8 years ago

Full-service Business Intelligence Is Changing the BI Landscape

The use of BI solutions is now widespread even among small and medium-size enterprises.

A few years ago, business intelligence was only popular among large enterprises. Nowadays, mid-size companies and even small businesses are embracing BI solutions. This BI software offers more tools for organizations to choose from. As companies continue to seek new capabilities, something new is taking shape – the full-service business intelligence.

Self-service business intelligence demonstrates how the balance of power in BI is shifting from IT to business. It allows end users to set up and create their customized reports instead of IT. The deployment by users is done within an approved and supported architecture. Self-service BI software is intuitively redesigned and the tools are easy to use and operate. As such, business users do not have to be tech-savvy nor do they need a degree in statistics to utilize BI tools and generate new insights. This feature enables users to make decisions based on their own queries and analyses.

All business intelligence programs used to involve the time-consuming process of gathering, cleaning, and organizing disparate data. Data analysts end up spending between 50 and 85% of their time doing these processes, according to one study, instead of focusing on their real job of analyzing the data. Companies continue to seek for ways to break this bottleneck and streamline the process by removing the usual steps prior to and after the self-service BI.

Consequently, the business intelligence industry is going through a transformation to meet the changing needs of many organizations, particularly large enterprises that are dealing with a huge amount of data. This demand gave birth to full-service business intelligence, which serve the needs of companies requiring additional data services.

Self-service BI versus Full-service BI

Self-service business intelligence has provided the speed many organizations long for. The solution has made many companies happy with its faster capability. However, there are still areas to be improved, as analysts still have to go from one insight to another, browsing through their data and trying to figure out what to look for. Full-service business intelligence provides the answer to what was lacking in the self-service BI. Full-service BI software enables analysts to see the insights they need right away.

While a self-service business intelligence is better than the traditional BI solutions when it comes to giving more tools to analysts, full-service BI empowers frontline users to find answers more quickly. Its automated alerts functionality, which is related to specific business objectives, makes this possible.

In addition, access to near real-time data in full-service solutions boosts the capability to generate profit-generating insights. What’s more, the spontaneous visualization of the progress of strategies being formulated allows analysts to redesign strategies or redirect efforts swiftly and efficiently. As such, taking the next steps to grow profit becomes an easier task.

Full-service Business Intelligence Benefits

  1. Time spent on data cleansing is shortened.
    Full-service business intelligence solutions handle the management, cleansing and formatting of data, enabling users to dedicate more time for analyzing instead of cleaning up the data.
  2. Customization capabilities are enhanced.
    Self-service business intelligence solutions provide easy access to basic analytics functions. Full-service BI solution, on other hand, offers more advanced analytics that enterprises can utilize to meet their specific business requirements. This capability allows end users to generate their own queries against corporate data and solve more complicated problems without having to rely on their IT department.Many modern companies long for BI solutions with plug-and-play data analysis. They also want BI tools that can be easily customized for faster actionable insights. These capabilities are now present in full-service BI solution.
  1. Deployment is faster.
    With full-service business intelligence solutions, companies do not have to worry about interminable deployment period to have a fully functional analytics tool. Remarkably, full-service solutions can be launched enterprise-wide at a much shorter period of time, even a few hours, as compared to a traditional enterprise BI solution that takes months, even years, to deploy.
  2. Alerts and analysis are automated.
    This one useful feature of full-service BI solutions is a relief when it comes to informing users of critical situations, such as dealing with loss-making contracts or a declining sales trend. With minimal involvement from users, BI solutions do the analysis and proactively notify the users through automated alerts. As a result, companies are less likely to get stuck with business strategies that either do not work or just pulling them behind. Instead, they become more prepared to take profitable business opportunities.
  3. Data insights become portable.
    Leveraging the power of cloud technology, full-service BI solution, which is a cloud-based business intelligence, allows users to access the data when and where they need it. For example, salespeople can quickly access their product pricing and customer date analytics from their mobile device anytime, anywhere. They are prepared to make decisions without having to be in their office premises to access their desktop computer.
  4. Report-ready analytics empower frontline users.
    The availability of report-ready analytics in many leading-edge BI solutions offers insurmountable benefit to sales and finance teams. Imagine the valuable hours users will save if they don’t have to spend long hours preparing the reports themselves. With this functionality, users can directly export the visual report to a presentation-ready format.

What’s next?

Business intelligence has come a long way over the last two decades. The use of BI solutions is now widespread even among small and medium-size enterprises. The BI and analytics market is in the final phase of shifting from IT-led reporting to business-led, self-service analytics, noted Rita Sallam, Gartner’s Research Vice President.

Cutting-edge solution providers continue to shake things up in the business intelligence industry with their full-service BI offering. Many businesses are starting to embrace this ‘next-generation’ BI solution to stay competitive. More companies are taking advantage of modern, easy-to-use BI and analytics platforms. Companies will move ahead to deploy modern BI&A platforms across the enterprise to easily manipulate data and create business value from deeper insights, according to Sallam. With the solution’s increasing popularity, more robust functionalities and advanced business analytics tools will enter the mainstream.  

Photo courtesy of Michał Koralewski.

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