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Master Your Analytics Challenges With Professional Embedded BI Tools

Embedded business intelligence

In the modern world of business, data holds the key to success – but only if you know how to use it to your advantage. A study from Forbes Insights discovered that poor-quality data or the mishandling of data can leave businesses at risk of monumental failure. Moreover, poor data quality management currently costs businesses a combined total of $9.7 million per year.

To harness the insights readily available at their fingertips and convert them into initiatives that set them apart from their competitors, companies must leverage superior analytical tools, resources, and platforms. Enter embedded analytics and embedded business intelligence.

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Businesses need integrated data analysis tools if they want to make the most of their data. The data and analytics environment can be challenging to navigate, and having the right supportive tools in place can help companies gain the insights they need to meet, and even exceed, their business goals. Having the ability to make real-time decisions based on trusted analytical insights that are seamless, easy to read, and user-friendly is vital to the sustained success of any modern organization.

When we explore embedded business intelligence (or embedded BI), we are also talking about embedded analytics. These tools and methodologies enhance interpretive capabilities, solve targeted challenges, address risks, and offer real-time analytical solutions through smart modern real-time dashboard tools.

Here, we will look at embedded BI and analytics in more detail, explaining the power and potential of these concepts in a practical context. Not only will we delve into embedded analytics in modern applications, business intelligence use cases, and embedded analytics examples, but we will also cover embedded business analytics, internal embedded analytics, and more.

What Is Embedded Business Intelligence?

Fundamentally, embedded BI adds features typically associated with BI software (data visualization, dashboard reporting, etc.) to existing business applications. It combines analytics tools that are easy to use so that you can read data patterns in a straightforward way.

When asking yourself the question, “What is embedded analytics?” it’s worth considering the concept from all angles.

Another way to explain business intelligence is through the concise definition provided by renowned independent research firm Gartner: “The use of reporting and analytics capabilities in transactional business applications.”

This branch of analytics differs from traditional business intelligence due to the context: embedded analytics is a set of capabilities integrated into systems that already function or exist (CRMs, ERPs, etc.), working to improve them through better reporting, improved interactivity, wider accessibility, an enhanced user experience, and more accurate online data visualization processes.

Embedded BI is centered on focused information that supports decision-making or specific actions in a context where such decision-making or actions take place.

Depending on the embedded dashboard solution you choose, there are a lot of options available. Many embedded BI vendors offer interactivity options (drill-down, zoom in, filter), delivering user-specific content while restricting access to deeper data; others drill down into branding; some outsource the updating and maintenance of your online dashboards; and so on.

Thanks to this wealth of choice, you can create solutions, solve challenges, make predictions, and offer renewed value to your organization, all while reaching – or exceeding – your core business goals.

Why Is Embedded BI Important?

Woman using a gesture-based interface

Source: shutterstock

We’ve answered the question, “What is embedded analytics?” Now, let’s consider its importance in a business context.

The fact that BI applications and business process applications have differing or separate interfaces forces users to switch between them constantly to analyze and gain value from their data. This manual approach to business intelligence often becomes fragmented and time-consuming.

A report from Logi Analytics found that 83% of respondents don’t like to switch between standalone analytics apps and would rather use just one. Moreover, 93% of people within applications teams are currently using embedded analytics.

So, why is embedded business intelligence software such a hot topic? What it boils down to is that business users want to interact with analytical-driven insights within their existing applications. The vast majority of users simply don’t want to have to access separate programs to gain valuable business insights. This kind of analytics integrates data-driven intelligence with business process apps, empowering users to enjoy a seamless experience that is ultimately more productive, predictable, and prosperous.

Let’s delve deeper into how embedded BI tools can help your business function more effectively in an increasingly tech-driven digital environment, especially through white labelling and customized solutions.

White Labelling & Embedded Analytics

With most forms of embedded BI software or embedded BI reporting, it’s possible to customize the interface and add either your or client’s colour scheme, styling, or logo. This is called white labelling. It’s usually a top requirement when embedding business intelligence into existing applications, thus creating the ability to look like it’s your own, not someone else’s solution. Extending analytics into a branded application provides the opportunity to match organizations’ brand and integrate powerful analytics solutions while any brand requirement or consistency of the organization or company remains unchanged. Reporting, data visualization or dashboarding then become faster while business decisions more agile.

White labelling your embedded BI software not only makes an application or piece of software appear more cohesive; a familiar design can also improve engagement and enhance usability. Here are some other key white labeling benefits:

  • Reduced development time and resources required for implementation.
  • Increased client or staff user satisfaction.
  • A viable means of setting yourself apart from your competitors.

