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Self-service BI isn't self-enabled

Kimberly Nevala, director on the SAS Best Practices team | Aug. 21, 2013
For many companies, the self-service business intelligence (BI) experience is similar to the early days of agile development.

* It Takes a Village Collaboration is pivotal to self-service adoption and viability. Capitalizing on social media techniques, collaborative BI environments create communities of practice that become their own support system. Collaboration promotes and harnesses the power of this collective by providing features that prompt users to:

  • Vet data and analysis among themselves
  • Develop a common understanding of shared data
  • Solicit input on the cause and potential impact of key findings
  • Capture and track the effectiveness of actions taken based on reported findings

* It's a Balancing Act -  By their very nature, self-service environments allow for the creation of an even more-confusing morass of disparate reports and analysis. The flip side is that appropriately managed environments, with their focus on collaboration, naturally encourage consensus and, ultimately, consolidation. Finding the right balance requires good governance relative to the sharing and publication of information. Particularly for official corporate reporting, outputs disseminated to third parties such as customers or suppliers, and those reported publicly for regulatory compliance purposes.

Ultimately, self-service is the output of a robust BI and analytics strategy. Done right, self-service can extend the visibility, value and adoption of BI and analytic solutions. Done poorly self-service can exasperate an already disgruntled and overwhelmed user community.  


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