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4 Ways to Get Employees on Board with Self-Service BI

Many companies that have deployed traditional, IT-centric business intelligence struggle with user adoption. The problem? Frequent bottlenecks, limited data exploration capabilities, and a lack of relevant and timely insight leads to a poor overall user experience—resulting in adoption rates that have hovered around 22 percent for the past several years.
Self-service BI can be an invaluable bridge for organizations that are struggling to get users of board with BI. It allows individuals to connect with data in meaningful ways and enables a more flexible, responsive approach to analysis and reporting. Employees are empowered to import and model data, build interactive dashboards, and create their own reports—freeing up the IT team to focus on business-critical needs. 

Thinking about taking this approach to business intelligence? Here are four ways you can make the most out of your company’s self-service BI strategy:

Ensure timely access to the right data.

To help employees get started with self-service BI, it’s essential to give them access to accurate and relevant information. This makes it easy for them to create their own reports and visualizations and build confidence with their new capabilities—making them more likely to continue to use the solution their company has invested in.

Focus on ease of use, agility, and features.

When deploying a self-service BI platform, these three things can make the difference between widespread adoption and a failed solution:

  • Ease of use: a good self-service tool makes sure that it’s easy to create and share professional-looking dashboards.
  • Agility: data management capabilities are key to user adoption. Good tools offer everything employees need in a single platform—from self-service data preparation to visual data discovery to enterprise BI.
  • Features: a focus on features means users have endless possibilities for presenting their data. The ability to combine data and tables from multiple sources into a single dataset can lead to better preparation and performance.

Shift the role of IT from enforcement to enablement.

Self-service BI lets IT teams shift their focus to more strategic initiatives while retaining control of performance, security, and scalability. With this approach, IT can help a company meet their business needs by setting best practices, providing training, helping with issues, answering questions, informing employees of new data sources, and helping validate analytic content—especially when multiple sources are combined. Regular sessions with IT are key to success with self-service BI and empower users to work on data preparation and report production themselves.

Promote community collaboration.

Self-service BI means more opportunities for collaboration across teams, allowing valuable data to have a company-wide impact. It’s important to promote open communication and emphasize the benefit of sharing relevant dashboards across departments. Employees can take this to the next level by collaborating within a dashboard, adding comments, and exploring data on the fly—making meetings far more interactive and productive.

Deploying self-service BI can seem like a daunting task, but by incorporating the advice above, it can be a game-changing approach for your organization.

Thinking about a self-service approach to BI? Download our new white paper, “Self-Service BI: Beyond the Hype” to learn more—including how our Professional Services team can help you along every step of the way.

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