Data keeps growing, and along with it, opportunities for unprecedented insights into customers, sales, markets, and processes. With information now being generated from all corners of the enterprise, executives, managers, and professionals can ask and get answers to questions they have never been able to consider. For companies that are able to offer business decision makers rapid and easy access to business intelligence (BI) or analytic data from which they can assemble their own interfaces and reports, this means competitive advantage. However, today’s BI systems still present obstacles to realizing this vision.
These are some of the findings of a new survey of 250 data managers and professionals, conducted by Unisphere Research, a division of Information Today, Inc., for Tableau Software. The new research confirms a movement toward self-service BI systems that can potentially help decision makers gain insights where and when they are needed. However, organizations are still lagging when it comes to making such capabilities pervasive across their organizations, and questions about data quality, data timeliness, and organizational support need to be addressed.
The survey also uncovered these key findings:
- The latency of BI information, difficulty in using tools, and challenges in finding appropriate data are the main complaints heard about today’s business intelligence and analytic systems. In addition, only a handful of people in respondents’ organizations have direct access to the information they need.
- Self-service BI is now offered to some extent in half of the organizations surveyed. However, in most companies, fewer than one out of 10 employees have access to BI and analytic systems.
- Financial analysis, forecasting, and business activity monitoring are the areas most likely to be enabled through self-service BI. In the majority of cases, self-service BI is being extended to executives and managers, along with marketing departments. The main goal of the self-service approach is to make BI and analytics applications easy to use.
Opening Up Business Intelligence to the Enterprise: 2012 Survey of Data Professionals On Self-Service BI and Analytics was produced by Unisphere Research and sponsored by Tableau Software.