Self-service BI implementations are a bit like cakes because they don’t get good without a tried and true recipe for success. If you don’t want overloaded analysts, frustrated end users, or an unused solution burning a hole in your wallet, it’s best to design a strategy around your organization and its specific needs.
But what does a comprehensive self-service BI strategy look like? We’ve listed the ingredients you need to launch a program for success.
What is self-service BI?
Self-service BI is a subset of business information, the collection and analysis of information relevant to the interests of your business. The self-service range allows users in many departments or departments of an organization to develop their own insights by gathering the information they need without waiting for help. But even this taste of BI depends on data analysts and other IT staff.
Know who you serve
Getting to know users – all of your users – is the first step in creating a self-service BI strategy. You can’t predict how each user will interact with data reports or how far weed each particular person wants to get, so the best way is to plan for all types of convenience with both data and data. the self-service tool you are implementing.
Defining each segment of users based on their skill level is much easier than defining them based on, for example, their role. For example, a newly struck college may be much more comfortable adapting a canned report to exactly what they need in their monthly earnings report, while an experienced high-level executive may not be interested in learning to make even the simplest changes. Don’t sort users before you even start – give them a tool and different starting points and let them sort themselves.
And again, don’t forget your knowledge workers behind the scenes! Think about what features they need to connect to data sources, take care of data objects for non-technical end users, build stored reports and aggregation screens, and so on.
Give users options
Whether it’s analysts or data consumers, everyone who uses a self-service BI solution is changing. They grow, they thrive in their roles, in their tasks, in their tools. Your strategy needs to have defined tracks for all user levels, but you also need to give them room to move up and down, level up when their jobs require it, and even level down when they join a management team, for example. There is no point in keeping users in their original skill classes because people refuse to stand firmly. Just as you configure your updates to executable data software, you should identify growth paths in the self-service BI implementation.
Follow the feedback
Setting a strategy is not enough: you also need to measure how it moves. A usage tracking plan will help you choose the directions you choose for your self-service strategy.
For example, you may find that one department or client company uses the solution frequently, while others have not yet implemented it. IT allows you to diagnose the problem. Maybe those users can’t find the information they need, or maybe the reports they’re referring load too slowly because the filter settings are incorrect.
Regardless of the concern, monitoring will help you identify opportunities to ensure that everyone benefits from self-service BI implementation.
Focus and iterate
Your plan needs to change. That’s not even the case if your plan changes; that’s the thing when and how much.
Scaling must take into account dozens of variables, including, but not limited to:
- Changes in user demographics
- Capacity of technical resources
- Additional server budget
- Inclusion of new sources of information
- Release of new analytics features
So while it may be tempting to spend appropriate hours hoping that your original implementation will be able to respond to such changes, it’s best to simply adapt your approach to the new reality. Keeping agility is the last key to a successful self-service BI strategy. If you’re tuned in to your audience, give users a variety of analytical tools, keep tabs on their experiences, and you’re ready to adapt as needed, your self-service BI delights like a perfectly fried souffle.
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