What is self-service analytics?

Self-service analytics refers to a form of business intelligence (BI) where analysts and line-of-business professionals are enabled and encouraged to query data and generate reports independently with only minimal IT support.

Today’s business environment is characterized by rapid change, new challenges and increased uncertainty. Data-driven decision-making and data experimentation are more important than ever in this environment. Self-service analytics has emerged as a competitive weapon helping organizations with everything from more effective lead generation to improving customer satisfaction to reducing undesirable customer churn. Self-service analytics brings flexibility and agility to reporting and analysis by enabling users to ask new questions of data on their own and quickly find answers.

Why should you consider self-service analytics?

Organizations need more timely access to information. Traditionally, business analysts and data scientists have struggled to gain timely access to the information they need. Data typically resides in multiple silos and formats spread across the organization — a situation becoming more acute as the number of data sources and information systems grows.

While the data warehouse is a valuable tool, it has not kept pace with the needs of the business. Most data warehouses contain only a subset of an organization’s data. Moreover, even when data exists, it is often not in a form where it is accessible to users. To address this, analysts have typically relied on data engineers to build, validate and maintain ETL pipelines. These pipelines are designed to extract data from operational systems and land required data in the warehouse in a format that can be analyzed or queried — a tedious and time-consuming process. In competitive business environments, decision-makers can no longer wait weeks or months. Timely access to the latest data has become a matter of survival.

Which self-service analytics tools are right for your business?

Self-service analytics tools are on the rise, enabled by a new generation of intuitive data analytics platforms that make it much easier for business users to access the information they need subject to privacy and security controls.

Incorta’s Direct Data Platform™ is an example of this new breed of tool. Modern self-service analytics platforms such as Incorta sidestep the need for data warehouses and complex ETL processing. They deliver an end-to-end self-service user experience that enables anyone in an organization to access, visualize, analyze and share valuable insights powered by data. Because Incorta allows access to 100% of data for analysis, business users are not limited to analysis solely on aggregated or top-line data. They can drill down to the transaction-level detail to perform root cause analysis, verify the accuracy of metrics and confidently make data-driven decisions.