Classic business intelligence solutions were good at accomplishing their core purposes – namely, helping organizations make better decisions based on information instead of intuition or guesswork. However, it may have felt like a pretty substantial group of employees were missing the boat. Getting output from BI can be a complex process, one handled by employees with advanced competency and training in a particular field. But what about the business staff without this specialized expertise? They would have to file a ticket with the proper department and wait. And if there's one thing that can scuttle a quick strategy in business, it's a protracted delay.
The self-service revolution
A recent insideBIGDATA piece by contributor Daniel Gutierrez explained the changes that are underway in IT today, shifting the onus of asking BI questions to departments that don't have a technical background. These employees can take the new freedom they have been given and get on with their own projects. As for the technological developments that have actually made this highly logical change possible, Gutierrez highlighted development in the interfaces accompanying algorithms. The processing power is still all there, making sure the insights are sound, but now they are tied to visualizations and other tools that make sense to those without advanced training.
Today, granting self-service BI access doesn't just mean opening up a few weak or token algorithms to the masses. The solutions themselves are strong and capable, with the ability to handle large data sources. Gutierrez cited big data as a challenge presented to companies today. They see that they can harvest great insights from information that would have been considered too large or loosely structured to produce anything of value in years past, but they need to make the connection between this content and advanced business needs through capable software. Fortunately, products today can rise to the task.
Go for self-service
Companies hoping to delve into self-service analytics can fortunately get started right away, as this technology is finally available for consumption as a standard feature within BI suites. Solutions such as Necto 14 are powerful and effective because they combine the ability to make sense of a huge variety of inputs with friendly design that puts the outputs of those analyses in front of workers who haven't been trained specifically in interpreting BI. This is a boon to everyone from the CEO to the road warriors in the sales department, as it facilitates accessing the software through a mobile device and seeing custom, helpfully tailored results.