Business Intelligence, Big Data, Predictive Analytics

Kalie Moore

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Self-Service Business Intelligence By @Datapine | @CloudExpo [#BigData]

The good news is that business intelligence tools are evolving

Top Five Reasons To Invest in Self-Service Business Intelligence

Businesses of all sizes are inundated with data, and the need to create value from the raw information is growing.

The good news is that business intelligence tools are evolving and becoming more affordable, inclusive, and easy to use, especially with the introduction of Self-Service Business Intelligence (SSBI).

SSBI empowers everyone, even the non-techies, to access and analyze data used to make critical business decisions without having to consult the IT department.

Each team member can design and share their own dashboards and analyses, enabling them to focus on the data, not the technology. Here are our top five reasons to invest in a SSBI solution ASAP.

1. Your Bottom Line
To get the most out of your data, define your objectives before beginning analysis. Specific questions will help your team focus on the right data, saving you time and money. Even with the best intentions, reports can often fail to answer a key question or to produce actionable results. With SSBI, you can easily reach the data you need to find answers. If the results are not relevant, change and re-run the query without the IT department's help. By answering critical business questions and creating actionable insights, your bottom line will improve.

2. Excel Just Isn't Cutting It
When users can't access the data you need, it is still common for them to shortcut their data management processes to get instant answers, often with Excel. A 2011 study by Forrester showed that 88 percent of users rely "heavily" or "exclusively" on spreadsheets. Old-style BI is clearly not meeting their needs.

Though Excel was never intended as a BI tool, it can be tempting to depend on familiar spreadsheets. Relying on Excel for BI is a risky proposition because of the manual data entry, which is prone to errors, especially when spreadsheets are passed around your organization.

The days of exporting large datasets to spreadsheets to be converted into charts and pivot tables are over. With the new generation of self-service tools, BI analysis within spreadsheets belongs to the past.

3. You Need to Analyze Multiple Sources
Comprehensive Business Intelligence often requires combining multiple data sources and performing cross-database queries. From online to offline data, including social media sources, a user-friendly SSBI setup will enable you to aggregate and analyze every type of data available in one place.

4. More Inclusive
Business intelligence should become a team effort. Your entire team no longer needs to rely on a data scientist poring over spreadsheets, looking for clues to improve services. Since you all easily access the same data, SSBI makes the decision making process more inclusive. Joao Tapadinhas, a research director at the analyst firm Gartner, explains, "BI has become more democratic and more employees can benefit from it on a day-to-day basis. It is shifting away from an elite group of users where actions take hours or weeks."

SSBI puts everyone on the decision making team on the same page, allowing everyone an equal opportunity to impress the boss.

5. Data Visualization Is the Key
Data visualization is hot this year. Combining millions of data points and advanced math concepts to make a story that people will understand is not an easy task. When it comes to data visualization, simplicity and clear data presented by SSBI tools will increase the level of audience engagement.

Even though this data visualization concept has been used by managers for many years, the use of dashboards has become indispensable to filter and manage the vast amounts of data that modern companies generate.

The time spent integrating a Self-Service Business Intelligence solution into your organization will pay for itself immediately in staff participation, business awareness throughout the organization, and better decisions.

More Stories By Kalie Moore

Kalie Moore currently handles inbound marketing and PR for datapine. datapine is a highly scalable SaaS tool that revolutionizes database analysis by making even complex functionalities available to non-technical persons. From the heart of Berlin, datapine shows customers around the world how to make better business decisions faster. Kalie also writes at Berlin Startup Girl, a blog detailing the ins and outs of the Berlin scene and other international startup ecosystems.