5 Embedded BI Questions to Ask During Software Selection

5 Embedded BI Questions to Ask During Software Selection

The following is an excerpt from Solutions Review’s Buyer’s Guide for Embedded Business Intelligence Platforms.

The process for buying a standalone tool and an embedded analytics solution are very different. Buyers should be aware that embedded BI requires analysis flexibility and ease of analysis for non-technical users. Other major factors include the processing of embedding seamlessly into the host application, lifecycle management and distribution at scale.

The solution providers in this niche are beginning to market to developers more commonly, as well as ensure that their products are more open. Openness is an attempt at enabling a wider swath of users to extend the functionality that is not included initially. Modern embedded BI products are expected to include a software developer’s kit with APIs and support for open standards. These capabilities can reside outside the application, but it’s best that they are easily accessible and do not force users to switch between systems.

To help you evaluate prospective embedded BI products, these are the five questions we recommend asking before making a choice. If you find these questions helpful, check out our Buyer’s Guide for Embedded BI Platforms, which features a comprehensive overview of the market and full, one-page profiles of the top solutions, including our ‘Bottom Line’ analysis.

1. Why do you want to invest in embedded BI?

There are two main scenarios for which an organization seeks out embedded analytics. The first is that they are looking to reduce the time and resources spent on delivering reports required by their customers. Secondly, companies sometimes look to differentiate their core product by adding analytics. Embedded BI provides a way for companies to reduce churn and increase engagement.

2. Do you build or buy?

There are two options when it comes to deploying an embedded analytics solution, as organizations can either choose to build their own in-house product or purchase one from a third-party provider. Developing a platform from scratch could take a long time and cost a pretty penny. From a development standpoint, visualization tools don’t require an extreme amount of work, but a great BI tool is about more than just looks; it has to perform.

3. Are there limits to embedding analytics into existing applications?

Embedded BI products have very few limitations and are often more powerful than standalone tools. Functionality like machine learning, natural language processing and AI can be found within the new, more modern generation of embedded platforms while these capabilities are often not part of standalone solutions.

4.What should buyers be aware of during the vendor selection process?

The buying process can be complex due to the fact that it is different than purchasing a standalone tool. Users that have only deployed a traditional BI or data analytics product are cautioned to look past colorful charts and data visualizations. Buyers need to consider the long-run far beyond the initial installation process, especially when it comes to product maintenance, making changes across instances, and providing a simple but customized experience to the end-user.

Does embedded BI help you achieve your business objectives?

There a wide variety of great embedded business intelligence solutions that focus on a specific use case or niche in the market. However, just because a specific set of capabilities works for one organization does not necessarily mean it will do so for another. The first step in the vendor selection process is to identify those providers whom offer products for your environment specifically. This ensures the best-fit and an excellent launch point for installation and deployment.

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Timothy King

Senior Editor at Solutions Review
Timothy is Solutions Review's Senior Editor. He is a recognized thought leader and influencer in enterprise BI and data analytics. Timothy has been named a top global business journalist by Richtopia. Scoop? First initial, last name at solutionsreview dot com.
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