Last week, Forrester Research released a report dedicated to the subject of embedded BI—the practice of integrating reporting and analytics functionality into business applications: The New Generation Of Embedded BI Will Close The Insights-To-Action Gap, April 2017, Forrester.
In the report, Forrester examines the “new generation” of embedded BI technologies providing practical advice on approaches, best practices, and ultimately, buying considerations to help you evaluate and choose an embedded BI platform that’s right for you.
Here are 4 of our key takeaways from the report:
- New embedded BI is burrowed deep in apps, focused on UX
In the past, embedded BI often meant that operational reporting was bundled inside a ERP, CRM, or similar operational application. New embedded BI spans a number of applications, adds analysis capabilities, places authoring abilities in the hands of end-users, and emphasizes a seamless user experience, including interoperability between the embedded BI application and the core application. Achieving this immersive UX requires a developer toolkit that can natively integrate the two.
- Start with identifying your embedded BI requirements and business need
Not all embedded BI projects are created equal. Defining the business drivers and functionality required from the start will help you determine whether an embedded BI platform is necessary. If all you need is the ability to perform simple queries and basic interactions with data, you may be able to address your problem with a simple solution such as embedding a visualization into your app using an iFrame.
- You should evaluate embedded BI platforms using 4 criteria
Does the vendor…
- Have a web-application backend, preferably a cloud API?
- Offer tight integration with identity and security processes?
- Maintain a solid, credible performance and scaling architecture?
- Kick off your embedded BI strategy now or risk falling behind
Perhaps the greatest benefit of embedded BI is its ability to facilitate data access for non-analyst and non-technical users. Placing BI into the context of users’ day-to-day applications makes data easier to consume and more actionable, particularly when it is coupled with intuitive design.
ISVs have been first-movers on these technologies because they’ve identified embedded BI as an opportunity to add competitive advantage to their apps. That said, the key to a successful embedded BI strategy is building over time. Construct a road map leading to the new embedded BI and start small, methodically adding new functionality as you’re able and as business needs demand.