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The Future of Business Intelligence Is Embedded and Conversational

Business intelligence (BI) is in a constantly evolving state where best practices are highly flexible. Right now, a hot topic is embedded BI and analytics. BI software has become almost a staple in any data-centric company regardless of size. Big or small, startup or well-rooted enterprise, the idea that data is power has finally begun to stick, and having quality tools to make this happen has become a business priority.

With this new perspective, the days of simply buying a dashboard reporting software are coming to a close, and they’re being replaced with advanced, integrated reporting and analytics. In other words, the era of embedded BI has arrived.

Also called embedded analytics, embedded BI is the addition of features you’d normally see in the usual BI software like analytic tools and dashboard reporting or current applications. Businesses can achieve this via developing embedded BI in-house or by buying embedding software. Both solutions can work great, but most organizations don’t have the expertise to build embedded BI in-house. Outsourcing your software development is another option increasing in popularity.

Big Data and Big Demand for Embedded BI

A savvy software developer will starting honing his or her embedded BI development skills immediately—or at the very least, start freshening up on the management of such software. The value and power of data is becoming well-known in circles outside niches, and gathering data has become incredibly simple. The surge of big data led to organizations getting accustomed to having data at their fingertips and figuring out how important it is to actually analyze and utilize. Software that automates and organizes data collection is a given now in many companies.

The rise of big data also led to the realization that while raw data is better than no data, “crunched” data that’s been cleaned and analyzed is a lot better. Crunching is, of course, handled by BI software.

Embedding an analytics platform inside the application that’s actually collecting the data is best. It simplifies the entire process, negating the need to switch back and forth between various platforms. “Organizations require support for different delivery models such as Web delivery, report bursting, or different file formats provided in a secure method often with different user access levels,” wrote Jinfonet’s Dean Yao in a recent column.

One impressive piece of embed-friendly BI software that recently launched is Sisense’s BI Bots framework. As part of the company’s Sisense Everywhere program and mission to make business analytics simpler, especially when dealing with complex data sets, Sisense BI bots let users interact with analytics within their current messaging platform. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Skype, Facebook Messenger or Slack. Via artificial intelligence (AI), all users (techies and non-techies alike) can take advantage of two-way instant messaging about data without ever feeling like they’re learning or using a new technology.

Users don’t want to alternate between platforms and to become accustomed to a whole new user interface and framework,” Sisense’s VP of Marketing Saar Bitner explained in a recent blog post. “If they’re dealing with data that is generated or exists within a certain application, it’s much easier for them to proceed to handle that data within the same application rather than being forced to purchase, install and become familiar with an additional tool. This also shortens the time periods that pass between the data being generated and the analysis, which makes for more effective analytics.”

Embedding BI is quicker, cleaner and much more user-friendly. It’s time to say goodbye to using multiple platforms.

Embedded BI is Here to Stay

All signs point to embedded BI being anything but a trend. Data has only become more in-demand in recent years. It’s no longer a bell and whistle, or reserved only for enterprises with big budgets. Now that we’re squarely in the mobile-ready era and digital marketplaces and offices are the norm, integrated BI solutions will just continue to become widely used and available. Any data-drive business, which entails most businesses, need these solutions to make better choices.

In 2016, we officially moved into an era in North America where there are more users on mobile devices than desktops. Wearable devices are becoming more popular than ever. The data we’re collecting and expected to derive insights from has skyrocketed. Navigation apps are built on top of traffic data helping you make commutes faster. Your fitness apps are keeping an eye on your movement and pulse. How far will data take us? There’s no limit.

It’s nearly certain that there will be more and more products featuring embedded analytics, geared to both companies and individuals. Consider how embedded BI can benefit you and your business, which tools best align with your goals, and start adopting technology to make your data work a little easier.

About the Author

Sheza Gary is a technical director at Algoworks, a global IT service provider which operates chiefly in United States from its California office. She was previously a technical manager at CloudGenix. Sheza has a MBA from California State University, Northridge and a bachelor’s from Boston University.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Very interesting article, explaining the importance and role of Embedded BI and Conversational BI in the future.

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