The analytics landscape is in flux. Five years ago, traditional BI tools reigned, as IT teams and a handful of power analysts led the buying decisions for most organizations. Today, users of all ranks and skill sets leverage data to track performance and make more-informed decisions.
More and more businesses in all sectors are abandoning pre-configured dashboards and reports and moving full speed ahead toward self-service and data discovery tools that allow users to find and analyze data on their own. While this shift implies that the majority of analytics users want to do everything themselves, it’s important to know that this isn’t always true.
On one hand, some analytics users can’t wait to gather, analyze, and visualize their own data. For example, the users at Citycounty Insurance Services love to dive into the data themselves and create their own reports. “In the world we live in, people want access to information and they want it easily,” explains Trent McGath. “The more they can get their hands dirty and really dig deep, they love it.”
On the other hand, some workers prefer to look at pre-built interactive dashboards and reporters. For instance, at Karmak, certain customers prefer to designate an IT expert to implement the tool and distribute custom reports to their users, says Greg Gardner, manager, Reports Development. While other customers want the ability to give individuals access to build their own reports using managed datasets.
How can you meet the needs of all your different types of users?
Recently in Dataconomy, Charles Caldwell, Vice President, Solutions Engineering and Services at Logi Analytics, outlined three key practices that we have seen lead businesses to self-service nirvana:
- Understanding Your User Personas: Understand how your business intelligence users use data and what their decision environment looks like.
- Putting Analytics in Context: Consider what information a user needs in the moment they need to make a decision.
- Adopting Agile Practices: Adapt your processes to adopt key agile practices to make your organization more effective at all aspects of BI.
Caldwell explains that if you take the time to understand your users, provide them analytics within the applications they use every day, and then optimize the process with agile practices, you’ll find self-service success a lot faster.