Enabling a Business Intelligence Self Service Platform across the Enterprise

Filed under: by: Art Style and Design

After some time, someone invariable would question how much money and resources were dedicated to these internal/external reporting and analysis teams. The findings were always shocking; in many organizations, these informal IT groups were bigger than the official IT Business Intelligence team. People would slowly start to realize that they could merge all these teams into a single Business Intelligence (BI) team with a significant impact on the bottom line. However there was still some hesitance to form a core team as they did not want to repeat the errors from the past. A new, fresh approach was needed, and so the concept was born: what if IT could provide “The Platform” that enabled the Business for Self Service across the Enterprise. The idea was intriguing, what was lacking was the know-how to make it from concept to practice. This article will focus on defining the concept of enabling a Business Intelligence Self Service Platform in the Enterprise and then laying the foundation to make such an idea a true possibility in any organization today

Defining a Business Intelligence Self Service Platform from a business perspective

We can easily define “Business Intelligence Self Service” as a service provided by an open Business Intelligence platform that enables business users to access the information they need by themselves, using an easy to understand User Interface (UI) that is defined in business terms and not IT jargon. Perhaps the most critical feature of such a service is to eliminate the “IT touch” for the users to create new reports; the platform should support the capability to combine existing data elements into a custom report. It goes beyond providing ad-hoc capabilities to truly enable a creativity engine that makes it possible for the business users to follow the Information Analysis Cycle (Figure 1) quickly, by themselves, and without calling for IT support

Information Analysis Cycle

Figure 1 - Information Analysis Cycle