What Is Self-Service Analytics?

Learn the details about Self-Service Analytics, with a clear definition and an explanation of the advantages (many) and disadvantages (few).

What Is Self-Service Analytics?
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Self-service analytics is a technology that allows your team members to query data, generate insights, and prepare reports that they would normally have to request from a data team member. The self-service analytics tool should be simple to use and should empower all team members to be able to make data-driven decisions.

In the modern business world, data has become more valuable than ever. But accessing that data and making good use of it aren’t always within the capabilities of everyone on your team. Self-service analytics changes this. Your data teams will save time when they don’t have to deal with mounting requests for reports. The rest of your team can make data-driven decisions more quickly than ever, and they won’t have to make real-time decisions without data to back them up.

In short, everyone gets the data they need to do their work without any slowdowns. But is self-service analytics a perfect solution? Some might say so, but there are pros and cons to the technology. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.

What Are the Advantages?

When you give your team the power of self-service analytics, you’ll see a lot of benefits. Here are some of the primary ones.

Data Teams Get Time Back: When everyone is relying on the data team to generate their reports, then you get a data team that’s bogged down by work that is tedious and menial for them. When you give your entire team the ability to generate their own reports, you give hours back to your data team. This allows them to focus on strategic work and spend their time on more valuable projects.

Your Other Teams Get Time Back: On the other side of the equation, you have your other team members waiting until their request can be fulfilled by the data team. When the data team is especially busy, this can take a long time. Instead of having to wait, your team members can access the data they need in seconds and make decisions in real time. This makes every department of your business much more efficient.

Encourage a Data-Driven Culture: When you give everyone easy access to data, they will increase their knowledge of how to use and read that data. Your employees will get a better understanding of the data they’re working with and increase their data literacy skills. This encourages a data-driven culture overall.

What Are the Problems?

As we mentioned, self-service analytics is generally a good thing for a business. But that doesn’t mean you won’t run into some challenges. Let’s take a look at some of the primary issues businesses face when they’re first implementing self-service analytics.

Data Governance Issues: Perhaps the biggest challenge with self-service analytics is adjusting your data governance strategy to accommodate it. Data governance is what determines who can access data, how they can access it, etc. If you don’t have good data governance in place, self-service analytics will require you to. Since self-service analytics by design is meant to open up access and make it easier for everyone, your data governance procedures should account for the changes. Fortunately, when your data team is freed up from fulfilling report requests, this is the type of project that they’ll have more time to tackle, allowing your team to get the data they need while strengthening your data governance at the same time.

Staff Adoption Issues: Any major change to company procedures is going to have some potential pushback from employees. Those who like the way things are will likely be resistant to the new solutions. However, this pushback can be mitigated if the benefits can be demonstrated and if the staff is well trained on the new technology. Make sure you’re taking the time to ease your team into it, and show them how self-service analytics can make their role more enjoyable.

How Do I Build a Culture of Self-Service Data Analytics?

Building a data-driven culture may take some time, but it’s well worth it in the long run. The best way to start building this culture is to be transparent with staff. Explain the benefits of the self-service data analytics platform and how it will help every department of your business. Also, make sure everyone is comfortable on the new platform. Take the time to train everyone and ensure they know how to get the most out of the platform. Once self-service analytics is integrated into your daily processes, you’re sure to see a positive impact sooner rather than later.

Enable Self-Service Data Analysis With the Narrator Platform

If you’re looking for a self-service data analysis tool, Narrator is here to help. Narrator provides you with the tools your team needs to quickly generate insightful, real-time reports that they can use to make data-driven decisions.

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