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Embeddable Business Intelligence (BI) allows for harmonious integration of analytics and reporting functionality within a business application. This sits in contrast to standalone BI, or software that performs the same functions outside of a business application. Embedded BI eases the effort by logically presenting data within the environment of a familiar application and offers a host of possible benefits. This article focuses on four of them: ease of use, cost reduction, customization, and flexibility.
To many enterprises, embedded BI’s most significant advantage is its tendency to increase the adoption rate by being easy to use and administrate. Again, familiarity is the key. Oftentimes, standalone BI presents a complicated and costly means analyzing vital data. Embedded BI avoids the pitfall of forcing users to use a foreign interface or application to access key reports and analytics, and it is typically well-designed. In addition, administrators can often centralize security with automated role-based views and permissions.
While some enterprises may be tempted to build a BI solution from scratch, many hidden costs may not become apparent until getting deep into the development cycle. Worse, end users will need training with the new application, which will inflate the cost even more. Embeddable BI requires minimal training because its solutions integrate into existing software infrastructure. In addition, third-party vendors absorb the costs of maintenance and R&D, thus saving a business the hassle and expense of maintaining its own software.
Many third-party embedded BI solutions allow users to customize both their individual views of data and their access to functionality. These solutions are designed from the ground up to offer easy customization and make it simpler for a business to differentiate itself. No company wants a generic, cookie-cutter look for its end users, but they do not need to face the perils of in-house BI development to augment branding.
As an emerging technology, BI trends are rapidly evolving. Requirements will change; perhaps users will demand an altered dashboard or access to a new report. Most third-party solutions readily accommodate sustained adaptation, allowing companies to keep pace with their end users’ needs.
Ultimately, embedded BI solutions allow an organization to quickly and efficiently process data within a familiar and adaptable environment. Businesses most likely to benefit from these solutions include finance, corporate management, supply chain, supply operations, and processing and purchasing. While some businesses may prefer to develop, test, and maintain their own BI solutions, a third party’s product can help save on costs while boosting adoption rate, flexibility, and adaptability.
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