Once upon a time only people who were experts in UNIX and were IT administrators could use the Internet. Times have changed so much that today you can hand a 2-year-old a tablet and she’ll figure out how to access the Internet without any instructions.
That’s how Izenda has seen the evolution of Business Intelligence heading for quite some time, according to company founder Sanjay Bhatia.
In the beginning days of business intelligence, there were very few data scientists, programmers and consultants even working in the field. Only company executives could tap into the data scientists’ and analytics programmers’ time. First generation tools were off-the-shelf tools for reporting and ad hoc query and analysis of structured data. SQL and standard database connectors were used.
The numbers of data scientists and analysts hadn’t increased significantly compared to the demand for actionable business intelligence when these desktop-oriented tools gave way to server-based BI functionality and the rise of the data warehouse.
These were used by a broader community, yet perhaps only six percent could use the tools to turn data into analytics. Report creation and construction remained the province of IT-centric employees. Most business employees never saw the results of report requests. Of the 90 percent of people actually running the business and executing strategy, none of them had any access to data.
Third Wave of Business Intelligence
Now, in the third generation of BI, Izenda aims to serve 518 million people.
“We have about one million of them now,” Bhatia said.
Those numbers will continue to grow as employees and businesses continue to generate exponentially larger volumes of data. While right now many of those workers who input data using common applications such as Salesforce never get to analyze that data. Instead, they rely on a tiny population of data scientists, analysts and company executives to service them.
The best way for business intelligence to evolve is to take the massive population of employees already on the computer all day and give them access to their data.
Modern BI needs to be self-service to put it in the hands of the people who need data and answers the most, embedded within the end user’s regular business application to ensure it is used regularly, scalable to allow for growth (or to adjust for lean times) and customizable to meet the specific needs of those end users.
Democratized data doesn’t mean open data. Izenda’s platform adopts its customer’s security roles to prevent end users from viewing sensitive data, while allowing them to get real-time data in their hands to make business decisions in a timely manner.
An end user intimately involved with the data being analyzed likely knows better than a developer what data is important – and when one report is a revelation that requires further analysis to drill down into the essentials for business success. By allowing the end user to customize dashboards and views, data discovery continues in real time.
As the technology and industry involves, perhaps one day 2-year-olds will be somehow analyzing their own data.
Izenda is a fully web-based application that allows organizations with on-premise, cloud, SaaS, and enterprise applications to deliver modern self-service reports, dashboards, and visualizations.