Yesterday i joined a seminar, the BI dutch year event 2010, with Wouter van Aerle (CAP Gemini) , Martijn Evers (Radboud University) and Johan van der Kooij (VLC) and the subject was Selfservice BI. This blog is about :What’s it all about and what will bring this to us?
So what is selfservice all about? So far i understand it something like this :The ability for the (power) user to gather, extract, enrich and present the information from different kinds of datasources in an organization or external sources like www. It can be used for one time or low frequent analysis prototyping and for short time to market solutions.
BUT, What’s different with the situation in organizations, now? Currently excel is installed on every machine and with a little help (power) user can connect to datasources and analyze the data and built reports. So what‘s all the fuzz about (except the marketing machine of Microsoft)?
When certain aspects are analyzed in a broader view you can see different things are happening. The world is changing and people and organizations are changing too. Workers in organizations have deadlines and need to deliver information and excuses like is not in the datawarehouse is not acceptable. Yup, start up excel (or Powerpivot in a short time) and off we go. Other reasons are faster decision making, better decision making, and the new generation Y (20 -30 years old) workers. This new generation are users who are independent, self secure and wants to do everything themselves.
So it's not a really a new tool or solution but more a new age of informationprocessing. That's all about with self service BI. It's facilitating the user with all kinds of methods, tools, ETL, etc.
Another issue is like what purpose do you want to achieve with Self service BI? I think you'll have to authorize the information in certain Selfservice BI Solutions somehow. This information validated and this information not. So quality of information will be more important. Do you want to create a ledger of huge company via a Selfservice BI solution?
These change will lead to another role for the BI consultants. Now, BI consultants are the intermediar between business and IT. They gather information and present them. In the future a (power) user will have the ability to gather, analyze and present by themselves. So what will be the role of the BI consultant in the future?