Choosing an embedded analytics vendor is a difficult task – there are many solutions on the market ranging in usefulness, capabilities, pricing, and more. So, how do you narrow your search?
We have gathered the top 10 things to look for when choosing an embedded analytics solution, so that you can more clearly differentiate vendors and make the right investment decision for your business.
1. Purpose-built solution
The process of integrating any embedded BI solution into your existing application is the first thing to consider. When a solution hasn’t been purpose-built to be embedded, that only adds additional complexity to your back-end proprietary system and requires additional complicated integration processes. Not to mention the time needed to be completed and the resources from your developers. To avoid that, look for an embedded BI solution that was built from the ground up with the idea and the purpose of being embedded. To find our if it was, you can ask the vendor the following questions:
- Was the embedded experience an afterthought, or was the solution designed for embeddability from the ground up?
- Does the embedded user get the full app experience?
- Can the user go beyond simply viewing dashboards, and be able to edit existing dashboards and add new ones as well?
- Do you see limitations in the embedded product when compared with the SaaS or desktop offerings?
2. Self-service analytics
One of the most important features that you need to look for in any embedded BI solution is the self-service capability, or in other words, the ability of end users to analyze large amounts of business data and build dashboards and reports independently. The aim of self-service analytics is to be used by people that don’t have the technical knowledge nor the experience to work with data, so that anyone can get the insights they need instead of relying on BI or IT experts.
3. Supported data sources
A good embedded BI solution will support a wide range of data sources so that you can connect to all your data regardless of where it is stored – on-premises databases, CRMs, spreadsheets, or elsewhere. That way, you can bring all your data in one view for a more comprehensive analysis and will allow your users to get a better picture of performance. When your users have the full information in front of your eyes, they can start making smarter and more confident decisions.
4. Cloud-based solution
With the wide adoption of remote working in the last two years, it is no surprise that cloud-based BI is one of the hottest trends in the embedded analytics space. Cloud-based embedded BI solutions make it possible to access data and analytics applications anywhere, anytime, and from any device, so that businesses can view and act on data in real-time. Make sure to look for an embedded BI solution that supports a cloud-based deployment and offers native SDKs that utilize the specific features of each platform.
5. Wide range of data visualizations
The more visualizations there are available to users to choose from, the better. Data visualization is one of the primary and most important data analytics tools as it makes it easier for users to understand data, extract actionable insights from it, and make better decisions based on the facts that are displayed. But simple charts and graphs are no longer enough. Depending on whether you want to compare variables, display distribution or trends, a different data visualization type will be optimal – hence the importance of looking for a vendor that offers a rich library of data visualizations.
6. Customization options
When we talk about customization options in the BI space, we talk about the so called white-label capability that allows you to customize all UX elements to match those of your own application and brand perfectly. If you don’t customize the embedded solution to fit your brand it will feel as if it doesn’t belong, your customers will get distracted and confused, and your user experience will drop significantly.
7. Low-code/no-code development tools
Low-code/no-code tools and technologies help organizations build BI applications with minimal hand-coding by providing a suite of features and capabilities that help design and development teams build BI apps faster than ever before. Creating custom applications by writing custom code can be extremely time-consuming and expensive. With modern low-code/no-code BI solutions, you can build end-to-end applications within a few hours without writing any code and can immediately start seeing an increased ROI.
8. Advanced analytics functionalities
Under the umbrella of advanced analytics functionalities are different data analytics techniques that typically go beyond those of traditional BI and allow users to dive deeper into data in order to spot patterns, trends, anomalies, and such that otherwise would have been missed. Some advanced analytics functionalities to look for include machine learning and AI, drill-down, statistical functions, data mining, neural networks, and augmented analytics.
9. Effective governance
Data governance is all about the processes of managing the availability, usability, integrity, and security of organization’s data based on internal data standards and policies. And, of course, that is of the utmost importance because no organization wants its data to be under threat. Another reason why all organizations need effective governance is because it provides flexibility and scalability, and is highly responsive to high-impact strategic business challenges and always-changing marketing dynamics.
Pricing is one of the main things to consider when choosing an embedded BI solution to invest in. In the analytics space, you’ll find that most vendors keep their pricing a secret and charge you unpredictable costs like usage and users to maximize their own profits.
That is why the best thing to do is to go with a vendor that has a 100% transparent pricing model that won’t escalate as your app sales increase. Or in other words, get fixed pricing that won’t come with any surprises, hidden fees, usage, or user tiers.
We hope that our list of things to look for when choosing an embedded BI solution to invest in will help you find the perfect match for your unique business needs and requirements. The choice might be difficult and might take a while, but we guarantee that in the end, the right choice will be worth it.