dinsdag 7 december 2010

Managed Self Service BI

For a while it was on my mind to write somehing about Managed Self Service BI. After presenting this subject, it became clear to me that this subject is a good candidate for a post on my blog. Managed Self Service BI, as i define it, is a framework of doing things right on the fields of organisation, processes and technology. I would like to define organisation as what can an organisation do to organize themself in a manner that it is efficient and effective (when employing Self Service BI), technology is everything technical enabling Self Service BI and processes is the oil between the organisation and technology. Processes (procedures) will enhance the possibilities of technology and organisations. These three fields can be aligned or they are not aligned. Perhaps this is comparable with the CMM levels where CMM level 0 is total chaos and CMM level 5 is that everything is under control. Let's take a look at the diagram below:

The organisational part is about how to organize your organisation, team or business to aid Self Service BI in the best optimal way. At first you need to have a clear vision on what your goals are regarding Self Service BI. What do want to achieve? Define a roadmap to achieve to meet that goal. It's better to take multiple steps than one giant step.

Self Service BI for everybody in your organisation is a tricky thing. What are the risks if everyone 'does' Self Service BI? If there are risks perhaps it's better to make a distinction between power users and casual users. It's very important defining who are casual users and who will be the power users. Power users are the users who have the responsibility and freedom developing BI solutions.

The next best thing is training your employees about Self Service BI. Understanding the principles about Self Service BI, best practices, technologies to be used, etc are important issues here.

On the technology side care should be taken for a robust BI infrastructure. The BI infrastructure should support Self Service BI as good as possible. Complex queries or queries from unexperienced users can pull down your BI infratructure. Off course select BI tools that support Self Service BI in the best possible way. To often suppliers claim that they have tooling with Self Service BI support but at the end the tooling is not intuitive and users still need support from IT.

The process focus area  is about organizing the procedures and processes around technology, organisation and people. When people building Self Service BI solutions it's difficult to determine whether the report is trustworthy. So need to make sure that users can rely on datasources that is reliable. I think that you have certify data in a way that users can trust this data. Users can compare figures, counts or whatever of their reports with the certified reports, datasources or report parts (usable in mashups). 

Also think about creating a sandbox where users can play, try, explore with data and the tooling.



2 opmerkingen:

  1. Hi Hennie,

    I'm a big proponent of making BI more pervasive by empowering users with VERY simple reporting applications. This is in addition to the full vendor suites for power users.

    This would be a kind of BI "toaster" - that would allow highly-contained reporting. The controls are easy to use and the results easy to interpret. Most business users want to make their jobs easier - not get embroiled in decrypting a new interface.

    Companies that see reporting on a spectrum, rather than monolithic, are ahead of the game.


  2. Hi Justinhay,

    Thanx for your comments. Our opinions are quite the same. IT should come into play when it needs to be standardized, skilled or scalable.