Embedded BI (business intelligence) is the integration of self-service BI tools into commonly used business applications. BI tools support an enhanced user experience with visualization, real-time analytics and interactive reporting. A dashboard may be provided within the application to display relevant data, or various charts, graphs and reports may be generated for immediate review. Some forms of embedded BI extend functionality to mobile devices to ensure a distributed workforce can have access to identical business intelligence for collaborative efforts in real time.
Unlike traditional reporting software that works with a narrowly defined set of variables from a single data source, embedded BI is expected to allow significant customization that lets end users author reports that combine data from multiple data streams to fit their precise needs. Ideally, business users can make business intelligence a part of their decision-making process as they carry out assigned work activities. At a more advanced level, embedded BI can become part of workflow automation, so that certain actions are triggered automatically based on parameters set by the end user or other decision makers. Despite the name, embedded BI typically is deployed alongside the enterprise application rather than being hosted within it. Both Web-based and cloud-based BI are available for use with a wide variety of business applications.