Enabling a Business Intelligence Self Service Platform across the Enterprise

Filed under: by: Art Style and Design

This metadata layer will isolate the user community from technicalities and enable them to use the data based on its business meaning.

Canned reports will have to be set-up as examples on the capabilities of the platform; these will be used as the base for subsequent analyses, thus providing the first level of analytics out of box.

Last, but not least, the BI platform will have to be robust enough to provide a graphical report builder that facilitates the business users to create their own reports. Furthermore the BI platform will need to accommodate advanced capabilities, such as:

  • Advanced drilling: the capability to navigate across the data either up/down or across hierarchies
  • Real time/ near real time data: the concept streaming information as it happens to minimize the time the users need to wait for the data being available.


In order to bind the technology and the people together a process has to be established. To successfully kick-off a Self Service BI platform, a common, well defined process will be required to provide the initial support to the end users. As IT won’t have the business knowledge to help the business users translate their information needs into reports, a hybrid group, the power users, will need to be created. This group will be composed of business users who are early adopters and understand the technology, as well as, the business needs. They will be the liaisons between the business community and IT. IT will be responsible for maintaining the platform and adding additional data elements from different functional areas.

A straightforward process should be published that outlines the different levels of support, and so the business community knows who to contact and what to expect from this interaction.

How to measure success implementing a Business Intelligence Self Service Platform in the Enterprise?

Defining clear goals is perhaps the single most important action item while implementing a BI Self Service platform. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will have to be baselined against organizational goals (e.g. Out of my user universe how many use BI daily, weekly, monthly at all?) These measurements will highlight strategies to promote the use of the platform, and benefits across the enterprise.