March 30, 2014

Embedded Business Intelligence

Embedded Business Intelligence

Embedded BI is the integration of reports, dashboards, and analytic views inside an application. The information is typically displayed and managed by a BI platform and is placed directly within the application user interface to improve the context and usability of the data. Use of an embedded BI platform delivers state-of-the-art reporting and analytics without the time and expense of having to build it.
BI is embedded into operational world and help to make better decisions in real time which is relevant, timely and actionable. 

  1. Real Time BI - Embedded BI acts on real time data, not time delayed data stored in a separate warehouse or OLAP cube. A key factor in this is the source of the data - it comes from the application (or uses the same source as the application), not a data warehouse or data mart.
  2. Seamless Integration – Users do not want to switch applications between undertaking operational and reporting activities.  Integrated security and look and feel assist create a seamless integration between the host application and reporting.
  3. End User Centric – Embedded BI is much more end-user focused than traditional BI. With embedded BI you cannot assume that your users has knowledge of both the BI application and the data set being analysed.  Embedded BI needs to be significantly easier to use without training.
Benefits of Embedded BI:
Eckerson intimated that because users of standalone BI solutions are required to exit operational applications in order to access relevant reports, then subsequently re-enter the operational application to take appropriate action based on the intelligence garnered from the BI tool, their productivity is reduced. 

Eckerson said reduced productivity was a result of two key factors:
·         Having to exit, enter and re-enter different applications breaks user “train of thought”; and
·         Having to view analytical information via a separate BI application means the data is not viewed in its optimal context.

. These benefits included:
·         Higher perception of BI ease-of-use
·         Higher perception of information relevancy
·         Higher perception of reporting and analytics accessibility


·         Boost BI user adoption: Embedding BI functionality into an existing software application enables users to access and interact with those analytical features within a framework that they are already accustomed to, thereby increasing ease-of-use and lowering resistance to adoption. Not only does replicating the look and feel of the core application reduce barriers to adoption, embedding BI into an existing operations-specific application also ensures the relevancy of the analytics produced for the user base.
·         Boost BI effectiveness: Embedded BI can directly link reporting and analytics capabilities to operational processes to help improve the immediacy and relevancy with which users attain data-based insights, hence assisting to directly link insight to action.
·         Support pervasive BI: Embedded BI enables more pervasive use of reporting and analytics – and facilitates and underpins the development of an organizational culture based on fact-based decision-making – because BI insights are delivered via the applications and processes that users already utilize on a regular basis to perform their job. Therefore, embedding analytical capabilities into existing applications and processes is an effective way to deliver BI to a wide range of business departments without having to purchase a standalone BI platform to meet the requirements of each user group.
·         Build a bridge between information and action: By combining analytical and operational functions, embedded BI empowers users with the context they need to understand the relationships between operational processes and business data, enabling them to react faster to emergent internal and external business threats or opportunities.
·         Boost organizational effectiveness and efficiency by facilitating process automation: Embedded BI, directly linked to operational applications, can trigger automated actions and / or alerts that improve or address function-specific business processes (based on pre-determined benchmarks) in drastically reduced timeframes.
·         Enhance the salability and value of your core applications: And, if you’re a software vendor, adding an analytics module to your core application(s) can significantly increased the salability and value or your product(s).

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