Business Intelligence

The 5 Levels of Self-Service BI

To improve decision-making, an organization must liberate its data. In the process of doing so, self-service is achieved through user empowerment.

How can data liberation encourage a self-service environment? 


Liberating data is about making it accessible and discoverable for all the users. Insightful reports will be available to use whenever and wherever needed. With the right tools, information can be obtained by users on their own. Therefore, user empowerment, through data liberation, achieves the goal of a self-service environment.  


User empowerment can be attained from these 5 levels of SSBI we listed below. 


1- Run my own reports  


The power of generating and running a report is now in the hands of those who need it with SSBI. There is no more waiting or sending a request to another department to obtain the required information. In addition to this quick data gathering, users will pull together the data while running a comprehensive version of their own reports. This level allows anyone within the organization to get immediate and interactive access to its role-based analysis while saving time.   


2-    Analyze my own reports and dashboards  


Using self-service BI will surely reduce bottlenecks as analytics work will shift to individual users. Business processes are accelerated, analysis is quicker, and decision making is improved. Users can independently analyze their own reports and dashboards in a way that addresses their specific needs. This is facilitated through the features available from changing the chart type, drilling down to details, dragging/dropping, or visualizing their meaningful KPIs in a customizable way. A higher level of flexibility is attained as reports are easily adapted and new insights are derived. 



3- Share my reports with others collaborate with others  


The self-service BI tools available will offer sharing options for the users. This will enhance collaboration with colleagues as they can comment or work together on the same file. Some options would be through email, a URL, or an embedded option to share with external apps. The sharing feature respects data privacy as the user can choose which dashboard filters he wants the receiver to view and edit.  


4- Create my own reports  


Building reports, dashboards, and visualizations is now shifted to business users. It is no longer a challenge as self-service BI solutions provide users with the needed tools. Included are predefined templates, a library of premade models, integrating data from external sources. In addition to empowering users with new capabilities, it will also free an organization’s IT teams. They can now focus on more valuable priorities and better manage resources. With self-service BI, users enjoy a personalized experience as they can choose which format and data insights are relevant to their tasks. 



5-    Provision and model my own data  


With traditional BI solutions, IT and business users do not have equal rights when it comes to data modeling. Using the self-service BI tools, users can produce data models independently with minimal involvement of IT teams. The tools offered will allow users to access, integrate data sources, and prepare, transform, analyze the data. This dynamic data modeling helps users make the needed modifications to adapt their model to their department’s needs. Through an integrated enterprise data warehouse, users will build a semantic model over existing data source. This will avoid having to deal with multiple versions of truth by bettering the integrity and validity of the data.  


Users can exercise these capabilities at a personal or departmental level with minimal governance without too much negative impact. But, achieving these at an enterprise level requires governance to ensure data accuracy and instill trust in data. 



The five levels of self-service BI contribute to the business user’s independence and lead to a higher user involvement in the business processes. When data is liberated, the user is empowered with the right tools and data which will facilitate self-service and improve reporting. 

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