Companies today are more data driven than ever—yet many still struggle to get the right information to the right stakeholders within the appropriate context. One way to address this challenge is to embed operational reports in your business applications.
Operational reports work directly with your data sources and present a precisely formatted, ready-to-analyze view of your organization’s operational activities. The beauty of an embedded operational reporting solution is that it seamlessly integrates with your application while providing everything you need to administer, manage, and distribute reports.
As you evaluate operational reporting solutions, keep these four architectural considerations in mind:
#1. Architecture & Design
Start by considering your current application, since the architectural foundation and design choices in place are your first set of constraints. Your main goal is to scale and deliver a seamless unified experience for your end users.
Look at the following criteria as you evaluate embedded operational reporting solutions:
- Low development efforts
- Customization and white-labeling
- National Language Support (to meet the specific language and locale needs of your end users)
#2. Data Source Connectivity
Most companies are working in a data landscape that is increasingly impacted by variety: big data, structured and unstructured data, social media and behavioral data, legacy data, and more. In this environment, database connectivity is a crucial component of your embedded operational reporting solution.
Your operational reporting solution should support these data-related capabilities:
#3. Security & Governance
From the beginning, you must design your embedded operational reports with security in mind. Given that access to data is at the heart of operational reports, they must be deployed and managed within the framework of your application’s overall security infrastructure and controls.
Look for these security capabilities in an embedded operational reporting solution:
- Flexible security controls
- Granular settings for permissions (based on individual users or a role-based security system)
- Multi-tenancy support
- Ease of integration with third-party security schemas and standards
- Support for single sign-on (allow users to use the security system they have within their application, with no additional login)
- Built-in internal security model
#4. Administrative Controls and Report Management
Top embedded operational reporting solutions offer sophisticated and flexible tools to manage and administer reports.
Some features to look for include:
- Robust administrative console
- APIs for customized reporting experiences
- Report scheduling
- Report bursting (enable distribution of a subset of results from the full report to multiple recipients across the organization)
- Report publishing preferences
- Built-in version management system (critical for organizations with specific compliance standards for reporting, such as in healthcare and finance)