Most of us have long since outgrown the school playground but let’s revisit the old neighborhood for a moment, shall we? Imagine that you are a small child and you want to explore all that the playground has to offer. You want to try the swings, the teeter-totter, the swinging bars, the slide – you want to try it all. It is the job of the teachers and parents to keep you safe and, to allow you access to only those parts of the playground that are age appropriate and suitable for your skills.


Let’s step off the playground for a moment and think about this same scenario as it applies to business intelligence and business users. When it comes to data governance, your IT and management team (aka the teachers and parents) want to ensure appropriate security and access to only those tools they believe are suitable for business users. Therefore, they will strive to create an environment that assures the privacy, user access and IT security compliance standards they have established, as well as those created by industry and government regulators.

Now, think of yourself as the child on the playground, for a moment and think about how frustrating it is to be restricted to only the teeter-tooter, when all around you, there are other children swinging from bars, climbing the stairs to the slide and pushing their swings toward the sky!

When an organization considers a so-called self-serve BI tool, they must balance business user access to a comprehensive, meaningful analytical tool with security and data governance. Most of the BI solutions in the market today offer excellent tools but are designed for use by developers and analysts to directly connect to data sources, combine data from these sources with other files including local files, and create and publish dashboards for business users. Developers must establish strict access controls in order to comply with data governance policies. These dashboards are published on web servers. The resulting dashboard displays and analytics restrict business users to limited filtering and drill down features and frustrate all but the most rudimentary analytical goals.

According to a recent Gartner report, organizations are caught in a tug of war between business users who want BI flexibility and decentralized controls and IT teams who are trying to maintain control over software solutions and security.

So, how does one straddle the gap between IT, executive management and business users? When an organization selects true self-serve BI solutions like ElegantJ BI, it can ensure appropriate data governance while, at the same time, giving business users the ability to explore the playground with deep dive analytics that allow a user to discover and analyze information, add columns and data, create and personalize reports, etc. The IT staff can create meaningful semantic business metadata layers and allocate fine-grained access rights to individuals or groups of business users, without giving direct data source access to these users.

In so doing, ElegantJ BI provides a stable, safe environment where the organization and its users can find and leverage unique semantic data views to solve a problem, capitalize on an opportunity and use their skills to help the enterprise. This approach also improves the quality of data, and hence the confidence in BI data and it increases user adoption of BI tools throughout the organization. At the same time, your IT team and management will be secure in the knowledge that they are protecting the safety, privacy and confidentiality of data, customers, and employees and assuring the security of competitive, sales and financial information.

Business users do not want to be restricted to the teeter-totter. They want to swing for the sky! And, you should want that too, because it their creativity, collaboration and access to great BI tools that will help you achieve rapid ROI and (equally importantly) achieve your financial goals.

If you really want to give your business users self-serve BI and satisfy your data governance policies and concerns, don’t despair. There is a solution. Give your users access to the whole playground! Give them deep dive analytics and features like forecasting, ad-hoc analysis, impact and sensitivity analysis, and more, without exposing your organization to risk. Give your IT team the tools to secure your data with multi-layered, fine-grained security features. You can have it all!

Original Source – BI Users Want Data Governance NOT Data Anarchy:Open the Playground