9 Questions to Determine If a BI Solution Is Truly Self-Service

A Tool That Grants Independence to Business Users
We all know the constant struggle between IT and business users when it comes to BI software: Business users want to access data in order to make fast decisions independently, without having to use IT as a middle man every time a new requirement arises, query is run, or data is added. Yet, IT is overwhelmed by constantly changing requests and requirements, and struggle to deliver data in an actionable time-frame. The question is: how do more people independently explore business questions? A popular solution to this challenge is self-service BI.
Self-Service BI Friction Points & Solutions
Data, skills, and infrastructure can measure the degree of self-service supported by a Business Intelligence tool using these 9 questions. Conditions for self-service can be balanced against the friction points that need to be addressed. This results in a matrix of nine types of questions to test the degree of self-service supported by a BI tool:
9 Questions for Self-Service
Acquire – Data: Access recent data from all sources in the rawest formatData access requires you to connect, join and synchronize diverse data sources. This gives rise to questions like: Is it possible to access all the required data sources? What needs to be done to join different data sources together? Can a connection be made directly to the raw data?
Acquire – Skills: Skills to format data for analysisLet’s assume you work with many data sources that have data quality issues. You need to check the level of skill to make corrections to the data before analysis. Relevant questions are: Does the tool require a professional DBA? Do users need to learn different skills to prepare different data source?
Acquire – Infrastructure: Infrastructure to process the data for analysisWorking with large varied data sets is a common requirement.

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