Sometimes, impactful business decisions need to happen at a moment’s notice. Throughout the work day, your employees are presented with tons of opportunities to drive results and expand revenue. However, without the right tools, a slow decision-making process can leave teams frozen and asking for input when an opportunity shows up.
We all know data analytics and reporting tools are synonymous to business success in 2021. But, are you thinking about how your teams are actually using these tools? If employees have to toggle back and forth between screens to gather data, you’re probably missing out on lots of small, no-brainer decisions that could have a big impact on your bottom line.
Embedded analytics are a must for data-driven organizations. But what is embedded analytics, and how can you use it to empower your teams to make smart business decisions?
Here’s everything you need to know about embedded analytics.
What is embedded analytics?
The actionable insights that business intelligence (BI) and analytics tools provide are essential for aligning day-to-day business activities with your company’s overarching goals. You’ve likely noticed that your reports garner a ton of valuable insights, but if you’re only looking at those insights when a new report comes out, you may not be poised to take the actions you need to get results.
Embedded analytics tools integrate data visualization into the critical business applications your team uses every day, like your customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. With embedded analytics software, your team can see relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) within tools across your tech stack without interrupting their workflow.
Not only do embedded analytics provide a more streamlined user experience; they also increase productivity. A 2018 report from Pegasystems, Inc found that on average, workers shift between programs approximately 1,100 times every day, leading to more errors and less focused time. When your workers aren’t constantly toggling between different tools, they can focus on completing the task at hand.
Plus, embedding analytics arms users with all the information they need to make decisions at a moment’s notice based on data-driven insights. A simplified workflow leads to more value-based work getting done in less time and with fewer mistakes, which can have a substantial impact on revenue.
One of the best parts of embedded BI analytics is that integrations only present the information users immediately need. Rather than sifting through dashboards and generating reports, integrated predictive analytics pulls the relevant data necessary for that team or task.
While a traditional, standalone BI platform like Microsoft Power BI or SAP BusinessObjects can offer data integration and self-service capability, they aren’t always as seamless as dedicated embedded analytics tools like Exago or Yellowfin. Popular tools like Tableau and Sisense offer strong embedded analytics capabilities, too.
Impactful use cases for embedded analytics
Incorporating embedded analytics into your business processes can seem daunting at first. After all, with so much data, there are so many options to present and integrate your data into daily workflows. There are tons of use cases where embedded analytics in business processes make a huge difference for productivity.
One powerful example is embedding analytics within an ERP system to manage supply chains and logistics. Seeing real-time production numbers, delivery data, and order information directly in your ERP software presents new opportunities to streamline operations and make critical logistical decisions when it counts. A 2019 study by embedded analytics tool Reveal discovered that 29% of companies incorporate embedded analytics into their ERP system.
Another area where embedded analytics have a powerful impact is within HR teams and Human Capital Management (HCM) systems. Many HR teams still use manual processes to manage recruiting and training needs. With an embedded business intelligence solution, HR can make faster decisions that result in better hires, promotions, and skill-building opportunities. Plus, advanced analytics can even present new opportunities for HR leaders to measure KPIs with company objectives and key results (OKRs).
Embedded analytics can present new ways to surprise and delight your customers, too. Building data visualization into apps or websites engages your customers and presents relevant insights in an interesting way. For example, presenting financial data through real-time charts or an interactive dashboard in a customer’s banking app can reduce customer service calls and help end-users generate actionable insights about their spending habits or savings opportunities.
Seamless integrations make embedded BI available for almost any business application your team needs.
Important features to look for in embedded analytics platforms
Unlike traditional BI software, embedded analytics are more likely to be accessed and referenced by non-technical users, or employees without an IT background. One of the biggest differences between embedded analytics vs. business intelligence is that many BI tools focus on reporting capabilities, while embedded analytics are intended to be used on the fly during daily work.
So, what qualities does your embedded analytics solution need to support your teams? Here are a few key features to look for in your embedded BI software.
The best embedded analytics software offers different integration methods to work with your existing business tools. However, depending on the tool, you may need additional IT support to have your data seamlessly fed into your CRM or HCM, especially if you have in-house legacy tools.
Make sure the tool you choose has the integration capabilities you need to work with your full tech stack. While some tools offer low-code or no-code integrations, other solutions may require more IT resources to integrate with your current systems.
Even if a tool can be integrated, it may not simplify the process if the user experience is too clunky. The right embedded analytics don’t just gather data; they’re also easy to understand with good UI and powerful data visualization.
Blending data from multiple sources
A major benefit of BI software is the ability to analyze data from multiple sources. However, not every tool has the capacity for strong data discovery, blending, and modeling within different applications.
Excellent data modeling can make a big difference in how quickly your team can gain meaningful insights with embedded analytics. Tools like Sisense excel at blending big data and producing meaningful models all users can understand.
Usability across teams
Often, we talk about whether a software is technically scalable, but we overlook whether new users will actually be capable of integrating and using new software in their daily work. Usability plays a huge factor in adoption, so it’s an important facet to consider when choosing an embedded analytics platform.
Even with the most user-friendly systems, employees will still need to query data to find the insights they’re looking for. Some embedded analytics tools allow users to more effectively query data with natural language processing (NLP) and a conversational interface so it’s easier than ever for users to find the information they’re seeking. Tools like ThoughtSpot, Tableau, and Qlik offer these capabilities to make their tools more user-friendly.
Automation offers huge usability wins, too. A major benefit of integrating analytics is simplifying workflows, and many embedded analytics solutions offer powerful automation tools to make workflows even more efficient. These features make users across the business more likely to adopt and use the solution to make better business decisions.
Benefits of embedded analytics for businesses
An embedded analytics application goes above and beyond a traditional BI tool to improve productivity, workflow management, and data-driven decision making.
While reporting and real-time data within a traditional BI tool empower businesses to visualize big data in new ways, embedded analytics go a step further to provide that information at the exact moment a decision needs to be made.
Many businesses with traditional BI tools are making big decisions with data, but embedded analytics empowers teams to embrace a data-driven culture by making the small everyday decisions with data, too. This gives companies a substantial edge over competitors who haven’t integrated their data.
Plus, automation and workflow optimization can have a major impact on revenue, too. A 2019 study by the Business Application Research Center (BARC) (requires login) found that 69% of respondents were able to use embedded analytics to find new revenue sources. Ultimately, as business leaders depend more and more on big data, having data embedded into their tech stack becomes an important differentiator for their company.
Choosing the right embedded analytics solution for your needs
While having embedded analytics can make day-to-day work substantially easier and more impactful, choosing the right solution isn’t always easy. Before you choose a new tool, consider your tech stack and what type of tools could benefit from embedded analytics. From there, use this helpful guide to find a solution that meets your enterprise’s unique needs.
Not sure where to start? Give us a call today to find the perfect embedded analytics software match for your organization.