When you look into implementing embedded BI tools, here are the crucial factors to consider:

  • Size: How much data do you need to handle? Gigabytes, terabytes? Large datasets can cause troubling performance of some tools so this point should be kept as one of the top priorities to focus on.
  • Reporting: Will the tool be flexible enough to enable users to generate their own reports, custom queries, and analysis of data they need? By enabling every business user to perform their analysis, from an employee of the department to managerial levels, the tool must be flexible enough to be used in each level of the whole company.
  • Data structure and integration: Do you have multiple data sources and need different data integration connectors to organize your reporting and analysis?

These are some of the main questions and points about white labelling and what to keep in mind when implementing such a solution, but what the specific benefits a company can get, and what are some real examples? These are the aspects we will focus next.

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The 6 Benefits Of Embedded Analytics

Embedded business intelligence software is appealing because it soothes the interaction between people and their data. To demonstrate, here’s a list of the key reasons this kind of analytics is becoming increasingly popular in today’s hyper-connected digital landscape.

1. User experience

Due to the sheer wealth of metrics and insights, data and analytics can prove particularly daunting. But by embedding analytical tools in your most pivotal business platforms or application, you will make everything more seamless and less stressful. Improved usability alone puts people at ease and makes them more confident in deriving insights from data. When you already know how to use a certain piece of software and can simply add new tools that can help you do your job better, it makes for a far superior user experience, according to Capterra.

Thanks to embedded business intelligence, you can improve your application’s reporting capabilities and give your customers better insights into the data you have collected for them. It’s also possible to white label or brand your tools with your customer’s logo and colors for a more personalized user experience.

2. A faster development process and lower overall costs

BI deployments require a great deal of time, from planning to development, in addition to a lot of resources that could be used for more important projects. Thanks to embedded analytics, the development time and speed-to-market can be reduced significantly, and internal resources formerly assigned to custom-code apps or create visualizations can be used for other key internal needs or tasks.

Likewise, the maintenance and support costs of embedded BI tools are also minimal as you are not in charge of them. Users can continue to benefit with little to no assistance from internal developers. Additionally, when you take into account the fact that internal developers that could have custom-coded the app are also usually the same people developing and maintaining the company’s website, sales, and HR systems, accounts payable and receivable systems, these functions all stand to benefit from internal support as opposed to creating reports and visualizations.

3. People spend more time with software

When you’ve spent a lot of time and money on the existing applications that help to deliver information-based insights for your organization, you’ll want everyone to spend as much time as possible within those applications. When new analytical tools become available, if everyone has to learn how to use new software from scratch, your productivity levels will plummet. As a direct result, according to Capterra, people spend more time on applications that they already know. And according to the previously mentioned survey from Logi Analytics, 84% of people say they spend more time using software programs than doing anything else.

4. Gain a competitive advantage

Using embeddable analytics from third-parties whose sole focus is to develop cutting-edge analytics technology will not only save you time and money; you will also benefit in terms of function and quality.

5. Embeddable analytics promote better decision-making

Having advanced access to analytical capabilities within existing applications gives business users the ability to derive more intelligent insights from their data. Whether you are addressing business challenges, creating opportunities within your organization, or developing solutions that will further the success of your business, embedded BI solutions help you gain access to the kind of data that will lead to the results you need.

6. Teamwork across departments

When analytical data is available at your fingertips and accessible throughout the organization, it starts to create a business environment where insights and decisions are buzzing across all departments and teams. It’s easy to see how embedded business intelligence is paving the way for the future success of your business.

Plain and simple: it makes it easy for people in a business to make use of analytical tools, hence foster a dashboard culture – but also encourages people to get down to the data-driven insights they need for creating solutions, managing risks, and solving challenges within their organizations.

Now that we’ve established the benefits of embedded BI solutions, let’s take a look at the process of implementing these kinds of solutions.

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The Process Of Embedded Analytics – How To?

By its very nature, embedded business intelligence software is intuitive, easy to implement, and universally navigable, meaning that everyone within the organization can benefit from increased access to key insights. But how do you proceed to implement this kind of analytics and what to be careful about?

To ensure you get internal analytics right from the outset, here are the key considerations you need to make:

  • Current solutions: Before you decide on embedded BI vendors for your integrated data needs, you should take all of the current software solutions and platforms you use throughout the business and ensure the embedded analytics tools you choose integrate seamlessly with all of these applications. Failing to do so could cost you a great deal of time and money.
  • Defining requirements: Before making any commitments or taking any internal action, you should gather with key members from every department and define your core embeddable analytics requirements based on these parameters: size (in terms of megabytes, gigabytes. etc.), reporting needs (will a pre-determined embedded analytics template suffice or will you need to generate custom queries and reports?), security permissions (how many restrictions and permissions will you need to set throughout the business?), and data complexity (how structured is your current data?). Once you’ve considered all of these elements, you’ll be in a good position to select the right embedded BI software for your needs.
  • Look to the future: Business intelligence has the ability to make the uncertain become more certain. When you decide to start the process of integrating this kind of analytics and choose the right embedded analytics tools for your business, you will need to consider your possible future needs and whether the tools you choose can scale and evolve with you. A failure to do so could also cost you time and money.

