What is Embedded Reporting?
Embedded reporting provides end-users with a window into data within the software application they are working on, making for more accessible visualizations, better insights, and faster decisions.
This concept requires business intelligence reporting tools to be integrated into other software applications. These tools usually include dashboards, charts, or reporting and data visualization capabilities. This is all to display information in a more accessible format for users to understand and analyze. These reports cover a range of departments and operations, from marketing to sales. While business intelligence is all about handling the data and analytics, reporting is more about presenting the data to facilitate actionable visualization, leading to better insights and decision making.
Users can create standard or customized ad-hoc reports using embedded business intelligence. These include data analysis and predictive analytics reporting using interactive dashboards with the provision to export information. When self-service reporting is embedded into applications, users can view messages and data directly. This provides the users with an analytical view of their performance and can encourage them to improve their productivity. Embedded reporting supports better decision-making and proves to be highly efficient for enterprises by helping users conveniently analyze data while using their usual applications.
Embedded Reporting in Business
Embedded reporting is an asset for sales and marketing teams looking at closed-loop reporting on a CRM platform. These departments need the ability to collect and present data quickly. With embedded reporting, they can get all the required information to make more intelligent business decisions without leaving the applications they are working on.
Businesses can gather better insights by analyzing reports in the context of data in its entirety, within the applications that store it. End users at all levels can view and generate reports within the applications they use the most. This enriches their decision-making while increasing productivity. The embedded pieces make only relevant dashboards and data streams accessible to the end-users, eliminating browsing through dashboards or charts.
Embedded reporting helps businesses to:
- Create, view, and edit dashboards for key performance indicators, sales, and a range of other information
- Collate data from various sources
- Manage user access through permissions
- Customize the look and feel of the application
However, there are also a few challenges with embedded reporting.
- It might need significant initial investment to implement
- Though it allows all users access, some training may be required to be able to gain valuable insights
- Being embedded in a single application might restrict it from supporting any requirement outside the application
- Many configurations are predefined, and the range of customizations could be limited
Using Embedded Reporting
Businesses usually extract data from several sources and feed it into their reporting tools to display it intuitively. These tools create graphs, charts, and dashboards to display the data so the user finds it more understandable, presentable, and valuable.
Companies can enhance their current operations by embedding reporting and analytics within their applications. For instance, a customer relationship management suite is a common application for embedded reporting. This is because it is centralized storage for copious amounts of data, which, when analyzed and visualized correctly, can help with optimizing sales and marketing operations.
Embedding reporting functions into such an application helps businesses to derive actionable business intelligence insights quickly and easily. Employees can make well-informed decisions that help them achieve their daily goals rapidly.
Other fields such as healthcare and medicine can also leverage the benefits of embedded reporting. The organizations within these sectors deal with applications storing massive data for patients, tests, and medications. They must be capable of making quick decisions by analyzing all factors. With the reports being embedded within such applications, staff at healthcare centers can make more intelligent choices to improve the quality of service and care.
Key Elements of Embedded Reporting
Essential critical elements of embedded reporting tools include:
- Data connectors: Users can connect to different data sources seamlessly and collate data in a single place for analysis.
- Dashboards: Dashboards are used to present the data patterns visually so that information can be easily understood.
- Visualizations: Embedded reporting provides a range of chart types, from the column, funnel, and doughnut to sparkline, scatter, or bubble charts. Visualizations can also be combined to create integrated dashboards.
Why Businesses Need Embedded Reporting
Businesses across the spectrum use many applications for their operations. By embedding reporting within those applications, organizations can maintain the feel, branding, and rich visualization of the host application while providing users with reporting tools. The host applications are enhanced and are enabled to support comprehensive reports, dashboards, and visualizations.
Businesses need embedded reporting to help internal end-users perform multi-dimensional analysis and view and analyze relevant data for their business requirements without depending on separate business intelligence tools. In some instances, embedded reporting is also used to provide external users the benefit of generating and viewing reports in web applications.
Embedded reporting also provides users with self-service reporting. This option enables team members to create reports to assist their decision-making, reducing processing time, workload, and costs.
The ever-growing complexity and volume of data have made data visualizations and analytics an essential part of any enterprise. Embedding reporting capabilities within a product helps an organization gain a competitive edge over its competitors.
Benefits of Embedded Reporting
Embedded reporting offers many benefits for organizations that work with data and require constant analysis and reporting.
By embedding reports, onboarding costs are reduced since there is no need for extra resources or other reporting tools. Embedded analytics is easy to set up, and they do not need to be edited or adapted frequently. Furthermore, embedded reporting tools do not require regular maintenance, support, or upgrades, keeping ongoing costs low.
