Embedded BI Features

This comparison takes into account BI tools features that are important for embedding:

Feature Importance Notes
Application embeds are secure Critical Means that embeds cannot be accessed outside your app. All necessary security context (like user's ID) used in report's query is passed in a secure way and cannot be modified by the end user (signed/encrypted).
PDF/Excel/CSV exports Critical Exports are very important for end users. PDF export should be identical to the report's web view (layout/formatting/colors). Many BI tools don't have Excel export that preserves pivot table's layout, or don't support conditional formatting (cells colors, links). Only few BI tools support export to Excel PivotTable.
Live (direct) connections to data sources / filters are applied in-query Critical When reports are embedded it is important to display actual data to end users. This is possible only when BI tool works directly with a database (= dataset is not imported and doesn't need to be refreshed). Also this allows to utilize DW (if present) and its OLAP capabilities. Live connection also supposes query-driven filters, when you have some control over DB query generation.
Fixed price for unlimited users Critical If pricing works only per-user this can make embedded reports very expensive. Most embedded BI solutions offer fixed prices and allow any number of viewers (of embedded visuals).
White-labeling / CSS-theming Critical When you embed reports / dashboards into your app they should look like a part of your app, not like a foreign thing. CSS-theming means that you may adopt embedded visuals appearance by adding own CSS rules to match your app style. Most likely, you don't want to see BI tool's logo/brand in embeds (this is called white-labeling).
On-premise (self-hosted) installation Important Embedded visuals are parts of your app, and if they are hosted outside you cannot control their availability. For sensitive data it might be a requirement to keep it in-house, and the only way to satisfy this is usage of on-premise BI tool version that is hosted on your server and managed by your admins.
Version control / deployment strategy Important Most likely you want to use a standard development flow for embedded reports - like for other (coded) parts of your app. This means that reports are created/changed in a dev environment, then tested on staging/QA env, and then go to production env as a part of app's release. It is a big plus if data models/reports have human-readable text representation and maybe stored under the version control (git), so all changes may are tracked and may be reviewed.
Parameters can be hidden in embeds Important In this way your app can control what report parameters are available for end users.
Advanced pivot tables Nice to have Many BI tools offer only basic pivot tables; advanced capabilities usually include an ability to expand/collapse groups, pagination (if the matrix has many rows/columns), table calculations like percentages/diffs/running totals and other things.

Products Comparison

Product Price Pros Cons
SeekTable $ All must-have features are present. Powerful pivot tables with real Excel exports (preserves layout/colors) + supports unique export to Excel PivotTable.
Custom visuals (any HTML/JS) are supported in dashboards.
Version control/diffs/automated deployments are supported with XML backup/restore.
Very afforable pricing ($233/month, including white-labeling).
Developers-oriented dashboards (HTML template, no code-less designer). Only basic chart types, no built-in maps (it is possible to have maps with custom visuals in dashboards).
Holistics.io $ Most must-have features for embedding are present. Cloud-only (no self-hosted version). Pivot tables are basic (no expand/collapse).
Metabase $$ Most must-have features for embedding are present. No PDF exports. No Excel export for pivot tables.
Embedding requires "Enterprise" plan (starts from $15,000/year).
Mode $$ Most must-have features for embedding are present. No PDF exports. Pivot tables are basic.
PowerBI Embedded $$$ Huge gallery of visual types. Enterprise features. On-premise subscription is rather expensive (PBI Premium = $4990/month). Direct-query mode is not supported for many data sources (like MySql).
No Excel export for pivot tables. No expland/collapse for pivot table columns. No diffs under text-based version control (PBIX is binary format).
Sisense $$$ All must-have features for embedding are present. Rather expensive. Custom CSS styling is not allowed.
Redash $ Redash is simply wrong tool for embedded analytics.
Many must-have capabilities are not supported: no secure embeds, no UI for non-SQL users, no control over filters in embeds, no row-level security.
Apache Superset (free) No secure embeds (!). Many must-have capabilities are not supported.
Google Data Studio (free) Easy to use with Google data sources (BigQuery, Analytics, Ads, Sheets), interactive features. Cloud-only. Embedded reports always contain the Google Data Studio watermark (which cannot be removed for any $$$). Viewers needs to have Google Account (and be logged-in) for secure embedding. No Excel exports. No custom visuals.

Your favourite BI tool is not in the list? Feel free to contact us and ask to add it.