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Self-Service Business Intelligence (BI)

What is Self-Service business intelligence?

There’s a lot of interest in self-service or ad-hoc Business Intelligence (BI). But what is it? Essentially, self-service BI is a software solution that enables users to analyze and generate business data-based reports without the aid of data analysts. This ability speeds up the business decision-making process.

Traditional BI vs Self-Service BI

In a traditional organization, business intelligence analysts are constantly fielding questions from business users including managers, HR, and logistics teams. The analysts use traditional, complex BI software to perform analysis and generate reports.

This system is implemented on a priority basis. For instance, if a CFO is under pressure to immediately obtain a report for unexpected auditing, this interrupts the pipeline of other requests.

This is not an issue with self-service BI. The software is accessible to users of all skill levels, rather than just BI or data analysts. With intuitive UIs, drag and drop interfaces, and templated reporting options, this opens up the world of BI to all business users. The CFO is able to easily access the data needed for auditing and generate the relevant reports themselves on an ad-hoc basis.

Ensuring Self-Service BI is effective

For business users to access data and generate self-service reports on the fly, business data needs to be organized, centralized, up-to-date, and always available. Simultaneous database connections must be supported, so multiple people can answer questions at the same time. The data organization and configuration needs to be managed by data analysts. Analysts will build a data dictionary with metrics, KPIs and dimension definitions, as well as describe the data schema (aka the data model). This is essential to be able to manage the data and iterate over a configuration.

Like any enterprise software product, self-service BI requires user training. This can be self-led, in person, or via mixed learning techniques.

Real-Time is the Only Time

Simply giving business users access to data and the ability to generate reports isn’t enough. They need answers in real-time, and can’t wait for extracts to be refreshed. Unlike legacy BI tools, bipp is an in-database analytics tool, which means processing is done within the database, rather than in the BI tool itself. This removes the resource-heavy pull step, allowing business users to answer questions on billions of rows of data and drill down to row level details in seconds.

Benefits

Frees BI specialists to focus on complex tasks

Your BI specialists are experts creating complex analyses to help your business get ahead. It is counter productive to use them to answer simple, repetitive BI questions that can easily be solved using self-service BI software.

Business users can answer data-based questions immediately

When you have business questions to answer, the best time to get that answer is right now. With access to the right self-service BI tools and adequate training, anyone in your organization can get the answers they need from your business data by generating reports in near real-time.

Gain a competitive edge

The longer your business decision-making takes, the more likely it is that your competition will beat you to the punch. Being able to speed up the decision-making process, backed by verified internal business data, gives you the competitive edge over your competitors.

To learn more about bipp’s self-service BI approach, ask for a demo here…

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