Self-Service BI & Adapting Line of Business (LoB) Executives

April 21, 2012
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Today, BI has sprouted more than just a technology as organization across the globe demand over more relevant and faster information to support decisions. Eventually data volumes are conservatively increasing 30% a year and enterprises find it difficult to handle these enhancing data sources that enrich their analytical systems. Best-in-Class companies are able to identify these needs and allocate appropriate IT resources to manage these back end data warehouse leaving only the functionality reports to be created by the Line of Business executives.

Today, BI has sprouted more than just a technology as organization across the globe demand over more relevant and faster information to support decisions. Eventually data volumes are conservatively increasing 30% a year and enterprises find it difficult to handle these enhancing data sources that enrich their analytical systems. Best-in-Class companies are able to identify these needs and allocate appropriate IT resources to manage these back end data warehouse leaving only the functionality reports to be created by the Line of Business executives. However LoB executives are struggling to find a way to capture the appropriate insights from the information that are streamlined in and out of the organization.

Line-of-Business executives are entitled to make more agile decisions with the efficiently streamlined information. LoB Decision makers no longer have an option to wait for the IT executives to generate their reports, they need to be abreast of the market sheers and quickly respond to the threats and opportunities they face. Hence they require self-service access to their analytical solutions to take right decision without the interference of the IT. Top performing companies have started implementing a comprehensive road map to develop their technically imperfect LoB executives into analytically inclined decision makers, spread Business Intelligence (BI) capability to more organizational functions, and drive significant internal and external business efficiencies as a result.

The self-service delivery model to BI is being adopted by many enterprises in order to create significant efficiencies for organizations and meet the growing need for business visibility and decision. The self-service approach allow

  • LoB executives to increase the curiosity towards their analytical thinking to learn more on the BI tool
  • Companies to extinguish IT intervention into the deployment and support of the BI tool
  • To create more analytical friendly environment wherein reports and dashboards can be created, applied to the data and distributed to the executives within the organization
  • LoB executives have the complete freedom to create their desired customized data that induce them to make more confident and perfect decisions that significantly leads to improved business performance.
  • LoB executives to drive value form traditionally untapped organizational data.

While speaking about the companies adapting to the self-service delivery model there are two main factors that are driving companies to generate a self-service environment for BI.

  1. Most enterprises are experiencing a growing need to create business visibility between top management and specific departmental levels i.e. In a business the view of a top management executive will be only at a strategic level and he/she might not be strong enough to understand the functional area similarly the LoB managers of an organization have a good understanding of what drives the business but strategically weak to take decisions. In order to improve the business visibility, companies therefore leverage the self-service environments.
  2. Most departments in an organization find themselves submerged with raw data about their business. While efforts have been made at the IT level to capture and manage this data, many have yet to leverage those efforts to deliver actionable insight to the department level.

These two factors are top of mind for companies looking to achieve self-service BI at the functional level.  Companies are looking for precise fact-based decision-making rather than decision via gut-feel. BI is generally designed to enable more fact-based decisions and most LoB executives share the overall desire to extenuate doubtfulness in how they run their business. Additionally, the need for self-service BI has shown to be born out of economic necessity. Many organizations have been forced to cut IT spending and therefore transfer not just the technical burden of BI to LoB executives themselves, but the financial obligation as well. Many of these cash-strapped companies are looking for creative new ways of delivering analytical capability, and a new direction being considered is outsourced BI model delivered via web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) interface.

For a more detailed discussion of BI deployment methods contact shaughnk@zsl.com

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