While data is the lifeblood for many successful organizations, others are still striving to realize a data-led transformation. In today’s world – where data is constantly generated, sent, and received – harnessing and leveraging it in ways that drive business forward can be a massive undertaking.
Creating reports and dashboards to explain and utilize critical data is work that has traditionally fallen on IT departments – but too often it creates bottlenecks, stretching IT teams thin as they tackle other projects.
If these challenges sound familiar, fear not: self-service business intelligence (BI) may be exactly what you’re looking for. Enabling business teams and users to slice and dice data in ways that provide them meaningful insight is often critical to success.
An expert-led strategic adoption of the right self-service BI platform can profoundly reshape enterprise. While the possibilities are nearly infinite, supporting business users and IT, encouraging ingenuity and discovery, and giving you an edge over competitors are among the top self-service BI benefits. Let’s look a little deeper at the potential of each.
#1 Enable the Business
A common complaint with traditional BI implementations is that often they do not provide business users with the insights they need to drive the business forward. Maybe the operational landscape has changed and reports that were once valuable are outdated, or developers have not been able to make requested updates and modifications to the product. These BI solutions may be cast to the side, turning what was once a promising tool into an expensive source of frustration for end-users.
Possibly the greatest benefit of self-service BI is the way in which it enables business users, empowering them to create their own BI solutions as data becomes democratized across the enterprise. This is not to say that IT is completely removed – but rather that, with a strong data governance plan in place, it can step back from creating BI solutions and begin to shift focus to maintaining data accessibility and integrity. Without the need for IT to be involved in the day-to-day operations of your analytics, they are freed to tackle other high priority tasks, like rolling out new features that improve your customers’ experiences.
As business users are empowered to solve problems by leveraging enterprise data, IT is able to ensure that users are employing validated data. With bottlenecks removed, BI begins to move at the speed of the business.
#2 Create Citizen Data Scientists
Once a realm solely for developers, robust self-service BI platforms, like Microsoft Power BI, enable anyone to create and distribute powerful analytics solutions. Embracing modern BI’s low-code and no-code tools lowers the barrier to entry, equipping more business users with the ability to take action.
Such tools allow even nontechnical users to easily and securely access data to gain insights. When business users begin creating applications designed to enable their own data-led decisions, they become “citizen data scientists.”
Need to create a quick visualization of sales numbers for the board meeting this afternoon? No need to call IT – you can do it yourself right on your laptop! Empowering business users to act quickly and creatively fosters cross-department collaboration that often leads to bonus business insights.
#3 Boost Competitive Advantages
What good is your business data if it doesn’t help move you forward? Whether you are looking to streamline operations, reduce costs, or stay competitive in the marketplace, data is key. Solely having data is not enough – you must be able to leverage it to take action. Self-service BI puts data in the hands of people who are most familiar with the business and its intricacies, enabling data-driven business decisions.
An operations analyst can assess detailed logs from production line equipment and create interactive visualizations that assist in identifying production inefficiencies. Or a marketing director can quickly visualize the effects of marketing campaign on unit sales, without asking an analyst to run a report. Modern BI equips departments that best understand their own business challenges with the capabilities to tackle them.
Summary: Self-service BI Plans Drive Gains
A well-considered adoption of the right self-service BI tools can be a boon to your business, empowering users to become citizen developers of data analytics solutions, reducing the strain on IT teams, and fostering collaboration across teams and departments. Solid data, a robust BI platform, and rich, interactive analytics can speed your organization toward a successful future.
Visit our Modern Business Intelligence page to discover how a tactical self-service BI deployment can revolutionize operations. If you are looking for implementation guidance or have questions, our team of expert data professionals is ready to help! Feel free to contact us any time.