Today, businesses are drowning in data. Companies are generating more data from more data sources than ever before, yet they are struggling to extract actionable insights from this data.
From boardroom executives to frontline operation managers, the uncertain economy has highlighted the necessity—and the benefits—of making informed decisions.
To cut costs, streamline operations, and fuel continual process improvements, employees must be empowered to make better decisions at every level in the organization.
Critical business data needs to be accessible to all employees, so that they can perform their own analyses and freely share insights with team members.
With access to relevant data, employees can find opportunities to operate more efficiently and grow revenues, so the company can emerge stronger from any economic environment.
Historically, it was the IT department that was responsible for helping the business users extract, analyze and report data. Business users didn’t have access to these mountains of data, and with the overload of the IT departments, getting insights in a timely manner was always a business challenge (for business users) and a burden (for IT Dept.). And this brings us to the 3 main challenges that arise when implementing a BI solution:
So whether you are a business user or an executive or a manager who wants to empower his people with business insights, Self-Service BI is for you.
Self-Service BI is a term that involves free-form reporting and analysis that enables any individual to integrate data from multiple sources and drill-down and understand the root cause for data anomalies. It enables everyone perform his/her own reporting and analysis (hence the word Self) without relying on IT or others.
With Self Serivce BI, anyone will be empowered with the relevant information that he/she needs to make better, more strategic decisions. Business Intelligence gets the right information to the right people faster. Providing self-service access to BI capabilities allows users to access, analyze, and collaborate on critical business information to make the best possible decisions. And, self-service data access reduces user dependency on IT, speeding access to data and enabling them to make the right decisions at the right time. At the same time, it frees IT to concentrate on higher-value projects.
For example, with self-service capabilities, customer support representatives can directly use Business Intelligence to review information that helps them identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. Sales managers can gain visibility into the pipeline and prioritize their efforts around their most profitable customers. With self-service access to real-time information, front-line employees can quickly analyze what’s happening within the business today, and make decisions based on information that’s both current and relevant to their role—helping to build customer relationships and plan for the future.
The evolution of the Self-Service BI has made easier than ever for everyone to access and extract insights from his data. With the many tools available in the market, I have personally chose to go with Microsoft BI tools, and I have detailed why in this blog post.
So all in all, self-service a win-win. The organizations driving this culture saves on labor and can allocate its resources to more productive and interesting tasks. And business users get the information they need quickly without a lot of overhead. With cost barriers tumbling and tools proliferating, now might be a good time to give self-service BI a try.