To make business analytics more accessible and relevant, organizations have been striving heavily to put analytics in the context of their business applications and workflows rather than treat it as a separate set of tools and functions running in its own sandbox.
The process of embedding analytics is now a top-tier demand, and it comes with its own set of problems and complexities. Pyramid’s embedded analytics (separately licensed) is strongly designed to meet those challenges—making scalable, high-end 3rd party analytic solutions a reality.
There are two core challenges with embedding analytics:
Almost all embedded scenarios are through web content. Many analytic applications expose some version of their capabilities through a browser-based client. So, it follows that to embed the analytics, organizations must find a way to embed the analytic website in the hosting application. And while this works in theory and has been an acceptable solution in practice, this exercise usually involves loading the web client into an IFRAME on the host page.
While the result should be a “light and fluffy” page, most web-based analytic clients are heavy: loading big data models into the browser, creating complex visualization objects, and producing interactive options for the end user. So much so that to prevent the entire application from hanging or crashing the browser, most deployments have only one or two such IFRAMES per host page or panel. This is typical because each IFRAME instantiates its own separate client and duplicates the structural and memory footprint for each embedded item.
To further complicate matters, the IFRAME model – a dinosaur of older HTML standards – is on life support with the emergence of HTML5 and modern web-app design (with frameworks like Angular and React).
To avoid these issues, some analytic applications render pictures and images. But it comes at the cost of low or no interactivity, not to mention issues with responsive design and low-quality, childish visualizations.
The next challenge involves data security.
Most analytic scenarios involve looking at important data. And if it’s important, the access needs to be secured and authorized. Most solutions involve a process of securing the embedded content. However, it becomes a challenge if the content is hosted in a different domain to the analytic platform or in scenarios where the technologies use entirely separate authorization techniques.
That said, with good technical development and time, most security headaches can be solved. It would just be so much nicer if it were easier.
Pyramid was designed from the get-go to solve the challenges of embedding.
To get a better sense of how this all comes together, check out these links: