Business intelligence (BI) helps turn the data companies collect and store into practical insights that users across the organization can incorporate whenever they need to make decisions.
Embedded BI brings the functionality of this software into applications and portals employees are already using, saving them the step of having to switch interfaces every time they need to access data. The ability for users to embed BI into existing workflows also reduces common barriers to collaboration like incompatible tools and competing versions of truth.
Reaping the advantages of embedded BI always starts with choosing the right software. Here are some features to keep in mind when your enterprise is looking to upgrade or augment its BI tools.
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Choose a Scalable and Accessible Platform
One of the first considerations is user access across the entire ecosystem. This means considering key questions during the comparison-shopping process like:
- How many users need to use these tools now?
- How many users need to use these tools in the near future? The more distant future?
- From where will users actually be accessing embedded BI insights?
The increasing demand for BI technology that can scale up as the company grows and allow access for users in a variety of locations explains why so many enterprises are opting for cloud-based BI solutions — or at least systems that merge on-premises systems with cloud components for greater flexibility.
All things considered, scalability is a very important quality for BI because it can drive and support user adoption of self-service search tools and insights embedded into workflows, even as the company expands over time.
Ensure One Consistent Version of the Truth
Embedded BI allows all users with permission to access analytics tools, charts and custom dashboards within shared apps, which is generally a huge advantage — provided everyone can trust the insights they’re working with are consistent across the company, regardless of which team is sharing them or which application they’re embedded into.
The best BI tools create one single version of the truth, so users know they’re all working with universally agreed-upon information as they analyze data and collaborate on their findings.
When a single version of truth is not facilitated by an embedded BI system, it can cause major problems — like different teams receiving different answers to questions, meaning their subsequent decisions inevitably end up being based off inconsistent data insights. A lot of time, effort and trust can also be lost in translation if the BI system isn’t always returning the correct and trusted insight.
Look for Advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) Data Mining
So far, we’ve discussed the power of embeddable search analytics tools, charts and dashboards. Another feature of cutting-edge embedded BI today is AI data mining — in which algorithms automatically sift through data for notable patterns. Using machine learning, these algorithms keep homing in on which insights are most relevant.
Where does the advantage of embeddable analytics come in? These advanced AI-driven data mining tools can actually push those discovered insights directly into business apps so they catch the attention of users without requiring them to constantly visit a separate interface. This helps decrease the chances that potentially impactful insights will go unseen or overlooked, as they end up embedded directly into convenient and familiar applications.
When enterprises are going through the process of picking out the best embedded BI software for their present and future needs, some of the leading factors to consider include scalability, accessibility, consistency of insights and AI data mining integration. While this list is not completely exhaustive, these categories represent some of the most important features of embedded BI available on the market today.