Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and correspondingly, the volume of business data is constantly growing. It is important that companies focus on managing and analyzing these data with the help of self-service business intelligence (BI).
In today’s context, the business user is at the center of any business strategy that an organization adopts. Gone are the days when only specialized data scientists could make sense of data, analyze and interpret it to make measurable findings and churn out extensive reports.
Bringing more power to business users, we are at the brink of a paradigm shift in today’s fast-paced business environment wherein the task of studying analytics and making strategic decisions is not just vested to highly analytical and statistically driven folks.
Self-service data discovery tools are designed particularly for the average business user. Leveraging many of the strengths of both mobile and web technologies, self-service BI tools and solutions are designed to adapt rapidly and frequently to the ever-changing business needs.
Here are some reasons that resonate with the statement that self-service BI solutions have an edge over traditional BI tools:
Flexible and user-friendly
Traditional BI tools necessitate significant understanding of technical data and expertise in coding and programming. That relegates data mining operations to a select few. But with self-service analytics tools such as Tableau, Domo and Sisense entering the scene, user interactivity is more pronounced and data can now be interpreted by everyone; thereby enabling better data discovery and deeper insights.
Quicker and real-time reporting
Offering comprehensive insights with a quick turnaround time, self-service BI tools help users gather and analyze data in real-time while traditional BI is not designed to do so. Impeding the need for exploring a wide range of use cases, self-service BI tools allow business users to generate ad hoc reports after accessing only the data they want, without demanding significant technical know-how.
Unlike traditional BI tools that are typically expensive, self-service BI tools is cost-effective to implement and maintain. Considering that the investment on heavy IT infrastructure is pretty less, organizations can quickly switch.
Self-service BI tools are designed to cut down costs as well as reduce the dependency on IT personnel. Empowering the business user, these tools enable them to make informed decisions thereby freeing up IT personnel from the daily rigor of wading through scores of data to make strategic decisions. The ease of operations in turn facilitates increased user adoption rates.
Considering the fact that different teams have different reporting needs, it is crucial to understand that a standard, mundane format of reporting may not come handy in several instances. Based on specific needs, self-service reports may need a bespoke format that matches particular requirements. With this feature, business users would be capable of gaining more insight into why certain strategies work and why certain others don’t.
Providing more relevance and context to data, self-service BI tools have a visual component that helps to create reports and dashboards using visualization tools, thereby adding aesthetic value to reporting. With features such as charts, pivot tables, and widgets, it is easier for business users to view, evaluate and infer meaning from these visuals. Providing visual information on clear and actionable dashboards will help users see the reason and context behind every business decision. Directing audience’s attention to relevant data points, visual aids enable users to deliver a story with data, thereby engaging audience and increasing passive interactivity.
Self-service BI tools are both web-based and app-based and this speaks volumes about their compatibility on different platforms. They can be accessed on smartphones and tablets, making them perfect for an increasingly mobile business environment. In fact, some tools like Power BI go as far as allowing users explain a specific visual in a report, highlight it, add comments and share them with other users through smartphones. With a drag and drop interface, users can prepare and send reports on the go.
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