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Let’s be real – the self-service BI revolution hasn’t quite lived up to its promise of democratizing business intelligence. Even two decades later, only a select few within organizations enjoy the luxury of fancy dashboards and self-service reports. And the truth is, the actual usage of these tools is even lower than expected, with an estimated 75% to 85% of licensed users either not using them or outright disliking them.


So, why the disconnect? Well, companies churn out a plethora of documents – presentations, brochures, reports, you name it – with a whopping 70% of them containing valuable data. Yet, the ratio of these data-rich documents to self-service BI dashboards is a staggering 10,000 to 1 in large organizations. We end up spending far more time poring over these other documents than we do analyzing reports and dashboards from BI systems. That’s just the harsh reality of it.


But here’s another bitter pill to swallow: these documents aren’t going to magically migrate to self-service BI systems. It’s nearly impossible to prep the data and build reports within traditional BI systems to match the versatility of documents like PowerPoint presentations filled with graphs, charts, and text. Trying to replicate this in a traditional BI environment would take months, with costs that simply can’t be justified. So, people are left stuck in PowerPoint, resorting to tedious copy-pasting to visualize and update their data.


To truly democratize BI, two conditions must be met:

  1. Integrate BI directly into the documents that you present or disseminate. 
  2. Free Business Intelligence from its reliance on backend servers and online connectivity.


In-Document BI accomplishes both. It places analytics right where the data resides, regardless of the document’s format or purpose. Whether it’s a presentation or a research paper, interactive analysis can seamlessly occur within the document and its context. This stands in stark contrast to traditional self-service BI, where analytics are confined within a tool, divorced from the document’s context.


Moreover, In-Document BI travels with the document itself. Whether you’re emailing it, displaying it on the web or mobile app, or simply saving it locally for later use, the BI remains embedded and accessible, sans the need for servers, databases, or internet connection. This newfound freedom in consuming, distributing, and sharing data-rich documents with embedded robust BI is unparalleled.


In-Document BI transcends the limitations imposed by complex systems and user licensing. It represents the next step in the democratization of information distribution, building upon the trends set by web and PDF publishing. In short, In-Document BI propels this trend to an entirely new level, marking a paradigm shift in how we approach and utilize business intelligence.


To Learn more about how to create interactive bank statements, contact us.

Dr. Rado

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