Exago BI Review – Embeddable Reporting and Visuals

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Exago BI provides a reporting and visual analytics platform that is implemented as a .Net application, and runs on Windows and Linux (through Mono). Please note the inclusion of reporting as a core capability of this platform. Many visual analytics platforms treat reporting as someone else’s problem, and an integrated reporting and visual analytics capability, such as the one offered by Exago BI is quite hard to find. Obviously graphs and charts can be embedded within more conventional reports, and the platform enables both production reporting and self-service functionality. The embedding of analytics into other applications is an important feature of Exago BI, and provides ISVs with the tools they need to create both stand-alone BI apps and embedded BI capability. The user interface is web based and all functionality is accessed through an API. This even includes administrative functions.

While traditional production reporting has been given the cold-shoulder by many suppliers of visual analytics tools, Exago BI has quite sensibly created a platform that embraces the need for visual analytics and reporting in a self-service environment. As the hype surrounding visual analytics starts to moderate so businesses will seek platforms that embody the whole BI panorama. In this respect Exago is extremely well placed.

Reporting

Exago BI provides several reporting tools, to cater for varying degrees of need. Express reports support basic tabular reports, and users simply select the fields they need and drag them onto the canvas to format. Standard reports are designed using an Excel like interface. Advanced features such as charts, maps and a formula editor are included, and conditional formatting is also available. Crosstab reports can be created using a wizard that supports complex tables with column and row grouping. A dashboard designer is also available for end users, allowing them to design, format and save their own dashboards with multiple reports, charts, maps, text, hyperlinks, and images, and specify default dashboards to execute automatically when Exago BI is launched.

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Data Visualization

Exago BI provides all the visualization types most users and businesses will need. A chart wizard walks users through creation and a map wizard enables end users to visualize their data in five dimensions on geographical maps. Users can link together an unlimited number of charts and tabular reports in any order to drill down, drill up, drill sideways or drill through data. A forms capability allows users to create or import forms which can then be automatically filled-in with data.

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Other

Reports can be scheduled for automatic emailing or archiving. All parameters such as time periods, recurrence and recipients can be set in the Report Scheduler. Users can also key their own formulas directly into cells or choose from the comprehensive set of pre-defined functions available in the Formula Editor. New functions can also be created and included in the Formula Editor menu. All language elements within the Exago application can be translated into any language including those with foreign characters. A different language can be displayed for each end user. Date, time and currency can be localized as well.

To execute a report users simply select the desired format from a dropdown menu. HTML reports can be searched and navigated within the Exago HTML viewer.

Positioning

Exago BI’s strengths are its combined reporting and visual analytics capability, and the excellent embedding mechanisms it provides. As such its competitors include platforms such as Izenda, Logi Analytics and to a lesser extent Pentaho and Jaspersoft. Products such as Tableau and Qlik Sense, along with many contemporary visual analytics platforms are not competitors, simply because they do not address production reporting.