Self-Service Business Intelligence is Big

Self-Service Business Intelligence is Big, but is it for Everyone?

Self-Service Business Intelligence is Big, but is it for Everyone?
What intelligence are we seeing lately about the state of Self-Service Business Intelligence (SSBI)?

Let’s start with the fact that the numbers are pointing up. According to a recent report published by Research and Markets, the global Self-Service Business Intelligence market will grow from $3.6 billion in 2016 to $7.3 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 15.2%.

Sales organizations across industries should wrap up 2016 as having the largest SSBI market share across all business functions, the report notes, citing the need for these professionals to generate insights from internal and external data about the performance of sales people and sales overall. “Self-service BI helps the sales department in resolving these issues even without any help from the IT team or Data Scientists,” it notes.

Given the onslaught of data every company is dealing with, industries ranging from telco to retail and energy to manufacturing increasingly are interested in bringing advanced BI and analytics techniques directly to business users. In fact, the research finds, the healthcare and life sciences verticals should experience the highest CAGR during the forecast period because of a growing need to manage real-time data related to healthcare activities – patient sleep analysis, for example.

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For Business Users and IT Alike

Among the top Business Intelligence trends in 2017, according to a Business Application Research Center (BARC) survey of 2,800 BI professionals, SSBI ranks in the top three issues. It’s key to take some of the strain off of IT when it comes to satisfying a steadily growing demand from departmental end users for faster changes and new developments to meet their Business Intelligence needs, the firm says. In that environment, it makes sense to enable business users to build or design their own queries, reports, interfaces or even data models, the researchers explain. “Data discovery and visualization as well as predictive analytics are among the typical functions users want to consume in a self-service mode,” the report notes.

While business users represent one pocket of parties interested in Self-Service Business Intelligence, another important user segment is the IT department itself. A survey of IT pros from real-time IT management vendor ManageEngine – which this past summer unveiled a self-service solution to help enterprise IT staff gain insights from the data generated by its network monitoring, applications monitoring, and customer support tools – shows  that these experts want Self-Service Analytics tools as much as their business counterparts.  Forty-two percent of respondents want to create reports on their own, a win for Self-Service Analytics over traditional reporting – and on-demand, with ad hoc reporting being key for more than one-third so that they can get answers to specific questions and analyze specific data.

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Empowering IT users in this respect is a driver for better IT Governance, the company reports.

“Self-Service Business Intelligence tools provide a much greater level of flexibility in this regard and allow them to quickly carry out a wide range of important tasks, including creating personalized reports, acquiring real-time insight on the data they need, and carrying out the necessary action,” writes ManageEngine VP Sridhar Iyenger.

There are some cautions to consider when it comes to Self-Service BI. The Research and Markets report points to factors such as high investment costs and lack of proper Data Governance processes as obstacles to even greater market growth, for example.

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