need, analyze it, and determine which actions to take to reach their goals. The embedded BI tool collects the data from the business’ activities, processes it, and then stores it in a data warehouse. Once data is stored, all users can quickly and easily access it and start analyzing it to answer their business questions.
Also, embedded BI along with self-service BI capabilities provides customization options that allow users to customize their business applications further to suit their unique brand. They can customize their embedded reports, dashboards, and visuals to match their own unique application’s fonts, colors, and overall brand theme.
Benefits of Embedded BI
There are numerous benefits to investing in an embedded BI tool. These are just a few of the best:
Accelerates Time to Insights
Embedded BI makes insights more accessible to everyone regardless of expertise or technical abilities. Using embedded analytics tools provide users with faster access to insights that can help them make more informed and smarter business decisions.
Enhance Data-Driven Decisions
The whole purpose of BI is to help users use data to guide their decision-making process. Providing users with in-context insights right within their workflow enables data-driven decision-making that allows them to make intelligent business decisions that are backed up by real-time information that they can access at any time.
That means giving your users the power and confidence to act at the moment of impact and never again having to rely on their gut feelings.
The self-service reporting capabilities of embedded BI tools help users answer their own questions with data. This is very useful for everyone who uses your app – your own teams and departments, as well as your clients. By embedding self-service reporting into your application with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, you’re allowing all of your users to create their own reports and dashboards whenever they need them.
Improved Business Performance
Embedded BI can significantly improve an organization’s business performance by integrating operations with analytics. This enables applications to leverage robust analytics capabilities as part of their standard workflow improving users’ productivity and efficiency as it minimizes the chances of distraction because people don’t need to switch between apps.
For example, a manufacturing company can use analytics to minimize downtime by automating machines’ operations. Analytics in the insurance industry can help prevent fraudulent insurance claims. In the telecom sector, analytics can enhance better marketing campaigns and help companies develop personalized offerings and advertising deals to target the right audience at the right time.
What to Look for When Choosing an Embedded BI Solution?
There are many embedded BI solutions available for ad hoc reporting, data visualization, and creating customized dashboards. Once you’ve realized that you need an embedded BI solution, you should carefully investigate its features. Here’s what to look for:
Native integration with your app – the right embedded BI solution should seamlessly integrate with all your applications. You don’t want to burden your IT team, so look for a solution that won’t add additional weight and complexity. Look for an embedded BI solution that was built from the ground up with embedded in mind first.
Connectivity – don’t just look at the reporting and visualization capabilities that a vendor offers. If it cannot connect to all of your data, what good is it? Make sure that the embedded BI solution offers seamless integration with all the data sources that you need.
APIs – the embedded BI solution that you decide to invest in should also include an application programming interface (API), which allows the business application to use custom hooks when embedding the BI capabilities.
Multi-tenant BI – the multi-tenancy services reduce the complexity and customizations that are often required when embedding BI into your OEM software, ERP application, or other SaaS applications. Its capabilities allow you to easily maintain data isolation while supporting multiple tasks within the same account or organization at the same time.
Mobile BI – nowadays, having important business insights at your fingertips is a necessity. Mobile BI capabilities allow users to leverage the power of analytics even on the go. That way, users can access valuable business insights on their smartphones at any time and act at the moment of impact.
Scalability – the scale of the solution’s operations must be able to upscale or downscale in response to an increase/decrease in its user base. This means that good embedded BI software will allow you to increase your existing resources to accommodate increased business needs or changes.
Pricing – many embedded BI vendors use shady pricing tactics to maximize their profits. You don’t want to partner with a vendor that will charge you unpredictable costs like usage and users, for example. We recommend choosing an embedded BI vendor that has a 100% transparent pricing model that won’t escalate as your app sales increase.
Embedded business intelligence allows businesses to make real-time, data-driven decisions across teams and departments that can positively impact the company’s bottom line. If you haven’t started adding analytics to your products/services yet, now is the time to act. You’ll gain a competitive advantage, save time, money and resources, increase the value of your existing software, and ultimately grow your business simultaneously alongside your profits.