[IMGCAP(1)]Everyone in finance knows the term “business intelligence” (BI) and when most people think of BI, they think of software that’s purchased and bolted on to their business systems to extract and analyze data for reporting on business performance. Yet while this bolt-on approach to BI has served a very good purpose for a long time, it is on its way out and a new and better way has emerged, called embedded analytics.

To understand how traditional BI came about—and why it’s on its way out—we have to look back more than 30 years. One of the biggest problems facing finance departments at that time was the difficulty of keeping up with growing transaction volumes using manual processes. This problem was even comically captured in the prologue of the 1983 film “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.”

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