To become a truly data-driven enterprise, many business leaders recognize that they must extend the capabilities of self-service business intelligence (BI) and analytics to more of their business users. Many BI tools tackle part of this need, but they don’t offer a complete enterprise solution.
Today’s market maturity demands a balanced, integrated, end-to-end analytics workflow. To compete, an enterprise solution must augment self-service analytics with security and governance. It must also enable users to integrate data from multiple sources in a single location with consistent business logic. It’s about seeing and confidently sharing the whole picture—not just disconnected fragments.
Organizations strive to gain business insights that can, for example, increase revenue, pinpoint inefficiencies, gauge customer satisfaction, and monitor consumer demand. And mining for insights is certainly part of the whole point of looking at data.
Without the right analytics framework, however, these insights—and the underlying data that fuels them—don’t necessarily have as good an impact as they could. Business decision-makers might not even fully trust these insights and underpinning data if there are many different versions or interpretations of the data. Which version should they believe?
When there’s no centralized platform, you’ll see individualized, disconnected, self-service efforts that produce individualized, disconnected results. Essentially, data and insights gleaned from personal productivity solutions become trapped on personal desktop computers.
Such individual BI and analytics efforts are well-meaning—but isolated—attempts to create a sense of the data. Because these content pieces aren’t stitched together, shared, and published through a secured, centrally managed administrative framework, chaos can also easily ensue.
To unlock data and insights confined to individual desktops, you need a single analytics environment where users can author, share with colleagues and external customers, and publish analytics content in a secure, governed way.
If you want to extend the capabilities of self-service analytics to more users in your organization, you also need a consistent, integrated workflow. As you gain user adoption, there will likely be more people with disparate goals, needs, and workflows—including the data sources they use. Part of gaining and maintaining user adoption across a wide, disparate base entails uniformity and integration.
Users must be able to access and reuse consistent, IT-provisioned business logic, business rules, and data models to support their self-service efforts. Using this trusted business logic, they need to be able to bring together content from multiple locations, such as in-memory or cube sources, Web-enabled content, and third-party reporting tools—for example, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS).
Enabling this type of self-service environment gives bigger-picture, trustworthy insights with greater potential impact than what’s possible with desktop solutions that stop at personal productivity.
So, how can you enable everyone in the organization to confidently self-serve, share, and publish content—on-premises or in the cloud—within a centrally managed, secure, governed framework?
We’re excited that Microsoft and Pyramid Analytics are joining the personal-productivity capabilities of Microsoft Power BI Desktop with the integrated, secure, and governed enterprise solution of Pyramid Analytics’ BI Office.
In my next blog post, I’ll share how using Power BI Desktop and BI Office—together—enable you to unlock business insights from the desktop, and help you take advantage of the benefits I’ve just shared.