Embedded analytics has become one of the most valuable and in-demand sectors of the business intelligence space. It seems that almost every business that wants to invest in business intelligence nowadays wants to invest in an embedded solution.
For those that don't really understand what embedded analytics is, or who have a pretty vague understanding of the topic, it might not be clear why businesses are so interested in embedding content. These businesses might invest in an embedded solution, if they learned more about it.
Other businesses might be more skeptical about embedded analytics. They know what embedded analytics is, but they're not convinced that it'll actually be of any use to them. Businesses like these would need to see some compelling arguments in favor of embedded content before they make the switch.
Regardless of the reasons, there are many businesses that still can't see the value in implementing an embedded solution. We'll go over how embedded analytics can improve a business's operations, and try to explain why everyone is so interested in them.
What is embedded analytics?
At its most basic level, embedded analytics is about placing dashboards and visualizations powered by a BI tool on external pages not owned by the BI vendor. With embedded tools, users can embed data analytics on their own websites and apps.
These embedded analytical features can range from fairly simple to extremely complex. A business might only want to embed a few simple cards on a website they own; that'd be a pretty simple implementation. Another company might want to give their clients the ability to build dashboards and visualizations, all through an internal portal. That'd be a very complicated use case.
Your BI tool will be a big limiter in what sort of embedded content you can generate. Some tools are just now taking their first steps into embedded offerings, and the sorts of things they can embed are pretty limited. Other tools are embedded-first, and they can be used to build pretty much any sort of embedded analytic.
While it may seem like a simple concept - access to BI content on pages that aren't managed by a BI vendor - embedded analytics can be used for all sorts of things across all sorts of industries. Pretty much every business can benefit from some kind of embedded content.
Embedded analytics for internal use
Many businesses use embedded analytics in a pretty basic way. They use simple embedded tools to present simple dashboards and visualizations on webpages and other online services that are external to their BI tool. But even in this extremely simple use case, embedded analytics brings tangible benefits.
Placing a dashboard on an external page may not seem revolutionary. But there are all sorts of situations where it can be an extremely powerful tool.
When employees need to access dashboards and visualizations that are stored within their BI tool, they waste a lot of time in actually navigating to their tool and entering their credentials. While it may seem like a minor annoyance, it can actually waste a lot of time if they have to do it multiple times throughout the day.
If a business embeds commonly used internal dashboards in a place where users can access them without inputting their BI credentials, they can remove this bottleneck.
Doing something like this can also streamline a business's workflows. Often, if an employee has to open a separate piece of software or do something that's out of their way to access a piece of information, they won't. By putting visualizations in places where employees will naturally see them, businesses make it more likely that their employees will actually internalize them.
Businesses can also embed metrics that are important company-wide in places where everyone can see them, like an internal landing page or in all-hands emails. This helps to align the entire company along the same lines and behind the same data.
Any sort of benefit that a business could see from using a BI tool internally, they could also see by using internal embedded analytics. The difference is, embedding lets businesses access those benefits from anywhere, without any limits on user licenses.
Embedded analytics for clients and customers
Many businesses want to implement an embedded solution so that they can streamline the process of communicating data to clients and customers. This is one of the most common embedded use cases, and one where it massively outperforms regular BI implementations.
Many businesses want to provide their customers with collected data. Without embedded analytics, though, it's difficult to do so in a way that's efficient, agile, and cost-effective.
Businesses have somewhat limited options in providing data to their clients with traditional BI solutions. They could export their client's data as reports or static visualizations, but that data will quickly become stale. They could give their clients credentials for their BI tool, but not only is that expensive to do for every client, it also means that businesses have to build in complex data governance rules to prevent clients from seeing data that they shouldn't have access to.
Embedding client data can solve both of these issues. First, embedded visualizations are dynamic, meaning that the data is never stale. Clients can be sure they're always getting up-to-date data.
Second, clients can view embedded analytics without BI credentials. Companies can do their own hosting and give out their own credentials, letting clients access company-hosted pages that have their data. With some simplified data governance rules, they can ensure that clients can only access their data.
Some companies want to go even further. Instead of just offering their clients embedded dashboards and visualizations, they can embed entire BI features like ad-hoc analytics or dashboard creation. This lets clients have more ownership over their data.
Most BI vendors also allow businesses to white-label their BI software. The company can implement that embedded solution, but it won't have any branding or mention of the original BI vendor. Businesses have many reasons for wanting to white-label their embedded solutions, but often, it's to disguise the fact that data is going to a third party.
Improved data access helps businesses to compete and makes them a more valuable proposition to their clients and customers. Embedded analytics is a powerful tool for building and maintaining client relationships and incentivizing customers to stick around.
Embedded analytics for the public
In some cases, businesses and other organizations want to make data accessible to anyone who wants it. This type of embedded analytics is probably one of the most common, but since they're so ubiquitous, they can be hard to recognize as proper embedded visualizations.
Even things like a stock ticker on a news page or a bar chart in a news article are embedded visualizations. They may not necessarily be powered by a large-scale BI solution, but they follow the same principle; using real-time data to build a dynamic visualization on an external page.
There are tons of different reasons a business might want to embed a visualization on a public-facing page, which makes it somewhat difficult to talk in a general sense about them. Still, these sorts of embedded solutions are very popular.
Often, businesses want to show off some sort of data set or inform prospective customers about some aspect of the product. Other times, businesses just want to provide information. Regardless of the reason for implementing a public-facing embedded visualization, they can be very helpful in a variety of ways.
Not everyone in the BI industry is still sold on embedded analytics. Many businesses are skeptical that the increased cost will correspond to a similar increase in value. Others look at the technical aspects of an embedded implementation and get cold feet.
However, embedded analytics are worth the hassle. They can provide businesses with all sorts of benefits, from internal dashboards that streamline workflows and drive data ingestion to client-facing dashboards that boost value to clients and make customers want to stick around.
Any business who has the budget and technical support necessary to implement an embedded solution should think very hard about doing so. Embedded analytics represent the next stage in BI, and businesses that get in early will have the advantage.
For advice on embedded solutions, as well as tips on how to select your company's BI system, contact us today. Our team of experts will connect you with the BI tool that'll work best for your business and use case.