tips for selecting a BI product for integration in your software

tips for selecting a BI product for integration in your software

A BI tool selection for product integration is completely different than selecting a BI product for just internal use within your business. If you intend to integrate analytics and dashboards to become a (central) part of your product/ service offering, you’d better take notice of the following tips:

embedded analytics: integrating business intelligence into your product or service and sell it as one offering

tip 1 – check the license costs for embedded analytics

If you want to make profit with embedded analytics, the costs of using the BI software is one of the most obvious places to look at as it directly affects your bottom-line. Unlike the costs for using BI in your own business, the costs for using the same software in your product is almost ridiculous in comparison. That is, for the most popular vendors.

From our own experience, in our meetings, these huge license costs made business owners even move away from the idea of embedded analytics at all. However, not all BI tools use this licensing strategy. One of these is icCube. Have a look at the following chart:

Check the following image:

It is a real bummer if you have selected a BI tool and you did not check the costs at high usage. Most vendors charge additional costs for more users, more clients and more installations (does a new sale of your product also count as a new installation?).

So here’s our tip, check the license costs for embedded analytics asking the following questions to your vendor:

What are the costs to use the BI tool in a multi-tenant solution?
What are the license costs per client or per user?
What are the license costs per product sold, if I have fully integrated the BI tool in it? Is it per product, per installation, per client or per user?
What are the costs for a specific client installation of the BI tool as part of my product?
What are the additional costs if I increase the memory settings, disk size, number of cores, … etc. ?

With the tool we use, icCube, the license prices allow you to make a nice profit on your product. You can check the prices on their website, to get a first impression. But please, do not hesitate to ask us for a specific quote that is tuned to your specific situation.

example license costs for 1 instance of icCube:

64 gb
per user/month
tip 2 – ask for stable long-term prices

It would be really nasty if you’ve just completed an intense project to integrate the BI tool into your product to learn that prices will increase or conditions change, would not it?

Therefore, demand for long-term price stability. The tool we use, icCube, guarantees stable prices for at least 5 years.

Our tip on this topic is: ask for stable pricing when using external BI software for embedded analytics and put it in the contract.

Ask the following questions to your potential vendor:

Can I get a stable prices for at least five years my selected embedded analytics options?
And, can you give me the same stable prices for the embedded analytics options I have chosen not to use now?
Can we get stable prices for our growth targets (and beyond)? (It would be a disaster if we had to pay the “new” prices for the additional clients, users, installations we did not for see at the beginning).

I know from some (big) vendors that they are very reluctant to do these kind of deals as they are continuously pressured by their investors to make more profit.

The analytical software we favor, from icCube, does not have this pressure, hence they are free to provide this excellent service of stable pricing, regardless of your growth path. Who can predict that anyway?

tip 3 – ask for specific enhancements (if you do not have one, invent one)

When integrating business intelligence in other software, sooner or later you will encounter issues that need to be solved. Mostly you will encounter these in the initial phase, but once in a while they happen during the product life cycle. It is not a matter if this will happen, but when this will happen.

Therefore, this specific tip: ask your potential vendor for a specific enhancement of their tool. Preferably an enhancement you can use right now, but that does not necessarily have to be the case.

What you will test by asking this question is the vendor’s customer service and their ability to move fast when you are in trouble. It would be a real disaster if you encounter a serious issue while in production and your vendor says to you to just “get in line and wait for your turn”.

This tip comes with the following questions you can ask your vendor:

Can you enhance your BI software with the following specific enhancements that is key to my business?
How long will it take the to include it? (check that it is in weeks rather than months)
What happens when we encounter issues in the integration of your BI software in our product? What can we expect of you with regards to customer support?

Remember that when you choose for a BI vendor because it is big, you’ll probably be small in their eyes.

icCube is widely praised by their customers for their customer service, willingness to adjust icCube to fit into the customer’s specific software system (integration) and the speed in which they provide their hands-on support. icCube does not have big fancy buildings, nor uses huge marketing costs and neither has expensive management layers. With a minimum on overhead they even give the companies that consider themselves as small with the right, skillful attention.

learn more about icCube?