Everyone wants information and insights as part of their decision making processes. This demand for insights, and the use cases it is fueling, is one of the most important data and analytics trends.
Too often, however, getting these insights requires users to learn complex technical tools. This is compounded when users must leave their existing tools and workflows to find insights in a traditional business analytics system.
With embedded reporting, however, users can access analytics and insights directly where they already work. Embedded reporting offers an effective, reliable way to access data-driven insights that can help inform and shape decisions, and is part of a broader embedded analytics strategy. Instead of waiting for recurring reports from disparate teams and applications or manually retrieving data each time a report is needed, embedded reporting automates the process. That means you get timely information and easy access to actionable insights directly within your day-to-day applications — all while enhancing visibility into business performance.
In this post, we'll discuss what exactly embedded reporting is, explore the core benefits it provides companies of any size or industry, look at some best practices for getting started with embedding reports in your organization's system, and provide a few real-world examples from successful organizations who have implemented embedded analytics solutions.
What is embedded reporting?
Embedded reporting is a form of business intelligence that enables users to get insights right within their existing applications—also known as embedded BI. With embedded reporting, organizations can quickly and easily visualize complex data sets, explore insights, and facilitate decisions within their host applications in the tools they are already using to drive various workflows and processes. This allows for better data-driven decision making, faster problem-solving, and more informed stakeholders, all without asking business users to adjust their current working norms. Embedded reporting is especially useful for businesses that need to monitor live changes or analyze real-time customer trends.
Top 5 benefits of embedded reporting
Embedded reporting comes with a host of benefits that can help your organization become more efficient and successful. The most effective tools scale these benefits by delivering an intuitive, self-service experience that lets all kinds of users reap the benefits of embedded reporting through natural language.
In doing so, organizations can create an environment where embedded reporting is implemented quickly, accurately, and cost-effectively, improving customer satisfaction and increasing revenue in the process.
Some of the most important benefits of embedded reporting include:
1. Cost Savings
Embedded reporting can help businesses save money by eliminating the need to build their own reporting and analytics engine. This enables them to focus their R&D budgets on their core products and offerings, while still having access to innovative, cutting edge tools like AI-Powered Analytics. Additionally, embedded reporting delivered via SaaS often requires fewer IT resources than traditional solutions since new feature requests, product and integration support, and server maintenance are provided by the embedded analytics vendor.
No two organizations are the same, nor should their embedded reporting. Organizations can easily customize embedded reporting solutions to fit specific needs of their users, whether internal or external stakeholders. This should include easily changing design and branding elements, so businesses can design liveboards, reports and data visualizations that are tailored to their current business operations and have the same look and feel as the rest of an application or product. In fact, 80% of product managers surveyed cited customization as a top need for successful embedded reporting initiatives.
3. Better user engagement
With embedded reporting, business users can interact with data in real time and explore insights in context from any device or platform. In particular, embedding interactive, intuitive reporting experiences drives user engagement and adoption, critical KPIs for any product manager or builder.
4. Improved insights
Embedded reporting solutions enable businesses to gain deeper insights faster, which as research shows, drives long term business outcomes such as better customer satisfaction, higher employee engagement, and increased revenue. By integrating different data sources into one liveboard, users can quickly gain a holistic view of their business operations across data sources and systems — in a single pane of glass.
Embedded reporting solutions are designed to scale with businesses as they grow. Essential to this is having a solution that can both take advantage of your cloud data platform and scale alongside it as your data grows, while also allowing users to find their own insights without having to rely on data professionals for every question, so you can keep costs down as adoption grows. In doing so, organizations can easily adjust their embedded reporting solution to fit additional data needs or user groups, without having to purchase expensive upgrades or hire massive teams to support these users.
Best practices for embedded reporting
Step 1: Plan for data integration and quality
Companies should make sure that their embedded reporting solution can integrate data from different sources in a secure manner, whether you’re using an ELT or ETL tool. Furthermore, it is important for organizations to ensure data reliability through regular audits that check for discrepancies or errors and make sure data quality metrics.
Step 2: Establish clear reporting requirements
Businesses need to be clear on the specific business challenge they are addressing, the types of insights and reports they need to solve these challenges, and the best way to visually communicate this information, such as a bar graph or histogram. This will help ensure that their embedded reporting solutions are properly configured to meet their specific needs.
Step 3: Ensure data security and compliance
As you’re expanding the aperture for access to data, you can’t sacrifice control or security. Organizations should make sure that their embedded reporting solution follows industry regulations and best practices for data privacy, security, and compliance. This will help protect their data from potential breaches or misuse.
Step 4: Provide appropriate training and support for users
Companies should provide adequate training and support to ensure that their stakeholders understand how to access, use, and interpret the data in their embedded reporting solution. The good news is, by leveraging tools from across the modern data stack, training should be easier than ever because these tools deliver more intuitive interfaces, like search powered by GPT, that users already know how to use.
Step 5: Establish performance metrics and measure success
The entire point of embedding reporting, like all data analytics initiatives, is to move the needle on a business outcome. Organizations should track key performance metrics to measure the success of their embedded reporting solution. This will help them identify areas where improvements can be made and better understand the impact it is having on their business as a whole. For example, professionals working in data analytics would monitor data KPIs, while those in product management would track product KPIs.
By following these best practices, businesses can ensure that they are getting the most out of their embedded reporting solutions and achieving key objectives.
Real world-examples of embedded reporting in action
Loan Market Group
Loan Market Group, a leading mortgage broker in Australia, leveraged embedded reporting to enable better decision-making. They integrated their data into intuitive liveboards that allowed both executives and brokers to view performance metrics, quickly identify trends, and answer their own data questions in real-time. This enabled the company to optimize operations, improve customer service, and increase user engagement.
Harri, a hospitality staffing platform, used embedded reporting to streamline its workflow processes. They created custom liveboards for different user groups and enabled managers to track performance metrics such as franchise location sales, staffing schedules, and employee lifecycles across different teams in real-time. This allowed them to make quick adjustments to ensure business objectives were being met.
MDaudit, a healthcare analytics provider, implemented embedded reporting on its mobile app to enable users to access insights anytime, anywhere. This enabled stakeholders to measure their teams’ productivity, as well as performance measures and outcomes around compliance and revenue risk.
Delight your users with a better experience
Embedded reporting is an important step to uncover the true power of the data within your organization, while making your applications and products as useful (and valuable) to users as possible.
When properly implemented and used, embedded analytics can help organizations drive more profound data-driven decisions, resulting in better products and market positioning. The most successful companies have embraced best practices when it comes to embedding reports into their systems such as customizing visualizations and providing self-service experiences for users. As organizations consider taking the plunge into embedded reporting, they should ensure that there is a well-thought-out plan which includes clear goals, suitable technology, and team resources that will be dedicated to its implementation.
To discover how you bring business intelligence right into your existing applications, why not sign up for a ThoughtSpot Everywhere demo today? Doing so could get you one step closer to making better decisions with real-time insights across your business landscape.