3 Reasons Why You Should Use Embedded Business Intelligence

Andrew Chen
March 24, 2022

Embedded Business Intelligence Has Become a Core Tool to Make Better Data-Driven Decisions.

Business intelligence (BI) has been around for a while as a way to turn data into actionable insights. Embedded business intelligence makes those actionable insights more accessible by being integrated directly into employee workflows. Instead of checking a separate tool housing your dashboards, the dashboard is placed right in the application an employee uses, so they don’t have to open another tab.

Incorporating data into your employees' workspace gives them the information to make informed decisions without disturbing existing workflows.

With embedded business intelligence, you can insert a real-time dashboard seamlessly into the tools where people work. A ready-to-go embedded dashboard also saves time for your engineering team, letting them focus on the core product instead of building dashboards.

Example Embedded Dashboard created in Explo
Example Embedded Dashboard created in Explo

‎Here are 3 reasons why your company should use embedded BI:

1. Data-Driven Decisions in Real-Time

BI helps you make good decisions by giving you the right data. But what happens when you're faced with a situation where you have to make a mission-critical call in real-time? If you don’t have the right data at your fingertips, you might wing it and make an uninformed decision with a negative business impact.

For example, imagine you're a sales manager. You're trying to figure out how to leverage your team's performance to increase conversion rate. With an embedded business intelligence system, you (and your team) can see relevant information directly in your workspace without leaving the page you have open while on a sales call. There's no user coordination required (like tab searching or overlapping windows) and no additional software load time.

Without embedded business intelligence, you have to open a new window, search for the correct information in your external BI tool, and then try to make sense of it at the moment. This can add unnecessary pressure to the decision-making process. You might even find that there's a blind spot in your data: No one has had time to compile that spreadsheet or data table, and now you're at a loss for pushing that lead into conversion territory.

Embedded BI reduces the time it takes to access data to make a decision, which helps you make those urgent calls quickly. Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, you stay informed.

2. Lower-Friction Workflows

Many employees have to work with several tools a day to do their job—email, Microsoft Office, Excel, Slack, Google Drive, an inventory or sales front-end, etc. Business intelligence software, while indispensable, adds to this software-tool overhead. This puts companies in a tricky situation: force employees to adopt yet another tool or continue to make uninformed decisions.

What can you do to ensure that you're getting the most out of your business intelligence software while not letting your employees get bogged down with too many tools?

Because embedded business intelligence allows your employees to access the BI software directly from the software tools they're already using, they're not adding another interface to their software overhead. This means they can incorporate the BI software into their existing workflows and habits, which is less disruptive and more user-friendly.

3. Embedded Business Intelligence—Hedges And Solutions

Embedded business intelligence is a type of embedded analytics. Implementing embedded analytics can be done in any of 3 ways:

1. Build your own solution.

2. Buy specialized analytics products.

3. Use a business intelligence platform’s embedding capabilities.

One of the reasons many companies experience friction in their data flow is that they rely too much on their team of software developers to come up with solutions for their BI problems.

Typically this occurs when a company has a BI system in place and then has the software-development team put together an embedded analytics solution from scratch. This increases your software developers' workload, and they're almost certainly already experiencing a time crunch. Further, it puts the onus of system maintenance and downstream feature development squarely on the shoulders of your software team. Thus, the initial time investment is only the beginning of your opportunity cost sink.

A lighter solution is to purchase an analytics product that can interface with your current business intelligence system, but these are often ubiquitous "bolt-on" solutions, and they lack the specific details needed to serve your BI data to your sales team or other stakeholders. With this solution, you've solved the problem of developer time, but you've paid for that with a loss of functionality and specificity. It's a solution that doesn't suit the increasingly complex workplace, where employees need tailored in-line data at their fingertips.

Adopting an embedded business intelligence platform addresses the weaknesses of both older solutions by being well-suited to the specific needs of your company while also not draining your software development team's precious resources.

As embedded business intelligence has been developed over the recent years, embedding no-code dashboards in a matter of minutes has become one of its major advantages. Embedded business intelligence has a low bar for implementation yet very high performance, resulting in excellent business outcomes.

Implementing embedded business intelligence is a simple process:

1. Make a dashboard.

2. Embed the dashboard where needed.

3. Make changes on the BI platform, and see the changes immediately wherever the dashboard is embedded.

This process is very simple, and it doesn’t require any coding skills, which reduces the load on your entire team.

Embedded Business Intelligence Is a Lever

Implementing embedded business intelligence systems is a great opportunity to improve business processes and decision-making. When done correctly, embedded business intelligence systems can provide timely and accurate insights to key personnel, leveraging their talents and leading to better strategic planning and execution.

Embedded business intelligence is a noteworthy advancement in the implementation and use of BI. By leveraging the ability of your teams to make decisions, embedded business intelligence allows them to act advantageously in real-time.

Big data is everywhere, but it's only as good as your ability to act on it. Embedded business intelligence is a force multiplier that adds both quality and quantity to your team's decision-making.

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