Is Your Organization Ready for Self Service Analytics?

The Trend Towards Self-Service in Business Intelligence – Are You Ready?

According to Gartner, a major shift is occurring in the balance of power for companies. Business users and other departments outside of IT need to have access to the data they need for Business intelligence (BI) and analytics and quickly find answers on their own. For the average user, making use of  data can be daunting though. After all, the perception is that it would take an expert to access and make use of their unstructured data.

The technologies that make it easy to identify, explore, verify, analyze, report, predict, and share information exist today.

As they gain access to critical data, business users 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 this shift, companies will have to enlist tools that empower workers to prepare and 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 the everyday user. 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 tools, employees are forced to juggle spreadsheets to make sense of all the information that’s coming in from multiple sources.

Another problem arises in that users lack confidence in the quality of the data they need to make decisions. 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.


As employees from different departments begin using analytics, they need to be able to judge the quality of the source data they use to make decisions. In its list of the top 5 BI problems, Information Management cites ignorance about data quality as a contributing factor to lack of BI readiness. Without the correct information, your business will miss out on insights that could help you collaborate, streamline business processes, and improve customer service.

Business Intelligence = Empowerment

The tools that most 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. This unified solution eliminates the need for data prep. 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.


IBM Cognos Analytics 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

As companies move BI processes from IT to the general workforce, be prepared by arming your team and organization with the latest self-service BI analytics tools.

Contact us today and we can provide recommendations tailored to help you on your journey to better self-service analytics and better business decisions.