Self-service business intelligence refers to the strategies, techniques, and tools firms employ to allow business users to filter, compare, visualize, and analyze data without specialized or advanced IT knowledge.
During the analytical process, the decision-makers have complete power and flexibility to link the data, run the analysis, create visualisations or reports, and publish their findings. The analysis itself may alter during this process, depending on the current expectations of the information consumer. In the background, a clever abstraction layer powered by powerful proprietary analytical engines converts your interactions into database queries.
Then, to make your data more readable, you can turn it into useful data visualisations. Predictive analytics models are included in the top self-service BI packages, allowing you to easily change data based on the analysis you need to do. They created charts and tables that may be easily shared via a dynamic KPI dashboard, allowing anybody in your company to monitor, understand, and participate in the data extraction process – not just a professional IT or analyst department.
Business users were formerly limited to specifying criteria for reports and data that needed to be assessed, with technical and analytics professionals handling the entire process.
TRADITIONAL VS. SELF-SERVICE BI APPROACHES
The data was accessible to IT, data scientists, and analysts. Control, modification, extraction, and reporting were all in the hands of a remote number of professionals who knew their way around data warehouses, SQL queries, and analyzing large amounts of data. Businesses have frequently been unable to hire someone to work with their data, and the only tools available to them were spreadsheets and static presentations. Things have changed tremendously in recent years, and software solutions have improved at such a breakneck pace that everybody in a company can now provide meaningful insights. Let’s look at the differences between traditional BI software and self-service BI:
a) Who is in charge of what?
Traditionally, business users would create business requirements before creating a report or dashboard. Their engagement effectively comes to a halt at this point, and the IT department takes over the rest of the process. The data can be extracted, converted, and loaded (ETL) into the data warehouse once the project/report has been approved. The IT or BI department creates the report or business dashboard, and business users have limited control over the process. However, business users do not need to be tech-savvy to handle data in a self-service setting. The IT staff works closely with users to choose the best technology for the job, but the user has complete control over analysis, reporting, and dashboard creation. Self-service capabilities also enable several options based on a professional’s knowledge, allowing the typical user and the IT specialist to use the same tool.
b) Who and where do you load the data?
IT setup and controls the entire analysis process in a traditional setup, but self-service BI solutions allow the user to take control of the process. Even though data extraction and loading into a warehouse are mainly automated, the IT department is in charge of pulling data from the warehouse and generating reports using SQL queries in the traditional configuration. On the other hand, business users have direct access to data and complete control over data analysis, report preparation, and dashboard development in a self-service setting. While business users must engage in data preparation activities, they can help the IT department take on many responsibilities.
c) Who is in charge of creating the report or dashboard?
Modern BI software typically has a drag-and-drop interface with user-friendly navigation that allows non-technical users to create their queries and generate detailed results. IT personnel handled this in a conventional BI environment while the business user-approved or requested changes to the report or dashboard. This process could take weeks, and the IT department is frequently overburdened with other tasks. Reporting has become a time-consuming process that no-one experienced. Average corporate users have gained the capacity to create their analyses, ad hoc reports, analyze data, and engage with dashboards using a variety of visualizations in recent years. The process has gotten so simple that the IT department no longer needs complete control over its business intelligence. Self-service reporting systems enable business users to tamper with data on their own time.
Traditional and modern business intelligence functions within a company differently, but the end goal is the same: actionable insights. Businesses must consider their budget, employees, and tools and their ability to support and maintain them to select the best alternative. We’ll begin by discussing the benefits of self-service business intelligence (SSBI) before moving on to the most crucial elements of these products.
Implementing Self-Service BI effectively
Business data must be controlled, centralized, current, and always accessible so that business users can access data and generate self-service reports on the go. The administration and setup of data are the responsibility of data analysts. Simultaneous database connections are required when multiple users are answering questions simultaneously. Analysts will construct a data dictionary including metrics, KPIs, dimension definitions, and a data schema description (aka the data model). This is required for data management and iteration over a configuration.
Self-service User training is required for BI, as it is for any other enterprise software solution. This can be accomplished independently, in person, or by combining ways.
Provides real-time updates
It’s not enough to merely supply data and the ability to generate reports to business users. They demand prompt responses and cannot wait for updated extracts. Bipp is an in-database analytics tool, which means that, unlike prior BI products, the processing is done within the database rather than within the BI tool itself. This eliminates the time-consuming pull stage, allowing business users to quickly answer questions about billions of rows of data and drill down to the row level.
Allows BI professionals to concentrate on more complex tasks
Your business intelligence specialists are experienced in creating complex analytics to help your organization prosper. It is futile to answer minor, repetitive BI questions that can be handled with self-service BI tools.
Business users can respond to data-driven inquiries almost instantaneously
Now is the time to have a business question that has to be addressed. Anyone in your organization can acquire the answers they need from your business data by generating reports in near real-time if they have access to the right self-service BI tools and sufficient training.
The self-service business intelligence provides various recommendations and benefits that you can use for your BI operations and practical suggestions based on our many years of industry experience. Thanks to modern technological developments that have made software simple to adopt, operate, and access, true self-service is now at your fingertips.