Users can spend much time switching back and forth between applications and reporting tools to generate, view, and analyze their data. Once embedded within the applications, reporting becomes easier, efficient and helps enhance the team members' productivity. It also positively affects the user's satisfaction level since it reduces their workload.
Data-Driven Decision Making
Instead of rows and rows of data, embedded tools convert screeds of figures into charts, dashboards, data visualizations, and predictions. The graphical analysis and insights offered by embedded reporting improve the decision-making process within organizations.
This is called 'data-driven storytelling,' where raw data is converted into an easy-to-read and understood format. It enables users to quickly identify trends, interpret performance, and identify problem areas. Embedded reporting tools help with providing context to data that gives it meaning.
Embedded reporting provides an intuitive interface, enabling the user to access relevant data to handle issues as they crop up within the business. A company's efficiency and profitability are increased with the help of informed decision-making. Embedded reporting tools help optimize performance, contributing to scaling a business and its growth.
Reporting tools offer a host of management controls, allowing user access permissions, dashboard, and reporting control. This means that users only have access to the data they require.
Embedded Reporting Tools Vs. Standalone Reporting Tools
Business intelligence makes informed decisions by analyzing data and presenting information in an actionable format. With the help of this technology-driven process, businesses can be monitored in real-time so that issues and opportunities can be identified within the operations and appropriate actions may be taken to react to the challenges of the ever-changing environment. Traditional business intelligence tools require users to shift from their workflow application to a separate set of tools to analyze data and look for insights. This toggling leads to frustration, reduced efficiency, and waste of time.
Embedded reporting integrates these business intelligence tools, like reports and dashboards, into the software applications. End-users are enabled to not just access reports and dashboards but also create their own. The decision-making process becomes more effective across the organization since executives are more in control of the words and analytics provided by embedded reporting. It is more intuitive because of the immediacy, saves time, delivers better analytics, and increases efficiency. Both standalone and embedded reporting tools have their set of pros and cons. Embedded reporting provides users with a self-service platform, empowering them. However, embedding reporting may not be wise if a business uses multiple applications. It could be easier to consolidate data on a standalone system to extract insights in this instance. The choice between the two depends on business objectives, budget, compatibility with existing systems, scalability, in-house resources, and data sources.
Choosing the Right Embedded Reporting Tool
There is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution for all businesses, and what is suitable for one organization might not work for another. While choosing an embedded reporting tool, a few points need to be considered.
Ease of Integration
The integration of the embedded reporting tools into existing applications must be seamless. This ensures a smoother transition to the new platform and helps leverage the existing data to its fullest for insights. The analytics tool must be compatible with the current data sources to ensure seamless integration. If the organization has disparate sources, the embedded reporting provider would need to extract the data, customize its format, and then present it in the reporting tool. The reporting tool should also be flexible to be embedded on any application, whether in a cloud or on-premises.
Static reports are not helpful when users need insights into data. It is easier and quicker to find beneficial information with words if it is equipped with search functions, drop-downs, and filters. Along with ensuring optimal usability, data visualizations like graphs, gauges, dashboards, and charts help present information in a more readable and digestible form. These visualizations help users find insights and trends quickly.
Traditional business intelligence systems can only be accessed by users with IT experience since they are comparatively more complex. However, this is not an issue with self-service platforms which democratize access. It means that users across the organization can access the tools and features and utilize them regardless of their level or position. Self-service platforms have simpler, user-friendly interfaces customized to different groups of users accessing them. If the organization has a range of users who need access to the reporting tools, it needs to look for an embedded reporting solution that offers a self-service platform. The IT department doesn't get burdened with more reporting tasks, and users feel empowered.
Organizations have users spread across the world; centralized offices are a thing of the past. The embedded reporting tool must be accessible from anywhere and on any device, with its full range of offerings, capabilities, and security.
The entire integration process must also be secure since it deals with business-critical data. The provider should offer extensive security provisions to allow an organization to control internal security with the help of user permissions and access controls. This ensures that the end-users in the organization only have access to data that they need and are allowed to view.
The Future of Embedded Reporting
Businesses everywhere are opting for embedded reporting to aid their decision-making processes. This is mainly because self-service components enable organization members to learn more about their company. With access to relevant data and interactive visualizations, teams can enhance their work quality and collaborations across the organization.
In the future, organizations can expect that composable analytics will soon be prevalent in embedded reporting. The embedded workflows will also be integrated with machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide web analytics and campaigns insights.
In this digital era, data is at the core of every business. A data-driven organization uses this information to make faster and wiser decisions. This data is often collated from many sources and then fed into reporting tools to gain insights. By embedding reporting tools within typical applications, businesses reduce costs and increase output. Embedded reporting is an essential part of any team looking to enhance its productivity and efficiency by reducing the waste of resources and time.
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