Tools and apps, apps and tools. There isn’t really a war on data like there was a couple years ago. It’s become a question of how to get the right data at the right time, in the form that is right for companies to remain competitive. Faster, better, accurate. It’s not even just about the data either. It’s about having the right, or best, tools to guarantee success.
Silos of data, integration mazes, where data and its structure aren’t reused, but essentially repeatedly recreated, cause employees to become less productive. It is imperative that, from a productivity and maintenance standpoint, different types of BI tools and apps, share solutions.
According to Rick van der Lans at R/20 Consultancy, “only then will the entire BI system be able to support four key requirements: reporting consistency, reporting accuracy, cross-platform development, and high productivity.
Self-Service BI (Business Intelligence)
But employees want to develop reports and analyze data freely. They want apps. They’re not interested in dealing with the complex technical aspects of how to unravel data from the data source, in developing their own integration solution, or in managing piles of scripts.
Companies now have access to Self‐Service BI, which is meant to allow them to exploit their data at will. Through intuitive and user-friend interfaces, employees can develop and change reports and dashboards they way they like them, without having to pick up the phone and call IT.
What’s needed is one integrated BI platform to improve user productivity, and to help businesses remain relevant in the marketplace. Companies don’t just need to know what their customers have purchased, they need to know what they like, what they’re likely to buy, how they engage with other customers, their social network interactions, demographics etc. Having all of this data in the right format is vital for company departments, so they can nurture customer care, forecast sales, and personalize their approach to the individual.
“Data is not valuable if it’s just lying around in big databases. It becomes valuable only when it’s used. Users across an entire organization, from the strategic to the operational level, need to be able to easily and quickly access the right data with the tool that fits their reporting needs. For some that means using predefined reports that can be invoked on their desktop by simply pushing a button. For others it involves a highly dynamic reporting environment that allows them to study data from every angle and on each level of detail, and for others it’s a simple report they can invoke on their mobile phone in the form of an app that can be tweaked a little,” says Information Builders.
“Analytics that are simple, precise, and focused on a specific business problem will satisfy the non-technical business users that make up the majority of your information consumers. The success of the apps market demonstrates a transformation in how these stakeholders want to access and interact with enterprise data.
But apps alone aren’t enough for your analysts and power users, who want more sophisticated capabilities to address their complex information requirements. An effective self-service strategy – one that meets the needs of all user types – calls for a combination of apps and tools.” – from the 8 Must-Have Criteria for Self-Service Analytics.
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