New Year’s Resolutions for a Better Self (and better Self-Service Analytics)

Terri White's picture
 By | January 11, 2016
in Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Self Service
January 11, 2016

Make 2016 your best year yet with the right resolutions for you and your company.
Photo attributed to Sally Mahoney.

Happy New Year! We’re into the second week of 2016, and I can just about get away with saying that still. It’s one of my favorite times of the year because it’s a time to reflect and start fresh and build your list of priorities and dreams, some dusted off and reorganized from last year and some shiny and new. 
I’m sure many of you have made some resolutions for 2016. These resolutions come in all varieties – some are personal, some are physical, some are professional, etc., but they’re all meant to better us in one way or another.  The worst resolutions are the ones that you can’t ever keep, which is why I have just one: Enjoy the moment. It helps to keep me focused on the right things.
As for Information Builders, we resolve to help our customers do more amazing and game-changing things with their data. We expect to see continued focus on self-service BI and analytics in the coming year and, with that, more people throughout an organization becoming interested in data. How do they get access to it? How do they make sense of it and make decisions based on it? How can they use data to help achieve other resolutions to work smarter and be successful?
If your 2016 professional goals include improving the way you and your organization make decisions, listen up. We’ve got a surefire list to keep you on track to get the right tools and technology in place: 
  1. Consider Usability – An intuitive interface will simply make people want to use any app – including an analytical one. This, in turn, promotes high levels of user adoption and maximizes return on investment. Everyone benefits from a powerful and comprehensive yet user friendly way to share and operationalize insights.  
  2. Make Sure You Can Scale – A scalable, high performance underlying architecture will effectively support a growing user base, without driving up hardware and maintenance costs – even when the number of users reaches into the hundreds and thousands. 
  3. Ensure it’s Secure – Data security is crucial when opening up analytics to new audiences. Preventing unauthorized viewing of confidential information is even more important when data is shared among external user groups like customers and partners. 
  4. Think About Data Services and Integration – Data services and integration allows IT to expand the data environment and open up all information – from enterprise systems like CRM, ERP, and legacy applications, as well as social, cloud, mobile, and other 3rd party data sources – to all your end users for richer insights. 
  5. Be Fit for Purpose – Give people the appropriate tool or app to help them get the insights and answers they need. It doesn’t have to be complex or packed with bells and whistles. Sometimes a simple, elegantly designed InfoApp centered around a particular business scenario can do wonders for someone’s productivity and effectiveness. 
  6. Pump up Performance – Users expect superior performance from self-service analytics, even when large data volumes are processed or a high number of queries are generated. Slow response times can lead to frustration and even abandonment of the platform.
  7. Make it Personal – Information is only truly relevant when users can tailor it to their very specific needs. Giving users full control over what they see and how they see it will drive greater levels of BI adoption.
  8. Keep It Clean – Accuracy, consistency, and completeness are important when information is shared with a broad user base. An underlying platform with fully integrated data quality management ensures that all data is timely, trusted and available for self-service access.
And there you have it! Following these eight resolutions will ensure that you create and execute an effective, comprehensive self-service analytics strategy in 2016. To learn more, check out our white paper on the topic.