Posted April 25th, 2017
The benefits of self-service business intelligence (BI) are obvious. For starters, one need only consider the time savings that self-service BI can deliver. According to preliminary research conducted for The 2017 Benchmark Benchmark Report on Self-Service Business Intelligence, which publishes next month, 93% of companies cite time reduction (e.g., the time needed to access information, the time needed to analyze data, the time needed to make decisions, etc.) as a top reason to deploy self-service BI. A common refrain from business users who previously relied on traditional BI tools and processes is that the response from IT to their requests was suboptimal, at best. They complain of having had to pester IT multiple times to get a new report. Almost half (49%) of them said that they needed to go outside the standard reporting and analysis process at least once a month to get the information they needed.
Time spent chasing down information is time that employees could spend doing any number of other things to create value for the business. With self-service BI, business users can get the information and insights they need faster, and from more data sources, making it possible for their organizations to respond and adapt more quickly to changing business conditions or new opportunities. This improves employee productivity at all levels of the organization. It also reduces the amount of tension that has often existed between the IT staff and business users and that was long the hallmark of traditional BI operations.
With self-service BI, managers can spend more time focused on optimizing their numbers rather than compiling and trying to make sense of them. Knowledge workers can get more work done within the same timeframe, and make better, faster decisions along the way, leading to significant increases in productivity across the organization and increased business success that benefits the company as a whole. Needless to say, any tool that allows employees to increase output without increasing costs is music to everyone’s ears, and especially to the ears of those individuals who sit in the executive boardroom.