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The Trend Towards Self-Service Analytics

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According to Gartner, a major shift is occurring in the balance of power for companies. Departments outside of IT will increasingly have access to the data needed for Business intelligence (BI) and analytics. For a lot of employees, making use of Business Intelligence and analytics data can be daunting. After all, the perception is that it would take an expert, a data scientist, or a PhD to make sense of all the unstructured data.

As they gain access to critical data, employees outside of IT will have to be prepared for the task of preparing data for analysis. Rita Sallam, Research Vice President at Gartner, explains that “Data preparation is one of the most difficult and time-consuming challenges facing business users of BI and data discovery tools, as well as advanced analytics platforms.”

In response to the power shift and the related skills gap, companies will have to enlist tools that empower workers to analyze data for insights without mastering algorithms and data science. Accordingly, Gartner predicts that by 2017, most organizations will give their users and analysts access to self-service tools that automatically prepare data for analysis.

Preparing for Self-Service Analytics

Currently, most companies are not prepared for the shift from IT to self-service analytics. Gartner’s research shows that 70% of users in organizations lack a statistical background and, in spite of this, do not use BI tools that could help them process data. Without access to BI and analytics tools, employees are forced to juggle spreadsheets to make sense of all the information coming in from multiple sources.

Not only does this manual manipulation of data take an enormous amount of time, but there is a lack of confidence in the quality of the data when everyone is manipulating the data how they want. A vast amount of data is streaming into companies, and much of it is unstructured. Information comes in from legacy databases, ERP systems, CRM applications, and real-time operations, and customer transactions on your website and mobile applications.

The Challenges of Data Governance

If you don’t have confidence in the information you are using for critical decision-making and you don’t have the right information in the hands of the right people, your business will miss out on insights that could help you collaborate, streamline business processes, and improve customer service. As users take over analytics duties, they need to be able to judge the quality of the source data they use to make decisions.

Business Intelligence Tools Mean Empowerment for Everyone

The tools that users need to harness the power of BI and analytics are out there. You don’t need to be an expert in BI or data science to use IBM Cognos Analytics. Data from across your company becomes valuable information when it can rapidly flow from process contributors and management decision makers. All users have read and write capability as required for contribution, ad hoc analyses and “what-if” scenarios. And a rich web interface is perfect for a distributed environment where many of your team members work remotely across business units and geographies.

This unified solution eliminates the need for data prep. The software automatically collects, cleans, and prepares the data for analysis. You can feel confident in the accuracy of the source data because data governance is built right in. With IBM Cognos, data is curated so you eliminate risk and can trust the validity of decisions you base on your information.

This cutting-edge BI software bridges the gap between governance and self-service with:
• A user-friendly interface
• Natural language intelligence to respond to queries in your own keywords
• A personalized dashboard to replace spreadsheets
• Graphic reports to easily identify patterns and trends

Today, you need speed and actionable insights and as more and more companies move BI processes from IT to the general workforce, you must be prepared. Arm yourself with the latest self-service data preparation and BI analytics tools.

Do you need help with getting started with self-service BI and analytics for your organization? Schedule a call or meeting with us today, we would love to help get you started.

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