Self-service business intelligence (SSBI) is an approach to Data Analytics that enables business users to access corporate data in a layman manner.
Many articles talk about the impact of Self Service BI, and discussed some valid points such as the issue that the people being given access to the data aren’t analysts, and don’t necessarily have the mindset and skillset to view the data holistically. But everything turns out to be better when we tend to do it ourselves, right? And this is the same way many upcoming software companies and startups think about the new economy.
Why We Must Rethink Self-Service BI?
Why take the pain of waiting for a cab or taxi when you can hitch a ride via Uber? Why let the over loaded hotel rooms trouble you when you can just crash in someone’s extra room (AirBnB)?
The software world has seen a push towards Self-Service Analytics , giving people access to the data and analytics tools they need for running their own analysis and interrogation of the data.
Democratizing of data and analytics is a great idea, especially considering the unavailability of qualified analysts. As data becomes more central to jobs in every sector and field, it seems to make more sense that the human resource department should be able to handle its own reports as should the sales team, the marketing department, and so on.
We have seen that companies have stopped analyzing data and producing reports centrally and have moved to 100% self-service. This great idea has a little shortcoming simply because, if companies only offer self-service analytics, they overlook the risk that people miss the key insights, misinterpret the data or perform the wrong analysis.
It is obvious that a smart HR manager can pull the numbers she needs to understand about hiring, retention, performance, etc., but what if she has all the wrong queries? What if the whole data is being getting interpreted in the wrong manner by every department?
In this modern era of technological advancements, it becomes the duty of BI and Data visualizations service providing companies that they take proper safety and security measures. The best thing these companies can do is integrating the security features in the software or tools in their development stage.
So the question arises why take such a decision?
Its simple to answer because allowing end users to make decisions based on their own queries lets the organization to use the business intelligence (BI) and information technology (IT) teams to focus on other tasks that will help the organization reach its goals.
What can be done?
Self-service business intelligence and data visualization tools can make it easier for business users to analyze BI data. But there’s a lot that needs to be done up front to make that happen.
Few benefits of Self-Service BI that may help users and organizations as whole have been discussed below:
Self-service business intelligence tools and advanced data visualization software are key elements in enabling BI systems to support more agile business operations.
Exploring the BI data flexibly and creating reports by themselves, operating dashboards and working on the visualizations.
Self-service BI software is used by people who are not that tech-savvy so the user interface (UI) of the BI software must be instinctive, with a user-friendly dashboard and navigation.
Training should be provided to help users understand what data is available and how that information can be utilized to make data-driven decisions that will solve business problems, for that the IT department has set up the data warehouse and data tools initially to support business intelligence system.
Business users should be able to inspect the data and create personalized reports effortlessly.
Self-service BI boosts users to make decisions upon data, but if there is no data governance policy in place, the flexibility may cause unnecessary confusion.
Among other things, the policy should define the key metrics for determining success, processes that should be followed while creating and sharing reports, the privileges required for accessing confidential data and the steps which can be taken to maintain the data quality.
If done in correct manner, visualization can change how business managers and other workers “see” data. The way data is presented to users will be as important as the information itself. But for achieving that, a flawless IT and BI architecture must be built that can deliver the right data to the right users and empower them to take advantage of it. As an organization, you won’t get very far on self-service BI and data visualization if you don’t have high-quality data, a well-designed systems infrastructure, and consistent processes.
If you have any doubt regarding any technical solution for your business, then contact us, we will be glad to lend a helping hand to you.