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The New Approach to Business Intelligence – Trend Towards Self-Service BI

by Lyndsay Wise, President, WiseAnalyticsMonday, March 22, 2010

The concept of self-service BI is not new.  There has always been a push to get the right information into the hands of end users with concepts like BI for the masses and operational BI.  Both of these trends drive a broader application of business intelligence use within organizations on the whole.  Now, with the addition of self-service BI and a newer focus on having BI projects driven by the potential business value they will add, the type of business intelligence that has been desired but remained elusive can finally take shape within companies. It now becomes possible for organizations to have a strong IT infrastructure and BI framework while still having a main goal of addressing business pains and enabling decision makers to do their jobs more effectively. But what has enabled the shift of BI use from trends based reporting to end user driven strategic decision-making?

As organizations develop more mature BI models internally, BI expansion may be limited to what is available in-house.  Meaning: the ability to create a dynamic BI experience within a traditional framework is not an intuitive process. Consequently, smaller solution providers and newer entrants are starting to take advantage of their ability to provide dynamic and interactive solutions without requiring a robust internal data warehousing infrastructure.  What this means for companies is that self-service BI becomes realistic.

Solution providers such as Lyzasoft and Pivotlink are two examples of vendors making the jump towards user-centric BI in different but important ways:

  • Lyzasoft’s focus remains on combining social media and business intelligence.  Although talked about continually within the BI market, few vendors have made the leap towards providing BI in a way that mimics the way people use computers and interact with technology.  Lyzasoft uses social networking as the platform to enable people to use BI, create analyses, and share information within an intuitive framework.
  • Pivotlink’s ReadiMetrix operates within a SaaS framework and enables companies to access Sales, Marketing or Human Capital Management metrics within a solution that combines mashups and collaboration.  

Both solutions are helping to redefine the way business intelligence is viewed.  Organizations are under continually increasing competitive pressures and facing more diverse business pains.  Traditional BI only answers questions related to what has already happened without taking into account how to identify issues before they occur or react to potential threats.  By combining self-service BI with collaboration, intuitive data analysis, and flexibility, companies can actually start to identify the ROI of using BI as a strategic tool for daily decision-making.

About the Author

Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.

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