Embedded BI Key Features

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

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.

Embedded BI Solutions Comparison Matrix

Product Price Pros Cons
Apache Superset
No secure embeds (!). Many must-have embedding capabilities are not supported.
Looker Studio
(former Google Data Studio)
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.
Redash is simply the 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.
Embedded: starts from $233/mo
All must-have features are present. Supports embed of 'app view' (report builder). Advanced web-based pivot tables with good Excel/PDF exports (layout/colors/charts) + export to Excel PivotTable.
Custom visuals (HTML/JS) are supported in dashboards.
Supports versioning/automated deployments via XML+JSON backup/restore.
IT-centric dashboards configured via HTML template. Only basic chart types, no built-in maps (maps are possible only as custom visuals in dashboards, examples are present).
Embedded starts from $600/mo
Most must-have features for embedding dashboards/reports are present. IT-centric AML data model (model as a code approach). Cloud-only (no self-hosted version). Custom visuals only via Vega-lite / internal Holistics syntax, custom HTML/JS is not possible. Reports builder cannot be embedded. Pivot tables are basic (no expand/collapse).
Embedded starts from $500/mo
Most must-have features for embedding are present. Both cloud and self-hosted offerings are present. No PDF exports. No Excel export for pivot tables. No support for code versioning. Reports builder cannot be embedded. Embedding requires "Pro" (per-user pricing) or "Enterprise" plan (starts from $15,000/year).
former Cumul.io
Embedded starts from $1950/mo
Easy to use drag-n-drop dashboards builder that also can be embedded for end-users. Cloud service (no self-hosted version). Lack of data exploration capabilities.
Most must-have features for embedding are present. No exports to Excel at all. Pivot tables are rather basic.
PowerBI Embedded
This is a BI market leader. Huge gallery of visual types. Powerful data models. Enterprise-grade product. On-premises deployment is rather expensive (PBI Premium = $4990/month). Direct-query mode is not supported for many data sources (like MySql). No colors formatting in Excel exports. No expland/collapse for pivot table (matrix) columns. No diffs under text-based version control (PBIX is binary format).
Bold BI
Developers-oriented BI product, excellent UI widgets that reduces development time and complexity. Rather expensive (no open pricing, 'contact us').
All must-have features for embedding are present. Supports both iFRAME and JS SDK embeds. Rather expensive (no open pricing, 'contact us'). Custom CSS styling is not allowed.
Wyn Enterprise
Developers-oriented BI product. Rather expensive (no open pricing, 'contact us'). Can't retrieve data from OLAP servers.

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