The BI landscape is constantly evolving, and fast too. The shift from IT-enabled BI delivery to self-service analytics continues apace, and is now fueled by the latest major trend of embedded analytics.

“The BI environment is no longer something separate from business systems. BI and advanced analytics are now being built into core operating systems with tangible benefits,” says Adam Walker, General Manager of Keyrus South Africa.

Embedded BI is where BI is presented and used in the users’ natural workflow, within their operating systems. You don’t need to switch to a separate application to access BI.

If we talk about the main factors that contribute to the consideration of embedded BI, firstly, it offers new commercial opportunities for data monetization. Organizations collect a lot of data during normal operations. Traditionally, this data set is often viewed as a by-product of core products and services and not used as an asset. Many companies are now evaluating the data they store and looking for ways to monetize these data sets.

This may lead to new commercial opportunities, which are either enhanced data products and services or new data products and services. Companies need the right mix of technology and skills to achieve this, and embedded BI provides a unique opportunity to integrate data with operational processes.

Among the primary benefits of embedded BI solutions is improved user experience. Without embedded BI, users access BI as a separate application. Because of this, users often switch between apps and then try to align filters to create the same context in both apps. How many times have you struggled to create a BI report to look at a time period or the same product group as your operating system?

Embedded BI eliminates the need to switch between applications because they are displayed side by side and presented as a single interface. This offers a much improved user experience. In addition, the context of both applications is aligned, so the BI data displayed has the same context as the data displayed in the operating system.

Finally, there is the benefit of greater user adoption of BI tools. Embedded BI can increase user adoption in a number of ways. Users get an enhanced user experience with access to BI with a single sign-on and a single user interface – so there are no complicated logins and passwords to forget and one user interface to familiarize yourself with.

Embedded BI is presented in the context of an operational application and facilitates access to data for users. Because of the ease of use and access to data, users are more likely to engage with BI and derive value from what is presented. Embedding BI removes the mystical complexity of BI and puts data in the hands of a wider audience. With some of the client solutions we’ve delivered, users often don’t even know they’re using BI.

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