Secrets on How to Make End Users Into Citizen Data Scientists

By December 14, 2016Embedded BI

Citizen data scientists at work.Your customers need to understand how your application with embedded BI and analytics lets them cash in on the value of data. Let’s examine how the citizen data scientist can draw insight and suggest business action with little training and existing business knowledge.

Decision makers may think only a data scientist, or at least an experienced business analyst, can use the BI solution. But the emphasis in Citizen Data Scientist should be on the citizen, not the scientist. The goal is to equip business users with the data they need to make better business decisions in real-time. This is the promise of embedded BI within an application’s workflow, where we encourage nimble decision making. That’s unlike many “Big Data” enterprise solutions. Their users constantly expand the amount of data they have on hand to analyze before they take action.

Don’t underestimate how the speed to a data-driven decision creates value. In that way, embedded BI trumps Big Data.

Self-service embedded BI solutions give us tools for actionable insights to make informed decisions on the fly. Businesses that fail to adopt its use take opportunities away from the entire organization.

So how can you turn end users into Citizen Data Scientists?

Learn more about self-service analytics at the Izenda Embedded BI User Conference.

Embedded BI Tools Must Be Intuitive to Use

Give application users an interface that makes report creation intuitive and easy. Optimize the user experience by providing a simple, elegant, intuitive interface for your data model. Izenda’s powerful aliasing and categorization settings present the end user with an easy to understand, business relevant set of names and groupings.

Jenzabar, a leading provider of enterprise software, strategies and services developed exclusively for higher education, wanted an intuitive, modern-looking design for their users. They chose Izenda’s embedded BI solution.

“Izenda’s web-based solution is helping our clients report far faster than before. It’s a game changer for both system administrators and end users,” said Sam Burgio, Jenzabar Executive VP/GM.

Izenda’s solutions architect Michael Hornaday said the Izenda platform “is highly intuitive and almost self-teaching, you can go straight from design to view in one seamless experience.”

Chris Richburg, maintenance manager for multiple Caterpillar plants and an eRPortal customer, confirmed what Izenda’s self-service business intelligence platform provides.

“Efficient time management requires the rapid retrieval of data that is both intuitive and easy to use,” Richburg said. “Providing greater access to relevant data will empower my workforce to make decisions quickly, and greater amounts of data will allow us to manage our complex materials and asset management requirements in a more proactive manner.”

Analytics Must Be Seamless Within the Workflow

Find a vendor whose integration of BI analytics and reporting makes transitions seamless between regular work and data exploration. This allows the user to make the best possible decision on time and track the success of that decision in real time.

Train Users on Proper Use of the Analytics Solution

Investing in training by a vendor is the best way for a citizen data scientist to get the most out of your analytics tool. Give them the opportunity to improve their skills and they can pass that knowledge on to other business users. You can go as far as having them attend data science boot camps. But business users who are less comfortable with analytics still need training. Help them become consumers of self-service BI.

This training needs to include how to use and interpret data visualizations. Explaining the relationships between graphs gives clarity as you are providing the whole story.

Create Specific Guidelines for Your Business to Achieve Insights

It’s best to create guidelines and example use cases that are specific to your industry and business to achieve relevant insights. These should include basic statistical rules, instructions for creating accurate visualizations and comprehensive tutorials.

Adopt a Data-Driven Philosophy

User adoption remains one of the biggest problems for any analytics solution. Software companies need to encourage their customers to make their businesses data-driven. Start small and build on that success. This enables the entire organization – and those budding citizen data scientists – to understand the role and its requirements. Look internally to find eager to learn employees who already function as business analysts. Not everyone wants to take on this role. But these power users know the business and may have the interest and aptitude to add to their skill sets.
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