Decentralized BI is the system of storing and managing business intelligence, or data, independently by respective department, rather than centrally. Essentially, every division handles its own data requirements and any analytics applications they need with little corporate involvement.
A truly decentralized environment can result in insufficiencies and/or redundancies in BI software, staff, and applications across a company. On the one hand, organizations today want centralized data – for governance and security reasons. At the same time, organizations want a decentralized mode of operation for data discovery as well as to find new insights in a self-service fashion without increasing the workload of the reporting team.
The “best of both worlds” approach is distributed BI, a form of decentralized BI that gives individuals greater freedom to use data while still governing their access to that data in a centralized and scalable manner. In short, distributed BI makes self-service analytics possible. It allows users to discover data insights on their own without increasing the workload or creating a backlog for the reporting/IT team.