BI Trends

Good-Bye Traditional BI – Long Live Embedded Analytics

By Logi Analytics
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Data is being collected at an unprecedented rate. While it’s amazing to have access to information collected from throughout the user journey, as an industry we have failed to convert this data into useful analytics that are widely available for the workforce. Currently, sophisticated analytics are only available to a limited few through complicated tools that live outside of the operations workflow. To allow for more strategic data-driven decisions to be made within the organization, all workers should be given access to powerful analytics within their current application workflow.

To jumpstart this effort, businesses should determine what data is valuable and how it can be used to implement marketing and sales efforts. Once collected, ask yourself: Which data is relevant? How can it best be presented? How will users interact with this information? These are just some of the vital concerns that can be addressed using products that help your customers complete their tasks while enjoying a slick user experience full of positive interactions with their data. To answer these questions, users turn to business intelligence (BI) tools, which collect and organize data, revealing information that helps make the most impactful business decision.

Although they are both different implementations of BI, traditional BI tools and embedded analytics offer different features to their users. Making sense of what roles each of these implementations of BI serve in business operations must be started by breaking down the strengths of each approach.  

Traditional BI – An Outdated Approach

Traditional business intelligence creates top-down models for data analysis and reporting, based on an organization’s various business systems. Although able to support large-scale deployments with upwards of thousands of users, the top-down data model requires heavily-governed data warehouses which need to be closely monitored by IT teams.

There is no denying that the BI industry is currently working through a transition. Business teams search for strategies to collect proper data and information to be used in the decision-making process. However, traditional BI continually struggles to meet this need due to inefficiency, rising costs, and failure to provide the most important data that customers require.

Problems facing traditional BI:

  • Force users to leave current workflow
  • Often too complex for actual users in day-to-day operation
  • Lack of insightful data production and overall value
  • Doesn’t deliver the expected return-on-investment due to its expensive costs
  • Rigid data modeling structures
  • Complex, full-stack solutions
  • Take months or years to implement
  • Large upfront investment

A current traditional BI customer may be unhappy with a system that largely only relies on past results and historical data to provide analysis. Meanwhile, embedded analytics were created specifically so a business user – no specialized IT expertise required – can quickly make accurate decisions based on diverse data samples.

Traditional BI tools also aren’t designed to be embedded, and their architectural design, security, and other feature sets weren’t built to be easily integrated or scalable for the future. The one-size-fits all approach doesn’t leave much room for customizable self-service functionality for the end business user.

The lack of embedded analytics means the collected data often isn’t presented in an actionable method for decision makers. In comparison, embedded analytics supports integration directly into the user workflow, improving engagement, and an overall more robust experience.

Embedded Analytics – The Modern Solution

Embedded analytics is a next-level method of using collected data in an application, capable of displaying dashboards inside of an app where they need to be. The ability to use information from dashboards, reports, and previous history within the workflow enhances the decision-making process.

A functional way to differentiate between the two: “Use the term ‘business intelligence’ if you are doing the stuff to produce a report, dashboard, or pivot table for an executive, middle manager, or analyst. And use ‘analytics’ when you move past basic BI capabilities and use information and data to help your customers become highly effective at getting a job done.”

mbedded analytics require solutions designed specifically for embedded use cases, rather than a BI tool retrofitted to try to support embedded functionality. Application data frequently collected can now be harvested and presented automatically, ensuring employees are following data workflows instead of shooting from the hip.

Unlike its aging alternative, embedded analytics removes the need for heavy IT interaction, which frustrates users unable to produce relevant reports in a timely manner. This reduction in cost means
small- and medium-size organizations will be able to spend less on upfront costs and training employees how to use the analytics platform.

Some benefits of embedded analytics:

  • Flexibility in data modeling requirements
  • Users remain in the application
  • Reduced deployment costs and short implementation cycles
  • Analytical functionality in your control

Closing Thoughts

Logi Analytics was created with agility and flexibility in mind, unlike traditional BI software, which remains complex and time-consuming to use effectively. Charles Caldwell, VP of Product Management at Logi Analytics, noted these reasons why traditional BI solutions “should face upheaval from organizations” in a featured piece at RTInsights:

  • Inefficiencies through difficult processes
  • Lack of insightful data production and overall value
  • Failed cost optimization

Traditional BI has failed many adopters, but the lure of fully-embedded analytics will rightfully continue in the future as more users become more data literate and business become more data-driven. Embedded analytics have also proven reliable for delivering advantages for software vendors. Compared to traditional BI, using Logi ensures your software team will be able to cost-effectively embed powerful dashboards into applications with our portfolio of analytics solutions, ultimately maximizing your ROI.

Originally published July 19, 2021

About the Author

Logi Analytics is the leader in embedded analytics. We help team put business intelligence at the core of their organizations and products.