What You Need to Know About the Current State of Embedded Business Intelligence

by | Feb 17, 2022 | General BI

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Embedded business intelligence (BI), or the integration of business intelligence within other tools and applications, allows employees to interact with their data and dashboards without disrupting their workflow. Nowadays, many modern software products have some degree of embedded BI in order to streamline how employees utilize their data within their various responsibilities.

In its recent 2021 Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, Dresner Advisory Services examines some of the biggest trends in BI and how organizations are leveraging the power of business intelligence in their operations. In order to align themselves with current best practices and identify potential opportunities, organizations need to stay informed on the realities of the market and measure themselves against leading industry trends.

Top users

Unsurprisingly, not all industries place the same level of value on embedded BI. According to the 2021 Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, embedded BI adoption is most popular among respondents in the technology industry at 72%, followed by government at 57%, and healthcare at 54%. Following these sectors, the highest users of embedded BI are the manufacturing and consumer services industries at 44% and 42%, respectively.

Within individual organizations, the sentiment towards embedded BI varies between functions, indicating that different departments and users may need a more tailored approach in order to best fulfill their responsibilities. According to the 2021 Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, embedded BI is most popular within executive management at 60% of respondents and R&D at 58%. Additionally, respondents in executive management expect 96% adoption within the next 12 months. Among all other functions, only the business intelligence competency center reports 40 percent or greater current adoption in 2021 at 48%.

Most important features

Success with embedded BI mostly comes down to having access to the right tools that both optimize your workflow and reduce the amount of time and energy spent transitioning between multiple applications. With this in mind, not all features are equal. In the 2021 Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, Dresner Advisory Services identifies which features provided the most value for the organizations that utilized them.

According to the study, the ability to interact with objects (such as navigation, filter, drill, etc.) was the most valuable interface integration feature of 2021, followed closely by access to HTML/iframe. Although not as critical as the aforementioned features, the ability to browse/select from a catalog of objects, access JavaScript API, refresh objects, and utilize workflow support were also highly coveted.

In terms of analytical and user features, the study found that data visualization support was by far the top component of 2021, being rated “critical” or “very important” by more than 80% of respondents. The ability to save and publish BI/analytical objects and modify/create BI/analytical objects were also considered highly valuable, being rated as “critical” or “very important” by around 60% of respondents.

Internal objectives take priority

Interestingly, organizations place more emphasis on employee-facing objectives than external. According to the 2021 Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, self-service capabilities, broadening internal user access, and enhancing existing reports/analyses were the three largest priorities of 2021, rated as “Critical” or “Very Important” by around 70% of respondents. Furthermore, these results are consistent across both geographies (other countries) and industries.

External objectives like cost control, external user access, and especially monetization all ranked as “Critical” or “Very important” in less than 40% of respondents, indicating a possible preference for maximizing ROI through internal optimization as opposed to generating revenue.

Most targeted applications

BI features don’t accomplish much if they’re not embedded within the right applications to maximize their utility and ROI. Focusing an organization’s time and resources on the wrong objectives can be a serious waste for both users and vendors alike.

Generally speaking, applications that experience frequent use and facilitate data-related functions are going to make the greatest targets for embedded BI. According to the 2021 Embedded Business Intelligence Market Study, Dresner Advisory Services found that internally developed applications, financial management applications, web portals, and ERP applications were the primary targets for embedded BI, rated as “important” by 70% or more of respondents.

Unsurprisingly, however, targeted applications for embedded BI varies for each industry based on their own specific needs and objectives. For example, the study found that marketing automation and supply chain management/procurement were the primary targets for wholesale and retail, while technology organizations prioritized internally developed applications. Likewise, financial management applications are most popular in the finance industry, while consumer services prioritize salesforce management applications.

Learn more

If organizations are to maximize their ROI, they must stay informed on the realities of the market and align themselves with current best practices. To learn more about how your organization can make the most of current trends in BI, check out our white paper—“5 Analytics Trends and How Dimensional Insight Is Helping Customers Respond to Them.”

Trevor Branch

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