Is there anyone left on the planet who thinks business intelligence (BI) is a luxury? Probably not! Everyone knows that measurable, integrated business intelligence is key to business success, both in the local and the global business market. All managers know that BI can improve productivity, strategic alignment, employee accountability and empowerment, and the quality of business decisions, and speed and effectiveness of market action.


There is another critical factor to consider before a business decides on a business intelligence solution. In order for the business to achieve great ROI and TCO, and leverage the BI solution investment, it must provide a self-serve, integrated, mobile environment that has sophisticated features like forecasting and predictive analysis, but can be used by a business user with average skills. It must also consider the future needs of the organization and select a solution that is flexible enough to change with user needs and has ample personalization capabilities to allow users to see information in a way that is meaningful to their role and function and will align with strategic objectives and keep everyone on track!

Users want a personalized dashboard and, because user needs are so specific and unique, it is impossible for one, structured dashboard or solution to meet the personalization needs of every user in the company. Therefore, the business must select a solution that allows for individual personalization and includes customized alerts and reporting and a dashboard display of data that can be changed to suit the user.

Users will also want to follow familiar business processes, and we all know that those change, so it is imperative that the business selects a flexible system, so that users can change a view or accommodate a change in process, goal, objective or procedure, without losing productivity.

The fact is that a BI solution is only useful if the users understand how to leverage the features, and can easily see results. Otherwise, users will not adopt the solution or they will draw incorrect, incomplete conclusions and make bad decisions and no enterprise wants that!

To achieve great results, the business must have a thorough understanding of its strategic, operational and tactical needs, its user skills, what it hopes to achieve by using a BI solution, and the budget, timeline and user adoption goals for the organization. No business can hope to restrict or dictate how every employee works to achieve results, and that shouldn’t be the goal of the organization. It is in individual contribution, creativity and the intelligent use of information that a business will find success.

Fortunately, every business can find an appropriate BI solution that will marry data from disparate data sources and present it in a mobile, easy-to-use environment that is suitable for every employee and can be secured to ensure appropriate data protection and support productivity, metrics and clear, concise decision-making and results.

To get there, you’ll need to:

  • Involve your users in planning for BI, and understand how their use of BI can help the organization and the user
  • Select a solution that can be personalized to user needs and is flexible to future changes in the organization
  • Choose a solution that is easy to implement and easy to use – one that is mobile and contains all the sophisticated features your business requires in a self-serve environment.

With careful planning and a clear picture of what your enterprise needs and the available BI solutions and options, your business intelligence project will be a success!

Original Source – Don’t Wait to be Served! Self-Serve BI is the Way to Go!