Organizations are embracing self-service analytics and business intelligence (BI) to bring these capabilities to business users of all levels. This trend is so pronounced that Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com) predicts that by 2019, the analytics output of business users with self-service capabilities will surpass that of professional data scientists.
“The trend of digitalization is driving demand for analytics across all areas of modern business and government,” said Carlie J. Idoine, research director at Gartner. “Rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and SaaS (cloud) analytics and BI platforms are making it easier and more cost-effective than ever before for nonspecialists to perform effective analysis and better inform their decision making.”
Gartner’s recent survey of more than 3,000 CIOs shows that CIOs ranked analytics and BI as the top differentiating technology for their organizations. It attracts the most new investment and is also considered the most strategic technology area by top-performing CIOs.
As a result, data and analytics leaders are increasingly implementing self-service capabilities to create a data-driven culture throughout their organization. This means that business users can more easily learn to use and benefit from effective analytics and BI tools, driving favorable business outcomes in the process.
“If data and analytics leaders simply provide access to data and tools alone, self-service initiatives often don’t work out well,” said Idoine. “This is because the experience and skills of business users vary widely within individual organizations. Therefore, training, support and onboarding processes are needed to help most self-service users produce meaningful output.”
The scale of the task of implementing self-service analytics and BI can catch organizations by surprise, especially if they are successful. In large organizations, popular self-service initiatives can very rapidly expand to encompass hundreds or thousands of users. To avoid a descent into chaos, it’s crucial to identify the right organizational and process changes before starting the initiative, according to Gartner.