Introductory Technical Concepts: Headless BI

8th February 2023 . By Michael A

Over the past few years, headless business intelligence (BI) platforms have gained much traction. But, given that pre-aggregated online analytical processing (OLAP) cube technology has been around for over a decade, it makes you wonder how headless BI is any different and whether it is all hype.

We have created an infographic introducing the significant characteristics and features that make headless BI a substantial technological advance over the previous generation of OLAP cubes.

Although many popular headless BI platforms include data transformation and visualisation capabilities, the open and interoperable nature of headless BI means you can substitute these with alternatives from other vendors. One example is you could connect to and analyse a Power BI dataset from a non-Microsoft BI tool like Tableau. Another example is you could deliver BI reporting through an open-source data visualisation tool like Apache Superset with a connection to a Cube (cube.js) BI model.

Once you understand headless BI, you may wonder what platforms fall into this category. That is why, below the infographic, we list some of the best headless BI platforms. These are the ones to watch.

Introductory Technical Concepts for Headless BI Infographic

This infographic is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) licence. You can satisfy the attribution requirement by simply linking back to this post.

We have been watching the headless BI space for quite some time, and there are seven platforms that stand out (listed in alphabetical order):

Are there any major headless BI features or platforms that we missed? Start a conversation on X or LinkedIn, and tell us about them.

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