“Self-Service BI” – The New Generation BI

Need to adopt Business Intelligence (BI) by the organizations to make smarter , faster and informed decisions is increasing with the increased competition. Thanks to the challenging economic environment that led to the advent of Business Intelligence into the array of IT Solutions. Access to information is what gives companies competitive edge and allows them to discover new business opportunities. Yet in many companies decisions are not based upon the information, data or Business Intelligence because of the inability to keep up with demand for informative data and analytics. To fill this gap business users of organizations are demanding more control and faster access to relevant information which will help them to take appropriate decisions.

To fulfill this demand and decrease the amount of time involved in a typical BI project – A new approach named, Self-Service BI got evolved which involves setting up an environment in which the information seekers and decision makers can create and access specific sets of BI reports, queries and analytics by themselves with minimal IT intervention.

Gartner defines Self-Service BI as: “End users designing and deploying their own reports and analyses within an approved and supported architecture and tools portfolio.” This statement from Gartner implies a partnership between business units and IT which is sometimes referred to as “Managed” Self-Service BI. Self-Service Business Intelligence (BI) is emerging as a large segment of the business intelligence and analytics environment for many fortune 500 companies. Self-service BI can also be defined as a facility within the BI environment that enables BI users to become more self-reliant and less dependent on the IT organization.

One significant and major reason that Self-Service BI is becoming more prevalent is because the Corporate BI environment cannot always react fast enough to support the needs of business users.

The major factors behind the evolution of self-service BI are:
1) Less turnaround time
2) End Users/ Business Users having in-depth knowledge of the data and subject areas.
3) Ever-increasing variety of data sources.
4) Dynamic business needs that require instant attention and analysis.
5) Enable different types of information workers to share BI results and work together to define new ways of viewing and analyzing data.

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