Guide: Analytics and BI for Developers

Bigtime Builders

As a developer, you are a builder. You bring your organization’s blueprint to life, creating powerful analytic apps that delight customers and empower your teammates and clients to get the most out of their data. As powerful as you are, you can’t do it alone. It’ll take an equally powerful analytics and BI tool to help you create the next generation of products and services built on data. Three main criteria you’ll likely want to focus on when looking for an analytics solution are customization, speed of deployment, and ease of integration.

Bespoke BI Customization

If I’m building a dashboard for one of my internal or external customers, now I can build tools into a dashboard that I used to have to build next to the dashboard. That in-line action is really powerful.

When you have a specific vision of what you need to build, there’s nothing worse than being hamstrung by something as inconvenient as the limits of your BI technology. You’re a creator; you need the freedom and tools to make your vision a reality. The right BI solution will allow you to customize the look and feel of your embedded analytics to get them to perfectly match your company’s style. This increases user adoption and stickiness. Built right, your analytics can also open up new revenue opportunities.

Javascript APIs

Sisense’s Javascript APIs and plugin framework let you and create powerful dashboards that look, feel, and work how you want. Our API-first approach means that you can access any capability within the platform to completely customize or extend Sisense. These APIs are an easy shortcut to getting your BI projects done on time and delivering an end result that is fully customized to your exact specifications. Choose from prebuilt widgets to get started, then customize them to your needs via a web UI or bring in visualizations from third-party sources like D3 and High Charts. The Sisense Marketplace is also home to an active community of other developers who are constantly coming up with new add-ons to help you in your projects. Jump into the Sisense DevX portal to dig into everything you can do with Sisense. You’re not alone: with Sisense you’re part of an awesome world of builders who are as passionate as you are.

Sisense BloX

For many users, dashboards are enough. Information is great, but the real value doesn’t come until decisions are made with that data. When you’re ready to take analytics to the next level and truly empower business decisions, Sisense is there. No more devoting tons of dev hours to building analytic apps to give users access to specific insights to help them operationalize your findings.

Sisense BloX simplifies the app-building process in a number of ways. First off, powerful pre-built templates integrate application-like functionality into dashboards, right in the decision-makers’ workflows. Developers can choose from a wide array of templates, visualizations, and integration points, making actionable analytic apps quicker and easier to build. You only have so many dev hours and big deliverables. The value of Sisense BloX lies in simplifying multiple steps in the data delivery process, allowing developers to be hyper efficient with their time. However, when you want to build new actionable analytic apps completely from scratch, you can still use HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Actions SDK leveraging the rendering layer built on React.

Actionable analytic apps streamline internal processes by putting much-needed insights right inside users’ workflows, where they can really use them! With BloX, developers can use Sisense to write data directly back into their colleagues’ applications, making data-driven insights easier than ever to act on. Allow your users to find insights and take action all within the same interface. As a developer, you're given the tools to build integrations into any API that you use to power your own application. These apps are the future, and the future is here.

Rapid Deployment

What differentiates Sisense for me is the level of extensibility it has, being able to input data I want from any source, merging them into a flexible infrastructure, and powering a rich dashboard in a quick deployment.

You need to build, test, iterate, deploy, and fix in rapid succession. When you have a new analytic app to build, you can’t wait weeks or months to get it into production, that sprint needs to start as soon as possible. With Sisense, you don’t have to wait on anyone else to start building. Whatever your architecture, you can quickly build, integrate, and launch analytic apps. Robust governance and security tools make scaling users and controlling who can see and do what inside your system a snap.

Flexible Architecture

Sisense is built for Linux and Windows, integrating seamlessly to make your production process as smooth as possible. That’s just for starters; Sisense is extremely extensible, deployable on the cloud, on-premises, or via Managed Services (single- or multi-tenant on either Windows or Linux). Or choose a single-server (single-stack configuration) or multi-server (high availability). However you choose to set your Sisense up, you can keep an eye on critical server resources with Sisense Monitor. 

