Super quick post on Embedded Analytics just in case this has passed anyone by and because it’s probably my favourite non-technical new feature for some time.
In short, it is now possible to embed two charts (not reports) into a standard page layout (custom objects and standard objects), blurring the lines slightly between layouts and dashboards. The source report must be of the summary or matrix type and include a chart. Note the displayed analytics support manual refresh, but this is a limited resource (a users can refresh up to 100 report charts every 60 minutes, at the org-level this is 3,000 report charts every 60 minutes).
Hopefully the embedded analytics capability will be enhanced over future releases to remove the 2 chart limit and to support non-chart report outputs. A blended approach to the composition of layouts where dashboard components and standard page sections could be intermingled would be great – particularly if this supported dynamically resizing Visualforce page components. I can dream for now at least. In the meantime the Winter ’14 functionality covers a key functional area typically addressed through technical customisation or un-secure off-platform solutions using image formula fields (Google Charts anyone?). Standard functionality that directly removes the need to build such workarounds is a big positive.