By Nicole Hitner, Exago
If you’re a SaaS provider, your end users are guaranteed to be great at three things: generating data, being curious about their data, and complaining loudly when they need reports on that data.
If up until now you’ve quelled the masses using a hodgepodge of spreadsheets, hard-coded reports, and duct tape, allow me to confirm your sneaking suspicion that this system will collapse into a fiery heap at the slightest provocation. Your IT team has better things to do than create data silos and one-off reports for curious customers. There’s a better way.
Business intelligence software is designed to make enterprise data more accessible to those who care about it most, and embedded business intelligence software integrates with the host application so that users can do their data entry and analysis all in one place. BI typically includes some combination of the following features:
- Canned reports: these are reports you build once so that your users can run them again and again
- Ad hoc reports: users build these from scratch per their own specifications
- Visualizations: charts, graphs, gauges, KPIs, maps, etc.
- Dashboards: lots of reports and visualizations all displayed at once
- Scheduling: a program that will run and/or email reports at specific times
The upfront investment in purchasing and deploying a BI solution will not only save you money in the long run, it will also improve customers’ product experience and give you a competitive edge, driving sales and generating new revenue.
But if you’re still not sure your application needs embedded BI, here are some surefire signs it does.