BI Trends

The 5 Keys to Self-Service Success

By Logi Analytics
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Whether you’re in IT, overwhelmed by self-service BI dashboard and report requests, or a business end user waiting for answers – you understand just how frustrating it can be in the “Traditional BI” line.

Because who doesn’t want to be that woman whistling on her way out? 

In a previous post, we outlined the continuum of self-service and explained how to deliver those capabilities in a controlled environment. But there’s a lot that goes into deciding what to provide end users and how to implement those services. To set you down the right path, we’ve pulled together five keys for successfully empowering users with self-service analytics:

Know Your Users – Self-service means different things to different people, so you need to understand how your users prefer to work with data. Profile your users on a spectrum: on one end, they could be primarily consumers of pre-formatted information; on the opposite end, they could be analysts who want to interact and analyze data to discover new insights on their own; or perhaps they are a hybrid of both ends of this spectrum.

Align Functionality To Your Users – Self-service is not a one-size-fits-all model. Match self-service capabilities to your users: information consumers will be interested in reporting with little to no interactivity; more data-savvy users will want drill-down analysis, data querying, and report authoring capabilities; and analysts will want visual data discovery that helps them answer new questions as they arise.

Meet Your Users Where They Work – The era of delivering report-writing abilities in a completely separate business intelligence application is coming to an end. Deliver information to users according to their preferences and within the context of where they work, which is inside their preferred business applications and on mobile devices.

Balance Freedom and Control – Empowering users with greater freedom to use data does not mean losing control. Foster self-service while also governing the access to data in a centralized and scalable manner. Apply the necessary security controls and auditing measures to the self-service capabilities that ensure users are given the appropriate data access.

Drive User Adoption – Traditional business intelligence was not empowering: either you ended up with small team of analysts writing reports for a few or, worse yet, really expensive shelfware. Drive adoption across the entire user base not only by delivering intuitive functionality, but also by monitoring usage and collecting user feedback. Take a long-term view on self-service and adapt to users’ needs as they change.

Now that you have the knowledge and tools for successful implementation, it’s time to fast track your BI needs and give your users the power of self-service – the power of real-time knowledge.


Originally published July 23, 2014; updated on July 23rd, 2018

About the Author

Logi Analytics is the leader in embedded analytics. We help team put business intelligence at the core of their organizations and products.