business intelligence

What is self-service business intelligence and how does it work?

Self-service business intelligence (BI) is a type of BI where users are able to access and analyze data themselves, without having to go through IT or another department. Self-service business intelligence can be performed using BI tools or software that allow users to connect to data sources, create reports and dashboards, and perform analyses.

Are you tired of waiting for your IT team to create reports and dashboards for you? Do you need more control over your data and the ability to analyze it on your own? If so, self-service business intelligence is what you need. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using it, the difference between self-service BI and traditional BI, and show you how to implement it in your organization. Let's get started.

6 Key benefits of self-service business intelligence

1. Increased agility and faster time to insights

Users can get the data they need when they need it, without having to wait for IT to provide it. This can help organizations make decisions faster and be more agile in responding to changes.

2. Reduced costs

By eliminating the need for costly IT resources, project costs become less expensive.

3. Reduced dependence on IT

Users have the power to access and work with data without having to rely on IT support. This can free up resources and allow businesses to be more nimble.

4. Increased user adoption

By making it easier for users to get the data and insights they need, it can be much easier to increase user adoption.

5. Improved decision making

By allowing users to access data and perform analysis themselves, decision-making can improve because it is easier for users to find and use the data they need.

6. Increased business value

Organizations can realize the full value of their BI investments by giving access to more people and departments. This makes it easier to uncover valuable insights that lead to cost savings or more revenue.

Self-service BI vs traditional BI

Self-service BI is different from traditional BI in a number of ways.

Traditional BI is typically more centralized, with IT or another department controlling access to data and providing users with reports and dashboards. Self-service BI is more decentralized, giving users the ability to access data and perform analysis themselves.

Another difference between self-service BI and traditional BI is that self-service BI typically uses lighter weight tools that are easier to use. Traditional BI tools can be more complex and require more training to use.

Finally, self-service BI can be more agile than traditional BI. Because users can access data and perform analysis themselves, they can get the information they need when they need it without waiting for IT or another department to provide it.

Steps to take to implement self-service business intelligence

Step 1: Assess your data needs

The first step for implementation is to assess your data needs. What type of data do you need to make decisions? How often do you need it? Who needs access to it?

Step 2: Select the right tools

Once you know what data you need, you can select the right tools for accessing and analyzing it. There are a variety of self-service BI tools available, so it’s important to select the one that best meets your needs.

Step 3: Connect to data sources

The next step is to connect to data sources. You should make sure you can connect to a variety of data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, and cloud-based data.

Step 4: Prepare data for analysis

Once you’ve connected to data sources, you need to prepare the data for analysis. This includes cleansing and normalizing the data, as well as creating any necessary calculations or transformations.

Step 5: Perform analysis

Now you’re ready to perform analysis. Self-service business intelligence provides a variety of features for performing analysis, including reporting, interactive visualization, and predictive analytics.

Step 6: Share results

The final step is to share your results with others. The ability to share reports and dashboards with colleagues, clients, and customers is an absolute must. If you can't easily share valuable insights, they likely aren't that valuable to start with.

Start getting to insights in minutes, not hours or days

The benefits are clear. Self-service business intelligence allows users to get insights from data faster, makes it possible for them to ask more questions, and empowers them to make better decisions. If you’re looking for a way to give your employees these same advantages, start a free trial of ThoughtSpot today. With ThoughtSpot, you can be up and running in minutes with a platform that is easy to use and provides the answers you need. What are you waiting for?