September 19, 2019 by Ben Chafetz

What Is Magento BI Essentials? (And Do You Really Need It?)

When it comes to building a better Magento store, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics are your best friend. In years past, Magento store operators had to rely on third-party BI and analytics tools.

But not anymore.

Magento Commerce comes off-the-shelf support with its very own BI suite, known as Magento Business Intelligence Essentials, Magento BI Essentials for short.

What is Magento BI Essentials

Is it right for you?

Why bother with it at all?

Get all the answers in the overview below.

What Is Magento BI Essentials?

Magento BI Essentials is a native analytics suite that’s integrated with Magento Commerce. It grew out of Magento’s acquisition of RJMetrics, a leading BI company, in 2016. Shortly after this acquisition and a period of product development, Magento BI Essentials was launched in early 2017. 

Magento BI Essentials is designed specifically for the needs of Magento eCommerce entrepreneurs and provides a powerful and flexible – yet easy-to-use – analytics solution. 

It’s meant to be robust enough to provide great insights for those who are already familiar with analytics – but also to be approachable for merchants who are just getting started with commerce analytics. 

In total, Magento BI Essentials provides five customizable, at-a-glance dashboards to help you measure the KPIs of your store, as well as over 100 customizable reports that can help you get deeper insights into the performance of your store.

Reports include:

  • Customer Lifetime Value
  • Segmented data for personalization
  • Top Performing Channels
  • Cohort Analysis

Every report can be customized based on your needs, to give you more insights into the performance of your Magento store.

Do I Have To Pay An Additional Fee To Use Magento BI Essentials?

If you’re a Magento Commerce user, you get access to Magento BI Essentials free of charge. Take a look at this page to learn more and implement it on your Magento store.

However, if you’re using Magento Community Edition, you will not be able to get access to Magento BI Essentials unless you pay an additional fee. This fee is based on your Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), and starts at $100/month. 

Yes, that may seem steep. But trust us. The information you can uncover with an analytics tool like Magento BI Essentials is worth the investment. 

If you need additional advanced features, you can upgrade from Magento BI Essentials to Magento BI Pro. Pricing for Magento BI Pro is customized for each user, but by upgrading, you can get even more features and benefits like:

  • Unlimited pre-defined reports and dashboards
  • Unlimited Magento Commerce tables
  • A dedicated data warehouse manager
  • Full API access to Magento BI
  • Available 3rd party integrations

You can get more details about the differences between these two products here.

For most Magento merchants, we think that Magento BI Essentials will provide you with plenty of features and reports – you don’t really need Magento BI Pro. 

The Benefits Of Using Magento BI Essentials

Wondering why you should use Magento BI Essentials at all? Here are a few of the benefits of doing so.

  • Bring structure to your data – First and foremost, Magento BI Essentials helps bring all of your Magento data together in an easy-to-understand, digestible way. This means that you can spot trends in ordering and areas of improvement quickly, and get metric-based suggestions for how you can improve your store.

    Remember, structure is everything when it comes to data. Without the proper methods of comparing datasets and visualizing your store’s performance, you won’t be able to get the most out of your data.
  • Completely customizable reports and metrics – Every single report and metric included in Magento BI Essentials can be customized. For example, if your cart abandonment rate is a concern, you can quickly build a dashboard and reports that assess abandonment rates over time. Then, you can easily track the effect that your cart optimization efforts are having on your performance.
  • Five at-a-glance dashboards to assess performance – You can customize five different dashboards to provide you with a quick overview of your Magento store’s performance.
  • Consolidate and manage data sources Magento BI Essentials has out-of-the-box support for Google Analytics, allowing you to merge your site traffic reports with Magento-specific statistics, such as average order value, shopping cart abandonment rate, and other such metrics and KPIs. 

Should You Be Using Magento BI Essentials? Here Are Three Signs to Look For

  1. You’re having trouble making sense of your data – Even without Magento BI Essentials, you can learn a lot about your store’s performance. But it can be hard to track your growth and performance over time and make sense of your data without the right BI tool.

    Magento BI Essentials uses the data your store is already gathering and puts it right at your fingertips to help you assess and track your performance of your store quickly and easily.
  2. You’re struggling to grow If your sales have remained flat for a while and you’re having trouble growing, a BI too like Magento BI Essentials can be very powerful. It can help you recognize areas where you’re falling behind and take the appropriate steps to address them.

    For example, you may use Magento BI Essentials to analyze your store’s data and find out that you have a large number of one-time buyers. To help you bring back more repeat customers, you could implement a loyalty program, send some promotional emails, and take other such steps.
  3. You want more granular tracking and reports about key metrics The best thing about Magento BI Essentials is its customizability. You can dive deeply into your data, and use custom metrics and filters to track metrics like Average Order Value (AOV), Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), and dozens of others that will help you track your performance more effectively. 

Get a Free 7-Day Trial of Magento BI Essentials

Still not sure whether or not you need to use Magento BI Essentials? Even if you use Magento Community Edition, you can get a free 7-day trial of this software. You can learn more and find out how to add it to your store here and start trying out its custom reports and analytics right away. 

So go ahead. Give it a try. Whether you are running a large Magento store and are looking for ways to improve your website, or you’re launching a new store and are interested in maximizing your growth, the Magento BI Essentials platform is sure to be helpful. 

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