Cloud technology is becoming ever-more prevalent as business users turn more frequently to working with mobile devices on the go. The cloud enables users to access vast amounts of data without literally having to carry it around with them, instead accessing data from the cloud when it is needed. For developers, there are opportunities to be found here. Karl Van den Bergh, vice president for products and customer success at Tibco Jaspersoft, discusses how the new generation of embedded business intelligence (BI) is affecting developers.
We live in a world that requires us to compete on our differential use of time and information, yet only a fraction of information workers today have access to the analytical capabilities they need to make better decisions.
Now, with the advent of a new generation of embedded BI platforms, cloud developers are disrupting the world of analytics. They are using these new BI platforms to inject more ‘intelligence’ into the applications business people use every day. For example, Kony, an enterprise mobility company, is using BI embedded in its application to enable its customers to monitor, report, and analyse the deployment of mobile applications. As a result, data-driven decision making is finally on track to become the rule, not the exception.
Moving on from traditional BI
Traditionally BI has only been available in a standalone manner. This doesn’t allow for data to be analysed and presented in real time to users inside the applications they actually use every day and therefore becomes less valuable to them. But traditional BI platforms have not been designed to be embedded; they are simply too costly and complex.
Given the cost and complexity of traditional standalone BI offerings, it is no surprise that developers often turn to charting libraries to deliver the visualisations within their application. The cost is low and they are relatively simple for a developer to embed.
In the short term, a charting library is a reasonable solution, but over time it falls flat. As demands for more charts, dashboards and reports quickly grow, end users begin looking for the ability to self-serve and create their own visualisations. As a result of these mounting demands, many application developers find themselves essentially building a BI tool from scratch, taking them outside their core competency and stealing precious time away from advancing their own applications.
New generation is embedded
To address the challenge of cost, the new generation of embedded analytics platforms employs a utility-based licensing model where the software is available on a per-core, per-hour or per-gigabyte basis. From a developer’s perspective, this is a much fairer model, as one only pays for what is used. At the beginning of the application lifecycle when usage is sporadic, developers can limit their costs. As the application becomes successful and use grows, usage can be easily scaled up.
The complexity of deployment is removed as this generation is available as a cloud service from providers such as AWS, Pivotal Cloud Foundry or Red Hat OpenShift. The self-service nature of these new BI tools makes it a lot simpler for developers to create interactive visualisations, dashboards or reports, and for end users to consume them.
Delivering new insight
This new generation of BI will be welcomed by those who wish to lead their industry, putting more data to work, more efficiently, so that all the data becomes useful to a much larger audience.
With the cost of collecting and using all data now plummeting, there has never been a better time for developers to put all data to work. If used successfully, these developers will understand the intelligence that is flowing through their app, and deliver new insight to business users from which valuable competitive advantage can be gained.