BI and Analytics Worst Practice #2: Expecting Self-Service BI and Analytics to Fix All Your Problems

Melissa Treier
April 04, 2019

The self-service tools that have been so hyped over the last few years are starting to hit a wall. Analytic tools are only used by 17% of employees according to BARC, the largest global survey for data and analytics in the world. With adoption rates like these, it’s clear implementing an easy-to-use tool doesn’t equate to a successful self-service environment. Your idea of self-service needs to extend beyond self-service tools or else you risk satisfying a small portion of your user base and end up hitting the wall, too.

If you try to satisfy different users with different aptitudes with the same approach, you end up with a less than favorable deployment or even worse, shelf ware.

Let’s start with the term “enterprise” and how you define it within the realm of BI and analytics. Is it focused on a true enterprise deployment benefiting all users? Does it enable pervasiveness? Or is it just the mindset of selling more licenses to benefit more of the same type of user, doing the same type of thing?

The reason why this definition of enterprise doesn’t really work is because not all users are created equal. Ease of use is not a “one size fits all” proposition. What I may consider easy to use may not be considered easy by another user in the enterprise. We all come to the table with a different level of experience and aptitude about data and analytics. If you try to satisfy different users with different aptitudes with the same approach, you end up with a less than favorable deployment or even worse, shelf ware.

You should have the flexibility to put the right information in front of the right user at the right time with the right user experience. This flexibility will then translate to ease of use and that ease of use will then drive adoption – and maximum adoption should always be the goal. You will not reach maximum adoption with a “one size fits all” approach. Your BI strategy should embrace it all and be powered by a unified, feature-rich platform with capabilities that satisfy the unique needs of even the most diverse user populations.

Our customer, Worldpay, a leading credit card processor and POS solution provider, successfully extended self-service analytics throughout the organization, delivering better tools for analysts to drive insights from 23 billion transactions annually. They also provided value-added online services to nearly 800,000 merchants with a BI and analytics application. This enterprise approach to addressing the unique needs of their users in different ways has resulted in increased revenue and productivity. Worldpay also leveraged a unique technology enabler from Information Builders to eliminate paper financial statements to customers by replacing them with actionable online eStatements, saving over $2 million annually.

Continue on to Worst Practice #3: Underestimating the Importance of Data Preparation.

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