Business intelligence (BI), analytics, and data visualization capabilities are becoming a key component of every organization looking to take more data-driven actions. The strategy of including a BI tool that allows for full control, visual exploration, preparation and transformation of data to allow your organization the ability to deliver their products and services in the most actionable way is highly coveted.
But companies aren’t just interested in adding a BI solution/application for to make better business decisions, they are looking to set their applications apart from their competitors with beautiful analytics to better serve their external customers. This could manifest itself in many ways; enhancing their web portals with better reporting, integrate dashboards into their on-premises and SaaS offerings, or building an entirely new data application from scratch, many companies asking for a BI and analytics solution to be embedded within their existing business applications. or to ensure it is included in the software development of new applications or products.
Embedded analytics, also known as embedded BI, by definition, is often the integration of self-service BI tools into commonly used enterprise applications. Often it is the combination of your existing application whether it is a reporting solution, cloud solution, Internet of Things solution, etc. with a BI application; interactive reporting, dashboards, visual analysis and more. When done well, all these added features will look and work just like your existing enterprise applications, helping to create an environment of increased adoption with your customers, as they are already comfortable with your product.
The latest annual survey released by Logi Analytics found that embedded analytics—the integration of analytics capabilities within business applications—continues to make headway among application developers. The survey found that 85 percent of respondents said they have embedded analytics within their applications.
The Logi Analytics survey estimates that embedded analytics now accounts for more than half the value of business applications. “It’s increasingly difficult for applications to compete without offering analytics,” the company asserts.
What Should You Look for when Thinking about Embedding Analytics?
The challenge is that unfortunately on the surface, the differences between embedded analytics solutions can be difficult to differentiate. That, added with the knowledge that many BI software vendors claim their product can be easily embedded, but actually the basic versions have very limited capabilities designed for it, make the search for an exceptional solution that much harder. What shouldn’t be difficult however, is getting information on how to select the right one. To help with your research and discussion, we’ve noted 6 key strategies that embedded analytics software should deliver in order to provide the most value within your application(s) and to your customers who will ultimately be using its functionalities.
1. Embedded Analytics Matched to User Needs and Skills
Researching and knowing who will be using your application, along with what questions they are trying to answer, is the top reasons to find the right analytics platform. By tailoring the analytics experience to each user’s skills and needs—from the business executive users to data scientists—you will increase user adoption.
“To minimize the need for training and to increase usability and adoption, look at ways to match and adapt the analytics for the user personas,” writes Gartner. “Don’t make users spend precious time adapting and learning the embedded analytics tools.”
The 2018 State of Embedded Analytics survey confirms that this practice pays dividends. Ninety-one Match the embedded analytics tool to the rest of your application
2. Easy to Integrate with your Existing Applications
A seamless user experience is crucial for analytics success. Analytics tools that are embedded are often superior to standalone analytics options, because they deliver the look and feel of the original application rather than two different products opening in a separate desktop application. Gartner advises choosing an embedded analytics tool that allows you to rebrand (or white-label) the user interface so it looks like part of your broader application.
According to Gartner, “This seamless approach means that users don’t even know they are using a multiproduct application. It allows users to take immediate action from within the application, without shifting context.”
No matter which analytics vendor, platform, or individual components you use to power the dashboards and reports in your application, your customers should always know they’re only interacting with your brand, the one they trust-not the brand of your analytics platform. The complete integration into your existing applications is important to ensure embedded tool interacts well with your application’s other features. Ensuring that users can easily add new workflows, update the database, and share findings with team members means that the they will be utilized more often as they feel more like the native features users were already comfortable with increasing efficiencies and user-adoption.
3. Scaling the Application’s Analytics is Easy!
This new embedded analytics solution must be able to scale with ease. It will need to be designed to support large scale solutions with built-in multi-tenant architecture, usage monitoring and unlimited users licensing. All this means that no matter who your customers are or how many you have, you’ll have the capacity to service them, without having to invest additional resources and money in complex maintenance processes or potential costs from the analytics software vendor.
4. Machine Learning to Make Better Decisions
According to Gartner, machine learning commonly known as augmented analytics is likely to increase the value of your embedded analytics in many areas. In a nutshell, all of these features help speed up user insights and reduce decision bias.
“Embedded machine-learning-based analytics can make your application more pervasive and make it more useful to a broader set of users,” notes the Gartner report.
Logi a top analytics tool, conducted their annual survey and it confirmed that these types of sophisticated analytics features bring big business benefits. In fact, compared to application teams that offer only basic analytics features, companies that deliver sophisticated analytics are better able to differentiate their products from competitors and reduce their customer attrition rates.
5. Superior UX for the Users
Internal and external users should have the same positive experience. The standards you abide by for your client facing applications should be the same for when you add analytics features to your products. In this new-age of “I want it now” and it better be great, the additional features that become customer facing need to be empowering. Delivering cutting-edge interactive visualizations and tailored experience to customer specific skills and needs will increase user satisfaction. Enrich your customers’ experience with fully interactive features by allowing them to view, generate, relate with, watch and share key business metrics with you. Adoption rates will be much higher when users are able to interact with the tool in a way that makes sense to them.
6. Beyond Out of the Box Functionality
Analytics should be a no-brainer when it comes to functionality. Being in control with open APIs so development is easier to predict and plan for is the way to customize the tool to suite your needs. Another top capability embedded analytics solutions must contain, is the capacity to stay in control. This means the software should give you the option to go beyond its existing functionality and deliver added benefits without adding much additional time to the development plan.
7. Your Partner’s Success is your Success
Careful planning for your analytics integration will work wonders to ensure you create the features you need to have. Seeking out a partner with an organization that goes beyond providing licenses, and focuses on enabling your success. Remember, the journey to a successful solution extends beyond the software alone and requires great support and agility from your software development partner, as the solution expectations are harder to manage being external to your organization.