Arqino are a Looker Data Sciences consulting and reseller partner. The analytics capability provided by Looker is part of the 3rd generation of business intelligence (BI) tools.

At Arqino we specialise in embedding Looker dashboards for companies that require a data product.

What is a Third Generation Business Intelligence tool?

Monolithic products like Cognos, MicroStrategy and Business Objects are examples of first generation business intelligence tools.  These products were developed in a world of databases that were built for transaction i.e. inserting, updating and deleting records. They are expensive to run and were not built for analytics.

Second generation BI tools appeared in the late 90’s and 2000.  They aimed to solve the problem of giving business users access to reporting and analytics themselves. This started the self-service analytics wave. While this capability was welcomed, it lead to lack of standards and data becoming unreliable as soon as central governance was lost.

The third generation BI tools evolved to solve the problems of self-service analytics. The advent of the Big Data period (starting from 2012) provided fast and cheap analytics databases. Amazon Redshift being a popular example of a cloud based service. The cloud based data warehouses and Hadoop stacks are very fast and cheap that the need to extract data before you analyse it was removed.

This means that companies can put all their data in one place and query it on demand.

Looker is the leading 3rd generation BI product that supports this type of on demand queries. With the Looker embedded analytics companies can take a step forward and truly develop their own data products.

The Need for Embedded Analytics

Embedded analytics is the integration of analytics capabilities within digital products, especially data products. Users can access analytics functions without leaving their application, for example the following types of capabilities can be accessed:

  • Static and interactive reports
  • Dashboards and data visualisation
  • Benchmarking
  • Ad hoc querying
  • Transactional capabilities (write-back) 

What are the benefits of Embedded Analytics?

Embedded analytics allows users to have a seamless experience i.e. the analytics capability fits into their workflow context.

Embedded analytics are tightly integrated into existing systems (financial systems, CRM, ERP, marketing software). This allows for additional context based analytics capability that can be used to support the businesses need for decision making.

Embedded dashboards provide targeted information to support a decision or action without interrupting the workflow of the user.