Self Service Analytics: Definition, Benefits, + How To Choose the Right Tool

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    In today’s data driven world, the ability to harness the vast amounts of information at our fingertips is key to gaining a competitive edge. Imagine a scenario where every member of your organization, from executives to marketing teams, can seamlessly transform into data analysts, uncovering valuable insights and driving informed decision-making. This isn’t just a dream—it’s the reality of self-service analytics.

    Picture this: a retail giant identifies a sudden surge in demand for a particular product in a specific region, allowing them to swiftly adjust their inventory and marketing strategies to capitalize on the opportunity. Or consider a healthcare provider leveraging real time patient data to optimize resource allocation and improve patient outcomes. These are just a glimpse of the transformative power of self-service analytics.

    Self-service analytics empowers users at all levels of an organization to access, analyze, and employ data visualization without relying on IT support. By democratizing data, it breaks down silos and enables agile decision-making based on timely insights. But the impact goes beyond efficiency — it fosters a culture of data driven innovation and empowers individuals to drive positive change within their respective domains.

    As the demand for self-service analytics continues to soar, organizations across industries are embracing its potential to drive growth and gain a competitive edge. In this article, we’ll delve into the essentials of self-service analytics, explore its benefits, and provide practical insights for successful adoption.

    Join us on this journey as we unlock the transformative power of self-service analytics and unleash the full potential of your organization’s data assets.

    Why Self-Service Analytics Are Essential

    Organizations accumulate torrents of new data every day, but turning it into actionable insights is a daunting task. And when business data is siloed in different departments and systems across the organization, users who could potentially find value in it are blocked from accessing it.

    Self-service analytics democratizes data, enabling everyone in the organization to explore it and leverage their specific expertise to identify hidden patterns that can provide better insights into critical business levers and gain competitive advantage, without the need for IT team intervention.

    That’s why it’s no surprise the market for a self service data analytics platform is exploding:

    self service bi market size and forecast

    Source: Verified Market Research

    Valued at $6.1 billion in 2020, the global self service BI market is projected to reach $19.3 billion by 2028. Employees empowered by self service analytics are more efficient. A recent study in the Harvard Business Review revealed that 72% of organizations providing their data teams with self service tools and embedded analytics saw a significant increase in productivity. 

    Benefits of Self Service Analytics

    Adopting self service analytics across your organization and ensuring that qualified users understand and embrace their use is a marathon, not a sprint. Some of the key principles to follow to successfully enable self service include:

    1. An IT team facilitating access to clean, accurate, secure data
    2. An environment equipped with analytic and data visualization tools for users
    3. A program to teach business users how to perform data analysis
    4. Open, collaborative interaction between IT and users

    The need for accurate data is crucial: without clean, well-governed data, there could be inconsistencies and invalid conclusions, which would bounce problems back to the IT department, defeating the entire purpose of the self service approach.

    Now, let’s dive into the benefits of adopting self service analytics.

    1. Autonomy

    Self service analytics lets business users perform queries on their own rather than asking IT. Your marketing and data teams can easily find out why Crocs were trending in Japan last year, freeing up IT to focus on more important things like data governance and innovation rather than extracting data.

    2. Real-Time Data

    Self service analytics can automatically extract and combine data from various sources in real time without the intervention of IT, so that data is presented as it is acquired – especially valuable in economics (stock exchange, for example).

    3. Informed Decision Making

    Being competitive means getting to the information first. With self service analytics tools, your users can get more information more quickly and base their decisions on a fuller picture. And they can easily create their own reports, dashboards, and data visualization to gain insights and make better data driven decisions faster.

    4. Single Source of Truth

    Self service analytics give all users access to the same version of data, ensuring consistency across all departments and systems such as ERP, HCM, SCM, etc. for enhanced collaboration and productivity.

    Other Self Service Analytics Considerations

    Data Scientists are Here to Stay

    Self service analytics tools may be changing the way we do business, but data scientists will always be needed to reliably interpret complex data correlations and ensure that analysis processes aren’t mismanaged, which can lead to potentially damaging decisions.

    Data governance is an absolute necessity: When an organization is thinking of implementing self service analytics, it is vital that a data governance policy be put in place to ensure consistent and proper data and information management.

