9 Questions to Ask Your Reporting Vendor When Embedding a BI Reporting Platform

izenda supports a variety of on premise and cloud databasesThe explosion of structured and unstructured data began long before IoT made an appearance. This increase in the volume of data stored in relational database management systems, as well as NoSQL databases, has made access to it increasingly important.  Users expect the ability to create
self-service reports
on a web-based, device-independent platform.  Selecting an Embedded Reporting tool is a decision that will have consequences for years to come.  Because the reporting components will be so deeply embedded in your systems, it’s critical to pick the right one.  Here are 9 questions to ask when selecting an embedded reporting platform.

9 Questions to Ask BI Vendors

1. Is your platform web-based? Does any functionality require a desktop environment?
Many BI solutions are web-based only for report consumption, requiring a desktop tool for report creation. The solution you choose should be fully web-based and responsive, allowing for creation, customization and consumption of analytics on any device.

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2. How long will it take to integrate?

Many BI solutions are web-based only for report consumption, requiring a desktop tool for report creation. The solution you choose should be fully web-based and responsive, allowing for creation, customization and consumption of analytics on any device.

3. Does your solution require me to purchase any proprietary technology?

Many reporting platforms require additional technologies, like separate reporting servers. These add additional costs and time to your project.

4. What other costs are associated with an integration?

Does the solution require a team of consultants to deploy? How does the vendor assist with implementation? Has the solution been deployed successfully without professional services? Is training or support included with the product, or will that become your responsibility?

5. Will your solution seamlessly integrate with my application?

Your application should offer your customers a consistent user experience. Can the BI solution be white-labeled inside your application, or will it display different styling, watermarks or logos that dilute your brand? Can you seamlessly integrate the solution into the workflow of your application, or will users have to navigate an unfamiliar interface to customize or create reports.

6. Does it offer self-service reporting for non-technical users?

Self-service functionality is critical to modern reporting platforms. Important self-service features include an intuitive UI, a semantic layer to display database fields in business-friendly terms, and user role-based customizations and security.

7. How will the solution scale with my application?

A per-seat or per-core licensing model increases costs as your application adds new customers, reducing your ROI. Ask about pricing for multi-tenant deployments, and about the costs of add-on products as you grow your application’s user base.

8. How easy is the learning curve for a non-technical user?  

Ease-of-use is crucial for modern reporting platforms. For some, this will involve drilling down from summary to detail data to pinpoint a problem in a Dashboard.  Others will make many small variations to existing core reports. Still others will prefer to design reports from scratch. Data needs to be consistently presented in a logical way that simplifies the process of report building.  It is important to set up the data model in advance with an interface that is customizable to the particular needs of each user.

9. What percentage of the vendor’s revenue comes from embedded BI?

A BI vendor with minimal investment in embedded BI may not be as committed to your success as one that focuses on the needs of organizations developing software. Confirm that their product roadmap and licensing model are consistent with your organization’s needs, both during integration and throughout the life of your application.

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