What is Embedded BI and what it will bring

Embedded BI helps to improve data usability and decision-making. In order to accomplish this, reports, dashboards, and data visualization are integrated and placed directly within the user interface of an application. The data management and visualization are managed by a BI platform. In this series we will have a look at what Embedded BI is, how and why you should use it and how you could build a platform that delivers Embedded BI tailored to your needs:

Blog 1: What is embedded BI and what it may bring
Blog 2: A modern platform and a SCRUM Agile team to deliver Embedded BI

Virtually, all organizations have experience in developing traditional BI applications, such as dashboards and reports for employees. The development of Embedded BI applications that are used by customers and suppliers as part of the online applications they are using, is the next step to extend the reach of insights for employees, customers, and partners. Customer-facing BI applications can be used, for example, to speed up time to market, increase customer satisfaction, achieve greater reach, and can even be used to generate additional revenue streams.

These types of applications require a different development approach and the use of different technologies. In this blog series, the various building blocks are discussed such as web embedding, secure custom portal, SAAS / COTS embedding, the embedding of real-time and interactive decision points, and action-oriented dashboards. The importance of scalable cloud-based database servers such as Google BigQuery, Amazon RedShift, Snowflake, and Starburst will also be discussed.

Experiences with embedded BI in customer-facing applications I will cover:

  • Five levels of Embedded BI
  • Architecture options: serverless or not, real-time and batch, lambda and kappa
  • Democratization of insights through customer-facing BI-solutions
  • Four important blocks: the database and infrastructure, the analytics platform, software development resources, and the data product owner

What are Embedded BI and some examples


The best way to make analytics a natural part of everyday work and your product is to embed it seamlessly into business and custom-facing applications, the more sophisticated capabilities you can weave into the fabric of your application, the higher your user adoption and satisfaction will be.

Open, containerized analytics architecture makes the capabilities of analytics more composable. They can be combined in a more flexible way into applications. Data and analytics leaders should adopt the concept of composable analytics to provide consumer-focused analytics applications.

Enterprises are focussing on business consumers and the importance of making analytics exploration easier and richer, such as the shift from predesigned dashboards to new, more automated, and dynamic presentation and delivery of analytics.


The 5 levels of embedding dashboards

1. Web embedding

A static report or dashboard embedded in a public website or intranet page.



2. Secure custom portal
Embedded interactive report or dashboard in a secure portal with row-level access management integrated with the portal.

Secure Customer Portal


3. SAAS / COTS embedding
BI and analytics integrated into a SAAS/COTS (Software as a service / Commercial off the shelf) solution



4. Concise, real-time, and interactive embedding (embedded at decision points)
BI and analytics embedded at decision points. Embedded interactive reports and dashboards with actual, up-to-date, information in the environment where decisions are made.



6. Embedded analytics apps and action-oriented dashboards
Embedded self-service reporting with actual, up-to-date, information enriched with predictive analytics that enables users to find relevant answers on their own.



What it may bring to you

  1. The democratization of insights; empowering business and consumer users
    Everybody is making decisions all the time. If the information we have is of good quality, we can make better decisions. Besides, as a customer, you will appreciate the fact that you are informed of the status of the services that are being offered to you.
  2. Monetize the insights you offer (as a new business model)
    If you offer real added value with specific information to customers or partners such as suppliers you could ask for a paid subscription fee. This can be done in tiers, starting from a free tier with basic insights, to higher tiers. In the blog ‘How to generate new revenue streams with data insights for customers and partners,’ you will learn from examples, so you can make it happen.
  3. Reduce time to market
    If people have information at their fingertips, they are able to make decisions instantly. Reducing the time to market of reporting and taking actions. This velocity will give you a competitive advantage.
  4. Alerting
    Example: Inform me when an order for any of the 100,000 parts in my supply chain is not confirmed for more than an hour.
  5. Consistent user experience
    When you serve the dashboard in the application your customer or partner is working in, they don’t have to move between windows or login to other applications.

In my second blog, I will elaborate on the modern platform that is required to be able to present insights in a customer-facing application.



Crystalloids help companies improve their customer experiences and build marketing technology. Founded in 2006 in the Netherlands, Crystalloids builds crystal-clear solutions that turn customer data into information and knowledge into wisdom. As a leading Google Cloud Partner, Crystalloids combines experience in software development, data science, and marketing, making them one of a kind IT company. Using the Agile approach Crystalloids ensures that use cases show immediate value to their clients and frees their time to focus on decision making and less on programming.


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