Another post from tireless software engineer David Dunham (@radiofreelunch) at the Tableau Customer Conference, on self service BI presented by Claudia Imhoff.
Self-service BI ≠ self-sufficiency! A TDWI survey on self-service BI said #the 1 driver of self-service was constantly changing business needs.
Benefits to IT of providing self-service include:
Claudia cited a case study: a great self-service project rolled out to doctors and nurses FAILED. The audience didn't want to do the analytics, they just wanted to consume information not produce it.
There are 4 groups of information workers:
"We need to build the buffet table that has all these components in it, so the BI user can stand there with their tray and pick and choose," said Claudia.
Guiding principles of self-service BI:
On technology solutions, Claudia said that no single technology has all the necessary attributes.
The #1 inhibitor to self service, according to mostly IT responders to TDWI survey, was lack of skills in business users. Also cited was lack of data quality, control, and governance. "No demand" was NOT an inhibitor!
Governance does have a role in self-service BI. This is a big issue. It's different than in the past though.IT is under the misconception that it has to control the information assets that the business people use. They got blamed for bad data, security breaches, compliance problems — even though these weren't their fault. Not all data has to be governed, but some does. IT needs monitoring and oversight capability, not control.
The Line of Business may need to take on some of the previously traditional central IT roles such as security. Governance can be aided by customizable BI components, such as parameterized reports, report templates, or stored analyses.
Claudia cited these best practices: