Using Portals to Deliver Self-Service Analytics Outside the Enterprise

Enterprises serve a variety of partners and external stakeholders, many of whom need answers about their data. Increasingly these users want access to their data but, for many technical and financial reasons, it can be a challenge delivering analytics to them. For organizations without an existing portal or extranet, this endeavor can seem particularly daunting.

Enterprises take different approaches to deliver analytics, all of which present challenges. They can deliver static reports to end users who will be frustrated by the wait for custom reports, and who may turn to error-prone spreadsheets for their analytics. They may try to extend their internal enterprise BI solution, or choose one that claims to have more robust and easily embedded capabilities. Another approach is building a custom solution using internal resources. Or they may choose an experienced analytics specialist to deliver analytics to partners and clients via a self-service BI portal, extranet or web application.

Challenges Extending Existing BI Solutions Externally

Existing tools and BI platforms designed for internal use may work fine within the organization, especially for a small group of technical users. The following challenges complicate providing external access to these tools.

Licensing Model – Third-party solutions with view-only and design-based licenses may meet internal use cases, but are not intended to be a part of externally facing solutions. Extending these solutions outside the organization drastically increases their cost, often adding hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional license fees and annual maintenance.

Lack of Self-Service – Many analytics solutions restrict report designers to the desktop and require a separate license for each desktop instance. Internal use tools commonly deliver static reports or ones that allow users to change filters and views and drill down into existing reports – not create and customize their own. This commits in-house personnel to create new reports and make needed customizations.

Architecture Limitations – In addition to desktop dependencies, many solutions simply aren’t designed for use as a portal or for integration into existing portals and extranets. Most solutions have “bolted-on” embedded capabilities that can require significant custom coding. These “bolt-on” solutions offer a limited number of APIs and don’t deliver an open and easily customizable front-end, driving up costs to design and maintain self-service analytics.

Data Infrastructure – The data infrastructure required by many BI vendors limits scalability. Enterprises have data stored in myriad databases and want real-time data from distinct systems. But BI tools designed for internal use can’t always access it directly. Instead, these solutions rely on ETL and proprietary data warehouses or cubes, which require additional infrastructure. They don’t offer a comprehensive set of API end points for data modeling, exporting, scheduling, managing permissions, database connection and security.

The Pitfalls of Building In-house

Given these challenges, many enterprise IT leaders go back to square one and build their own solution. However, building in-house using internal resources is expensive and time-consuming. It pulls scarce technical resources from other projects, even post launch.  Developer tool kits, charting libraries and other point solutions that help make it easier than building from scratch still require considerable time and development resources. These tools are for technical personnel and don’t deliver the intuitive self-service capabilities users expect.

Using Izenda to Deliver Self-service Analytics in a Portal

Izenda’s flexibility gives you the option to deploy as a self-service analytics portal branded as your own, launched from within your existing portal, or fully integrated with your portal.

Our platform is purpose-built to overcome the obstacles of pushing analytics out across the enterprise and to external stakeholders.

Multiple Ways to Deploy Self-Service Analytics

No matter how far along your organization’s analytics have evolved, Izenda enables you to deliver self-service analytics to internal and external end users. Several deployment choices give options that fit your organization’s current and future needs.

Izenda’s administrative UI, available in all deployment options, allows you to assign self-administration rights to different groups so they can further tailor analytics to meet their unique needs. The administrative UI also lets you connect to databases, create joins, views and stored procedures, and label database fields with business-relevant names to create an intuitive analytics experience. All of this can be done without coding, empowering a business analyst to efficiently manage all aspects of analytics, freeing technical resources to work on other projects.

example of a fully branded analytics portalexample of a portal with analytics in the form of graphs embedded on it

  1. Deploy as Your Own Portal –You can get a fully branded self-service analytics portal up and running in days. Izenda provides all elements of the analytics portal experience including designers, viewers, collaboration and administration functionality in a fully integrated user experience.
  2. Launch with Your Existing App or Portal – Deliver self-service analytics within your own portal. Izenda inherits your existing SSO authentication mechanisms so you can secure and tailor the analytics experience for each role.
  3. Integrate with Your Portal or App – Integrate analytics throughout your existing portal or application, seamlessly enriching its workflows with charts, graphs and visualizations. You can enable your end users to create, customize and share new reports and dashboards from within the portal or application they use every day.

Rebrand and Deploy in Days, Fully Integrate Over Time

Rebranding Izenda as a self-service analytics portal lets your organization move quickly to address immediate stakeholder data needs and provide metrics that highlight your product or service offering. You can then fully integrate analytics into your portal or application over time, building off of the configurations, permissions and report definitions you’ve already created.

Provide the Analytics Experience Users Want

Izenda provides self-service analytics in more than 10,000 client organizations and is in use by more than one million end users. Izenda’s platform is:

  • Fully responsive for anytime, anywhere self-service analytics
  • Reports off multiple data sources in real-time
  • Easily configured for different roles and stakeholder organizations

Licensing for Extending Analytics outside Your Organization

Izenda is licensed as an annual subscription. We offer unlimited distribution that won’t penalize your organization as you extend analytics to your external partners. It includes:

  • All platform modules
  • Unlimited cores, servers and use
  • Production and development instances at no charge

Unlock the Power of Data

Learn more about how Izenda can enrich your portal or application in a free trial or live demo.

Leave a Reply