Self-service Business Intelligence Tools For Improved Customer Insights – Self-service business intelligence (BI) is an approach to data analysis that enables business users to access and explore data sets even if they have no experience in BI or related functions such as data mining and statistical analysis. Self-service BI tools allow users to filter, sort, analyze and visualize data without involving the organization’s BI and IT teams.
Organizations are implementing self-service BI capabilities to make it easier for employees, from managers to front-line workers, to gain actionable business insights from data collected in BI systems. The primary goal is to encourage more informed decision-making that results in positive business results, such as increased efficiency, better customer satisfaction, and higher revenue and profit.
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It is important to note, in the implementation of these BI capabilities, that although a lot of technical knowledge is not required to work with data analysis, it is necessary for the user to have business knowledge and experience in order to know what questions to ask, how to act on the answers and, perhaps most importantly, what questions to ask next.
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In addition to traditional BI tools and processes, the BI team or IT performs the work of analyzing data for business users. In this approach, users ask new analytical questions, which a BI analyst or other BI expert writes and runs for them. Similarly, users request new BI reports and dashboards, typically through a request collection process initiated by BI employees.
Once the project is approved — which can take weeks in some cases — the BI team prepares the necessary data or, if necessary, works with IT to extract it from the source systems, transform and clean it, and load it into the data warehouse. or other data storage. The BI team then creates queries to produce the necessary analytical results and designs a dashboard or report to display the information.
In contrast, a self-service BI environment allows business analysts, executives, and other users to run their own queries and create their own data visualizations, dashboards, and reports. Since some of these users may not be technically savvy, it is imperative that the user interface in self-service analytics software is intuitive and easy to use. But self-service BI systems should meet the needs of casual users, who may just want to see data, and advanced users with more technical skills.
Training should be provided to help self-service users understand what data is available and how it can be queried and used to make data-driven business decisions. In many cases, BI team members also continuously support users as needed and promote BI best practices throughout the organization.
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The expanded access to data and analytical capabilities provided by self-service BI can benefit businesses in a variety of ways. Potential benefits include the following:
Self-service BI implementations also present different challenges for organizations. Barriers and roadblocks to a successful self-service initiative include the following:
To avoid or overcome such challenges, an organization must begin with a well-planned BI strategy, including a solid BI architecture that establishes technology and governance standards. These fundamentals can help ensure that an organization has the right data sets and infrastructure to support the use of self-service BI tools in the enterprise.
In addition, a BI training program should educate workers not only on how to use self-service systems, but also on how to find needed business data and create effective data visualizations, dashboards, and reports. Meanwhile, the data management policy should define key data quality indicators; data management, access and use policies; procedures for sharing reports and dashboards; and how to maintain data security and privacy protection.
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Qlik, Tableau and Tibco were among the early vendors of self-service BI and data visualization tools. Now software vendors that once offered traditional BI tools for skilled analysts are also offering self-service products. In fact, research firm Gartner characterizes the modern analytics and BI platform as a set of easy-to-use tools that support a complete data analytics workflow with an emphasis on self-service capabilities and enhanced analytics features designed to help users find, prepare and analyze data.
Salesforce, which acquired Tableau in 2019, also offered its own BI software, but which is now integrated into the Tableau product line. Information Builders was also a significant BI vendor, before Tibco acquired the company in early 2021.
Ease of use, sophistication, and features vary for each vendor of self-service BI tools. For example, some platforms may be used primarily for simple dashboards and visualizations rather than more complicated data analysis and related tasks, such as self-service data preparation, data discovery, and interactive visual exploration.
Key features of self-service BI software include ad hoc querying, data visualization, dashboard design, and reporting capabilities. The software can be used as a relatively simple self-service reporting tool by managers and operations workers who only need to see specific information, while more advanced users can take advantage of its search functions and design to share analytical results with others.
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Self-service tools also offer a variety of other functions, either as standard features or add-ons. Some of these items include the following:
Augmented analytics technologies are increasingly becoming key components of self-service BI platforms. They include natural language query capabilities that eliminate the need to write queries in SQL or other programming languages, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms that can identify relevant data, explain the meaning of data elements, automate the data preparation process, and suggest appropriate . types of data visualizations.
Other notable trends include the implementation of low-code and no-code development tools by vendors to simplify the process of building BI applications, plus adding support for multi-cloud environments to BI platforms.
The Business Application Research Center (BARC), an analytics firm primarily focused on BI and data management software, surveyed more than 1,800 users, consultants and vendors who ranked self-service BI as the fifth most important BI trend. Data discovery and visualization and creating a data-driven culture — both closely related to self-service BI — were No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, according to BARC’s “Data, BI & Analytics Trend Monitor 2023” report. Data quality and master data management were first on the list, while data governance was fourth.
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If you want to know more about our platform or just have additional questions about our products or services, please send the contact form. For customer support, visit our support page to access the customer community portal. Business Intelligence (BI) is a very popular word in the business world. But few of us know what exactly it is and why companies consider it one of their main business tools. Many business managers use it
Knowing exactly what they need from it, not knowing what it can actually do. BI basically extracts important insights from vast unstructured data and turns it into valuable business information. Companies can use this information to make strategic decisions, optimize operational efficiency and increase productivity. This information provides important insights into customer trends, buying habits, online shopping statistics, etc. that can provide immense value to any business.
BI tools can help companies with valuable sources of data that can be used to achieve business goals by making strategic decisions. Various customer interactions in the form of voice call, chat support, email support can be analyzed and measured using BI tools to understand customer preferences, buying habits, market trends, etc.
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“BI is about providing the right data at the right time to the right people so they can make the right decisions”
If you are the CIO of an organization and responsible for BI, you must be worried. We are sure you must be looking for different ways to better understand and unlock the secrets that data holds. Now we all need reports. So the job changed. That’s why analytics is a trend in the world of technology. Business intelligence at the top of the analytical scale. But wait, do you really know how BI helps your business? Or are you just following the trend?
BI provides the data
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