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What is Self Service Business Intelligence?

Self Service BI has been on the organizations ‘must have list’ for quite some time now. According to BI Trends Monitor 2018 by BARC, Self Service BI stands strong among other important trends in the BI Market like Master Data Management, Data Discovery, Data Governance, and so on. While it is still a high priority need in the market, let us develop some basic understanding about SSBI.

According to Gartner, “Self-service Business Intelligence is defined as end users designing and deploying their reports and analyses within an approved and supported architecture and tools portfolio.” In the most general sense, it is a BI tool that can be used by the business users to access the corporate data and work with it to take business decisions, even though they do not have any knowledge about statistical analysis, business intelligence (BI), or data mining. The business users who may not be tech-savvy can run their queries and analysis and create their reports based on the training provided to them. This process curtails the dependency on the Business Intelligence(BI) or the Information Technology (IT) teams and frees them to focus on other high potential tasks.

Why is SSBI So important?

With the growing needs of the businesses today, the traditional way of central data warehousing, the methods, the architecture and the software solutions fail to offer the same level of agility and efficiency. Therefore, to keep pace with the competition in the market, companies need to make quick and accurate decisions using the insights derived from the Business analytics. The adoption of Self Service BI solutions caters to the problem of having access to the data and information anytime and anywhere. As a result of which, we see a growing demand for Self Service BI solutions that are simple, quick and user-friendly


Challenges of Self Service BI

While it does sound like an accessible path to success of any Business, Self Service BI has its own set of problems and risks. SSBI may offer free access and information to the employees anytime and anywhere; it also carries the risk of reporting being increasingly scattered, which results in data inconsistencies, wrong analysis, lousy data quality and growing data silos. Therefore, the resources are not consumed efficiently; the data usage does not follow the compliance guidelines, the ability of innovation and analysis is compromised.



The dos and don’ts of Self-Service BI

Organizations are adopting Self Service Business Intelligence to boost agility and make a more informed decision, however, there are specific dos and don’ts that one ought to adhere to, to achieve success through SSBI. 


  • Self Service BI platform should be fast, intuitive and reliable for the end users
  • Provide training and support- End users should be well versed with the usage of the platform so that they can find answers to the questions they have from it.
  • Deploying a self-service BI platform is the key- the rollout has to be done with a lot of focus and care
  • The practice and culture should be in place- While you may install thousands of agile tools, the key to churn best results out of it is to set right some basic practices for using it
  • Finally, the intelligent automation- Once there is a culture that you have put in place for the SSBI platform in your organization, it is time for automation and prediction. This will help reduce the friction in the process and add predictive capabilities to the data


  • Try to save money by using Self Service BI; its work is to expand the access of information
  • Try and initiate everything at once. Discover the areas that will create a significant impact and act on them first.
  • Try to breach the discipline. It is crucial to get the right results from the available data, both for the people and the processes.
  • Provide a database of information just for the sake. All the available data should be actionable and insightful
  • Break the discipline, when the data reaches a critical mass and grows from there



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