    Not All Tools Are Created Equally

    Certain BI tools are not self service and aren’t designed to be used by marketing and sales teams, for example. You can’t simply give BI tools to different users and expect them all to be able to manipulate raw data: While 87% of employees believe in the value of data, Accenture reported only 25% are capable of using that data effectively, and 74% feel overwhelmed and unhappy when they work with data.

    Training is Still Necessary

    In addition to teaching users how to operate self service BI tools, companies also need to support self service with data pipelines that feed them the data they need.

    “Just because it’s self serve doesn’t mean any data that users need shows up automatically – and it shouldn’t”

    Mathias Golombek, CTO at Exasol, an analytics database management software company.

    How to Choose the Right Self Service Analytics Platform

    self service-analytics-concept-scaled

    1. Be Sure the Data Platform Adapts to All End-Users

    Business Intelligence tools were originally designed for IT specialists or data scientists with solid backgrounds in computer science or statistics. Unless you were in IT or data science, there was no way you could use a BI tool on your own. Today, thanks to self service BI, that’s no longer the case. Now, a member of the marketing or sales team who wants to use a dashboard to analyze data can do it alone.

    Although nontechnical users need to be able to access data whenever they need it and be completely autonomous when it comes to creating and using dashboards, a good BI tool must also remain useful to data scientists who need to work in-depth on the quality and security of the data that’s fed into it. IT has to be able to monitor the data to ensure they’re building a single source of truth and not chaos.

    2. Ensure Integration and Connectivity With Existing Infrastructure & Tools

    When adding new tools to existing infrastructure, many organizations encounter problems when they adopt separate solutions that don’t work together or are difficult to maintain. While connecting different databases used to be highly complicated, it’s easy today with native connectors or APIs. Self service analytics can be embedded into your application, leveraging your own IT infrastructure and connecting securely to all of your business data sources.

    3. Establish Data Security and Governance Policies at the Outset

    Security is always at the heart of data usage, whether it concerns self service analytics or any other BI tool. When you give users access to data sets, be sure your IT team knows exactly what data and which users are involved.

    4. If it Isn’t Intuitive and Easy to Use, Forget It!

    One of the advantages of self service analytics is its low barrier to entry.

    Traditional BI was designed for large enterprises with plenty of internal resources. Today, vendors that once sold traditional BI tools now offer self service ones; Gartner characterizes modern analytics and BI platform as a set of easy-to-use tools that support the full data analysis workflow with an emphasis on self service capabilities and augmented analytics features designed to help users find, prepare and analyze business data.

    Choosing the right data platform, when properly implemented, can help every company start with BI.

    ClicData: A Leading Self Service Analytics Tool

    ClicData is a self service analytics platform designed for managers, executives, data analysts, IT teams, data teams, consultants, and agencies.

    your life with clicdata

    ClicData makes Business Intelligence simpler and more accessible to all types of businesses. Our agile and innovative technology lets you connect data from over 250 sources into a single data warehouse and create interactive dashboards that you can share automatically, without the intervention of IT.

    • Connect data easily to your CRM, ERP, social media, or accounting software thanks to our native connectors.
    • It’s easy to start: create your account and make your first dashboard within minutes.
    • Powerful data management and ETL. Data scientists can truly manage their data with ClicData.

    Embrace the Power of Self Service Analytics

    Self service analytics isn’t just a tool, it’s a game-changer for organizations looking to thrive in today’s data driven landscape. By empowering users to explore data, uncover insights, and make data driven decisions, it unleashes the full potential of your organization’s data assets.

    As you’ve learned, self service analytics offers numerous benefits, from increased efficiency and agility to enhanced decision-making and innovation. But the journey doesn’t end here. To truly harness the power of self service analytics, it’s essential to take action.

    Ready to unlock the potential of your data?

    Explore self service analytics tools further and see firsthand how they can revolutionize your organization. Sign up for a free trial of leading platforms like ClicData and experience the ease and agility of creating interactive dashboards and gaining valuable insights without relying on IT support.

    Still have questions or need assistance?

    Contact our team of experts today to learn more about how self service analytics can benefit your organization and get personalized guidance on implementation and best practices.

    Don’t let valuable insights remain untapped. Embrace self service analytics tools and embark on a journey towards data driven success. The future of your organization starts here.