Self-Serve BI Tools: Data Democratization at Its Best

The business intelligence software market is growing rapidly around the world, and with good reason. Business owners and managers are well aware of the importance of fact-driven, performance-driven business decisions and results. But, there is one thing that many businesses overlook when they are considering and selecting BI tools, namely, the importance of business intelligence democratization.

If a business is to be successful, it must engage and align its employees with the strategic, operational and tactical goals of the enterprise and link empowerment and accountability to these goals.


The business must provide its team members with relevant information that will allow them to contribute to the bottom line, recognize and address issues before they hurt the business and make timely adjustments to processes, resources, financials and tasks in order to ensure business success and keep pace with (and overtake) the competition.

Without clear, timely information, your team cannot truly function as a team, and your business will suffer. Self-Serve business intelligence must include easily customized dashboards to integrate and display information in a way that is meaningful to every employee, no matter their role or function. BI tools must be mobile, and provide a Ux design that is intuitive and can be used to receive personalized alerts and reports and to share and collaborate with other users. Without this kind of access, your business is reduced to delivering report requirements to an analyst or IT professional and waiting for information to arrive days or weeks later. By the time the user gets the information is out of date, and it may be incomplete, if it does not include data from every relevant system and data source.

The first step to successful integration of a BI tool is to understand the business requirements for executives, managers, team members and every user who will interact with the system and to understand the data needs and goals of the business, as well as how the information will be used to make business decisions. Once the requirements are defined, the business can select a business intelligence software tool that will function well without the enterprise and comply with future growth and usage requirements.

In the past, business intelligence was deemed to exist only in the ivory towers of the executive team, but in today’s rapidly changing, competitive business market, there is little room for secrecy. A good, self-serve BI tool will allow for secured, appropriate access for every user and provide valuable, timely information so that every team member can capitalize on opportunities, solve problems and make good decisions.

Today, business intelligence is for everyone, and the good news is, data democracy has arrived!