Cloud-Native Architecture

The Cloud-Native Sisense Data and Analytics Platform has been purpose-built from the ground up on a Containerized Microservices Architecture that runs on the Linux OS. Coupled with best-of-breed technologies like Docker containers and Kubernetes Orchestration, Cloud-Native Sisense integrates with your Infrastructure-as-Code to enable faster delivery, high-resiliency, and scalability.

API-Driven Workflows

Not only does Sisense support any deployment style and environment that you want, it’s built to make scaling and automation easy. First off, predefined and optimised deployment models are designed for maximum stability and to support growth. Our wide library of APIs help automate deployments and let you scale without constantly needing more resources. High availability also means that you can scale without worrying about whether or not Sisense can handle the load. It can.

Security

Automating deployments and scaling is vital as your organization grows, but making sure your security keeps pace with it is just as important. Sisense makes it easy to programmatically manage security and workflows for thousands of users. Integration with SSO and Active Directory simplifies adding new users and supporting existing ones. Use REST APIs to tap into user and security functionalities like user management and multilevel security setups. 

Monitoring

Sisense Monitor makes keeping tabs on your system a snap. It keeps track of server resource usage, query time, data import metrics, and more. Usage Analytics let you know how people are using Sisense within your organization. Our cloud-native architecture’s on-premises monitoring uses Grafana and Prometheus; see metrics at multiple levels of your analytics deployment with fine-grain views from the system level down to the data instance level.

Embedding Analytics

I can go into Sisense and create scripts to do all of my management for me, giving me the power to hand off a system that will work for anyone as long as they need it.

Embedded analytics are the future. Easily adding analytics to your colleagues’ workflows and your customer-facing product or service cuts the distance from analysis to action and increases stickiness and user adoption. The value of analytics insights isn’t realized until that data is translated into action and the best way to reach data-driven future is to remove steps between insight and action. Sisense is built to help developers build analytics solutions that operate at extremely high efficiency.

You can embed your creations using Embed SDK or via the Sisense.JS library or using an iFrame URL, delivering a completely customized outcome and a seamless user experience. 

  • Embed SDK also helps you get up and running with less time and effort. This suite of JavaScript APIs lets you embed entire dashboards and handle the communication between the host and embedded app with ease. 
  • Use SisenseJS to merge analytics into your app workflow and embed individual widgets and filters while retaining the power of Sisense’s native functionality.
  • Deliver white labeled analytics on any device, creating a standalone analytics experience for mobile users with the White Label Mobile App option. This is a turnkey solution for delivering a UI that is customized and on-brand without requiring the dev resources needed to build an app from scratch. 

Provide integrations far beyond what is expected from normal dashboarding with Amazon Alexa integrations, Sisense bots (which put analytics at your users’ fingertips via a natural language interface), and the Sisense Lightbulb, which alerts users to KPI changes with differently colored lights.

Integrating, Automating, and Scaling with APIs

Wherever you need analytics and whatever you need them to do, Sisense’s API-first development approach means you can tailor your apps to make it a reality. Sisense is an open platform with APIs throughout, empowering you to integrate and automate any process within the platform. REST APIs put server functionalities at your fingertips, including user management and a multi-level security setup. Installing Sisense, loading data, running dashboards, and setting up users securely can all be automated, freeing you and your team to focus on what’s really important. Without Sisense, that level of secure, granular customization would only be attainable via a heavy time and financial investment into an open-source tool that rewrote your entire codebase. Sisense’s cloud-native architecture and robust API library make scaling your analytic apps easy. 

Go Forth and Build

You need the freedom to create and the tools that will allow you to make your vision a reality. Sisense does both, giving you the ability to build an analytics solution that looks, feels, and works the way you need it to. You also get automation tools that will take the tedious work of managing security and other processes off your plate and let you focus on creating and deploying your world-changing analytics solution. Whatever you’re working on, build it boldly with Sisense.

See Why Sisense Is Awesome for Developers.