Take the time to mull over these all-important decisions to ensure your embedded solution works for you for years to come.

Utilize These Embedded BI Examples

Now that we’ve discussed the topic in detail, let’s explore a few pivotal types of this kind of analytics, examples of embedded analytics, and embedded analytics templates – starting with sales.

1. Embedded Analytics For Sales Departments

You will have a lot more opportunities to make sales with customers using embedded BI. By utilizing a customer relationship management software like SugarCRM or Salesforce, you can collect data based on your customers as well as your sales reps, then gain a host of invaluable insights from that data. But having the means to analyze and visualize this data in a meaningful way is even better as it can help you create interactive dashboards and sales reports that will deliver the right information in a comprehensible way.

This embedded analytics example is a sales dashboard detailing the sales cycle length step by step as well as the performance of different sales managers in terms of turning a lead into a deal. With this most valuable of embedded analytics templates, you can easily make sense of that data in a visually digestible format:

Embedded BI Example: Sales Cycle Length Dashboard to track the whole sales funnel

**click to enlarge**

2. Embedded Analytics For Healthcare

The healthcare sector is flooded with data, but with so much pressure on department and institutions, there is very little time to deal with it. The integration of software into hospitals’ daily processes has only been introduced recently; doctors, nurses, and other practitioners do not always have the technical IT background to deal with several different pieces of software as they are trained for caring and curing. They also don’t have the time or energy to invest in learning to handle new software.

Regulatory frameworks, however, have generated the need for reporting and analytics – so they cannot escape that duty. That’s where embedded BI is worth its weight in gold: while using the same software to collect patients’ data, healthcare professionals have the possibility to generate meaningful management reports and dashboards that are crucial to running their facility smoothly.

This embedded analytics example is a hospital KPI dashboard that can be of great help in the efficient management of your facility. It helps in identifying potential bottlenecks and outlining trends happening over time, allowing you to adapt the assignment of resources:

Embedded analytics example depicted on a hospital management dashboard

**click to enlarge**

3. Embedded Analytics For Finance

Another invaluable insight into business intelligence use cases comes in the form of the financial sector.

The financial industry is rife with facts, figures, and metrics that need to be handled with razor-sharp precision – even the slightest of miscalculations can cost a firm or bank clients, partners, and investors a colossal amount of time and money. This is where financial reporting and analysis need the help of embedded BI.

Not only do embedded analytics templates and software help to make financial data far less fragmented and its handling exponentially more accurate, but due to its accessible nature, it allows departments throughout a financial organization to use fresh, more cohesive insights to their advantage by simply utilizing a comprehensive, smart finance report.

With this level of access and usability, financial institutions can make faster, more informed investment decisions, boost internal economic efficiency, improve their consumer relationships, and more.

Below is the embedded BI template, a finance dashboard, that uses a valuable mix of financial KPIs to calculate income and expenditure more accurately while gaining a level of insight that can ultimately save financial business and departments an incredible amount of money every year – costs that could be invested elsewhere in the business.

Embedded BI tools used to create a financial dashboard report

**click to enlarge**

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 A Real-Time Decision Driver

Embedded BI has real-world applications that directly impact organizations, as shown in the three embedded analytics examples above. This, in turn, can help in coordinating workflows, accurately logging hours for employees, offering added help with labor deployment, and much more. It’s easy to see how embedded analytics’ modern applications are not only incredible for your organization but also a living, breathing necessity in today’s ultra-competitive business world.

Embedded business intelligence allows businesses to make better, real-time, data-driven decisions across departments and teams. Being an IT expert or reading code is no longer required to make sense of data and use it to develop informed decision-making that impacts your organization across a variety of business activities.

With this kind of analytics, there is a user-friendly way to read data patterns and further promote better decision-making so that everyone can get back to work doing what they do best, and at the same time, read data and analytical-based information easily and apply that knowledge to create solutions, solve challenges, and manage risks within your organization.

Still wondering about embedded business analytics or want to know what the embedded reporting definition looks like in practice? Try datapine’s 14-day trial for free, and see by yourself, or contact us to discuss a custom solution for your app.

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