Word of the Day: self-service BI

Create: 2020-02-15
Update: 2020-02-15
Score: 6
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Word of the Day WhatIs.com
Daily updates on the latest technology terms | February 14, 2020
self-service BI

Self-service business intelligence (BI) is an approach to data analytics that allows employees to access and work with corporate data, even if they do not have a background in statistical analysis. The goal of self-service BI is to democratize the use of data within an organization and drive positive business outcomes.

The process for getting data from traditional BI tools used to be complicated. In the past, when an employee requested data to be made available, they had to build a business case and get the request approved as a project. Once the project was approved, the data could be extracted, transformed and loaded into an operational data warehouse, and someone on the data analytics team would produce a report that contained the requested data.

In contrast, a self-service BI architecture is designed for ad hoc data analysis by people who may not be tech-savvy. Enabling end users to make decisions based on their own queries and analyses frees up the organization's BI and IT teams from creating the majority of reports; they can focus on other tasks that will help the organization reach its goals instead.

Proponents maintain that self-service BI software reduces the anxiety employees experience when plunged into a data-centric culture. Critics of self-service analytics maintain that only a trained data scientist can reliably understand the meaning of certain data correlations, and if the analysis process is mismanaged or the underlying data is of poor quality, it can lead to potentially damaging decisions. Continue reading...

Today's Takeaway


"Everyone says they appreciate the value of data in business, but we still run into employee non-adoption. In the broader area of data literacy... people lack confidence when confronted with data. It's a psychological barrier." - James Fisher

Related Terms You Should Know


data literacy

data analytics

business intelligence architecture

business analytics

self-service analytics

ad hoc

data-driven decision management

data democratization


data warehouse

Microsoft Power BI

Today's Buzzwords


data governance
Access to real-time data becomes a liability rather than an asset if it's not properly validated and governed.

data delay
48% of a company's employees require a few hours to access the data they need to make a business decision -- 12% said it can take days.

Microsoft Power BI
Reports created with Microsoft Power BI software can be made available through SharePoint so end users can view them on SharePoint team sites.

citizen analyst
Data was in the hands of a select few two decades ago, but an analytics revolution has extended information riches into the hands of the general population.

Quiz Yourself


What type of reasoning is top-down and proceeds from a few general premises to a specific conclusion?

a. inductive reasoning

b. deductive reasoning

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