How to Enable Your Organization For Self-Service BI

There are two types of BI solutions: traditional or agile. Today’s BI market is moving further away from traditional solutions to more agile, self-service solutions because businesses require more speed and agility in order to keep up with users’ needs and to make smarter business decisions. Additionally, traditional BI tools are often limited to data warehouses that house most of a company’s data but not all of it, and these solutions often require developer expertise instead of being end user-friendly.

There is no doubt that an agile, self-service BI solution is going to be the best for your business now and in the future, but the question then becomes, “How do I enable self-service BI into my organization?”

  1. Define your use case(s). It’s both unwise and expensive to purchase a self-service BI solution and deploy it to an entire company for usage. In order to successfully implement and scale a solution, an organization must have one or several defined use cases for the tool and then build on the use cases from there in order to scale the solution.
  2. Click here to download “Business Intelligence Buyers Guide (Part 1)”

  3. Centralize data that caters to the defined use cases. Companies have more data now than ever, however not all of it is pertinent to every organization’s BI use cases. Agile, self-service BI tools still need a data source to which to connect, therefore instead of taking the landfill approach of trying to connect everyone to all data, companies should focus their attention on where the data exists which meet the needs of the defined use cases and then decide if it’s efficient for the BI tool to speak directly there or to replicate and create a central data source.
  4. Build a semantic layer. Regardless of whether you centralize your data or keep it decentralized, once the data location has been determined, the company will then need to leverage a developer or developer team to build a semantic layer over the data, which translates the data from within the BI tool to the audience of each use case.  For example, make sure the accounting team has the data they need and only what they need and that the data is communicated in their terminology so they can leverage self-service BI without needing IT assistance.  The same is true for the support teams, the marketing team, customers, and anyone else who will leverage the self-service BI solution. The one size fits all approach does now work when scaling self-service BI to a large organization. In Yurbi, the semantic layer is called a Yurbi App and each user can have their own Yurbi App to give them access to only what they need in a way they understand.
  5. Make security a priority. As more users gain access to an organization’s data through a self-service BI tool, security becomes increasingly important. This means companies will need to either build a security layer for the data or find a BI solution that employs multi-tenant level security, with the capability to audit user activity. In Yurbi, this per user, data level security feature is called App Shield.

The Bottom Line

The benefits of having a self-service BI solution are evident as the need for businesses to have quick access to data in order to make more strategic decisions becomes more important. However, self-service BI tools won’t be appropriate for every use case, and companies can’t simply buy a solution and expect it to work. It’s critical that organizations have defined use cases and processes to implement the BI tool in order for it to be beneficial to the business and to ensure adoption among business users.

Need to more information about whether self-service, agile BI is right for your business? Check out our Business Intelligence Buyers Guide or contact us!

Click here to download “Business Intelligence Buyers Guide (Part 1)”

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