Chapter 1. Embedding Analytics in Modern Applications


In our age of “there’s an app for that,” we’re used to having information at our fingertips. On any given day, people use more than 20 software applications (cloud, enterprise, or desktop)1 and have approximately 26 mobile applications installed on their smartphones.2 More and more employees (not just data analysts or C-level execs) are expected to make data-driven decisions, yet only 20–25% of workers have access to business intelligence (BI) products.3,4 But when asked, your end users don’t want to use a “BI tool”—another interface to learn, another login—they want easily accessible answers. Instead of offering a standalone dashboard, the new trend is to embed analytics into applications that are already used every day.

As a software developer or product manager, you know that streamlined interfaces lead to wider adoption and increased product value. When it comes to embedded analytics, it’s easy to see the advantages of providing more intuitive insights (the “why”), but much harder to plan the “how.” This book provides a guide to delivering analytics within your native application to your end users.

We’ll review various embedding methods and describe how to select the right method for your desired interface, including when to custom-build and when to purchase a BI solution. If you choose a third-party analytics product, embedded tools present additional challenges for modern applications. For example, how do you ...

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