IT Gains with Self-Service BI Adoption

Self-service business intelligence on a smartphone.As business intelligence is adopted across the organization, IT leaders should not consider self-service BI as a reduction in the importance of the department. The necessity for developers will not decrease one iota. Instead, the adoption of self-service BI will improve the playing field for IT.

A vendor choosing to focus staff on the organization’s core competencies rather than creating an in-house BI solution will strengthen the staff of developers, who will appreciate sticking to the technological direction that has been established. Pulling developers off of work on your core business applications will cut morale and the quality of the work. Time will be lost as your developers move out of their specialties.

In building a BI platform, your engineering team will have to take time away from further developing new features, products, or other solutions for your customers, meaning your core business will suffer. Allowing scarce and expensive technical resources to focus on core product and operations is better than continually trying to maintain and enhance BI functionality. Beyond that, your engineers, while successful in what they deliver to your business, are likely not mobile analytics experts. They will have to rely on external research in the building process, leaving them without first-person resources or help. Creating reporting solutions seldom interests these developers. So cutting their time from core competencies will make it different to retain them on your staff.

Choosing to embed a self-service business intelligence platform that you bought instead of built will keep those developers working on your applications. This choice to buy instead of build in-house is not a knock on your developers’ abilities and skills. It is a recognition of their expertise and of the key applications at the core of your business.

A better choice may be to choose to purchase a self-service BI platform from a firm that has its core competency the development of embedded BI solutions used by many organizations and end users. Modern BI functionality, particularly visualizations, can involve technologies that are not widely known and may not be easily managed by existing development staff.

A Gartner survey found about half of all project failures were created by functionality issues and major delays. With an embedded BI solution created by a trusted vendor, you don’t have to worry about managing another project outside your company’s core competencies.

Free IT from Report Creation Deluge

Likewise for the users of your application, democratizing the data can be a boon for the IT department. While some see the move to put Business Intelligence solutions into the hands of the whole organization as a weakening of the IT department, it should instead it should be seen as a great opportunity for IT.

The traditional data team has its strengths—and enables deep and sophisticated analysis—but it has its limitations, particularly when it becomes a bottleneck for data access. Data access should be democratized and real-time, without the intervention of a time consuming process or a specialized team – which consumes the time of the IT department, not just the end user.

The self-service BI approach involves the IT and the data science teams only in the initial database-setup phase. After that, users perform everyday tasks—such as field addition, dashboard creation, and data visualization—on their own. For the self-service BI approach to work, BI reporting frameworks should be intuitive and easy to learn, so training time can be minimized.

Adopting self-service business intelligence should thereby be seen as a major positive step in the IT department being freed from spending an imbalance of time on what becomes daily tasks for the business department.

By putting self-service BI solutions in the hands of the business side of the organization, the IT staff can spend more time on core competencies that move forward the main work of the business. If the experts in IT don’t have to stop to create solutions for every data and insight need of the business side, they will have time to work on the core tasks and main technological direction of the company.

These new self-service BI solutions are easy to use and don’t require specialist training. They cut down on the time to insight and eliminate complicated processes that require involvement by several departments.

In the past, traditional BI solutions had to be custom-built application analyzing raw data. A special set of skills was needed by users, and that was with the support from IT to design and deploy the app. All of this, plus realizing actionable insight, took a lot of time.

Embedded BI moves IT and consultants out of the report-writing business, saving your clients time and money while allowing end users the opportunity to focus more clearly on strategic goals. Embedding BI will be a seamless integration into your application, allowing you to take your product to market faster while offering it as an upgrade or new feature that will add to your ROI.

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