If you agree with this list, then you likely understand the drastic effect that embedded BI can have on your bottom line. These context-specific visualizations and reports give us immediate access to the information that is needed rather than requiring that we go the long route through IT or a clunky, outdated system. No matter what sized organization you head up or the industry that it serves, embedded BI is like a Swiss army knife that you and your constituents can be used to gain a competitive advantage. In addition to some of the benefits that an increased availability of data provides to every business user, here are some specific perks that you can enjoy as a CXO.
CXO reporting becomes more streamlined
After I supplied him with a report, a CEO once told me, “Never give me data. Only provide me with information.” What I learned in that moment was that the CXO does not have the time or capacity to spend in the weeds of data. As a member of the c-suite, you undoubtedly make decisions based on high-level information that is supplied to you by others who have blessed the underlying data that feeds it. This requires an enormous amount of trust in both those who built the reports and the data with which they were built.
Here are three key factors to consider when it comes to CXO reporting for just about any member of the c-suite:
- Reliability: - The data must first be scrubbed, cleansed, poked, and prodded to ensure that it is reliable.
- Consistency: – Reports that are easy to understand and can be issued on a weekly or monthly basis can provide a lot of value.
- Speed: – Particularly when it comes to CXO reporting, the ability to provide information on a timely basis is key.
Embedded BI ensures that all three of these factors are met. When creating an embedded report, users can use visual analytics tools to join disparate data sets, stress test the data, uncover outliers, and understand any nuances (reliability). The data then becomes the back end for an embedded report, which is easily updated when new data is introduced (consistency). All of this can even happen automatically, and can be provided within the context of what is being viewed in an existing application to eliminate the need for filtering (speed).
Now, those who created the reports can spend more time helping you to take action rather than struggling to provide you with the right information.
Consider perhaps the most important example of all for many CFO’s: board and investor presentations.
Board members and investors are typically looking for crystal clear updates on the profitability of the organization. Month, quarter, and year-end close are the bane of existence for many finance departments. Embedded BI can provide the reliability, consistency, and speed needed to create accurate financial reports. For example, imagine embedding a report into your accounting software that provides a unified view of revenue and expenses along with various sales and user trends from other systems.
Data visualizations put insights into full throttle
While reports are useful, they are often provided in the form of tables that leave room for interpretation and confusion. I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in a room full of executives while they debate the meaning of a series of numbers that were shown in a tabular report. A CXO data visualization often tells the story much more clearly. Just like reports, visualizations can be embedded directly into existing applications.
Visualizations often clarify what tables and reports cannot
They graphically show trends, make clusters more apparent, and turn hard-to-find outliers into obvious dots on the screen. An embedded CXO data visualization can allow you to view both high-level information and lower level detail at the same time, often making it even easier to make decisions. A CIO, for example, is often concerned with maintaining the organization’s information by maximizing server capacity relative to spend. It becomes much more manageable to gain a holistic view of server states and capacities graphically, say on a geographical map, than in a large, cumbersome spreadsheet. With embedded analytics, these graphical visualizations can be inserted into other applications, such as the application that is already being used to manage the servers themselves.
CXO dashboards bring it all together
To truly gain a holistic view of the organization, one report or visualization simply isn’t going to cut it. There is no one view that can come close to covering the full array of functions for which the CXO is responsible. It is here where CXO dashboards shine. A dashboard is, for all intents and purposes, a set of reports and visualizations that are presented on the same screen and, in many cases, are tied to each other and to the same filters. Just as with reports and visualizations, entire dashboards can also be embedded into existing applications for increased functionality and context-specific views.
The CEO, for example, must be able to keep a finger on the pulse of the entire organization.
This becomes much easier when key information from all areas of the company can be viewed in one place. A CXO dashboard for the CEO might contain high level visualizations from each department. It may show the financial results from the most recent monthly close alongside production results from manufacturing and the current pipeline from sales. Even better, by embedding the dashboard into another application that is already being used by the CEO, the need to move back and forth between applications to get the information is avoided. The CEO then has access to the information that is needed all in one place.
Try it out
There is no better way to understand the benefits of CXO reporting, visualizations, and dashboards through embedded analytics than by having your organization try it out. Visit us to get your free trial with Zoomdata.