Business IntelligenceWhen we’re talking about Business Intelligence, self-service is an approach to data analytics that plays a vital and extremely beneficial role within an enterprise because it allows for immediate decision making.  No-wait decision-making is a enormous contributor for a company’s bottom-line.  Self-service allows business users to retrieve, interact and collaborate with company information without having to rely on IT assistance.

Thanks to self-service, IT personnel can focus their energy on more large-scale responsibilities that benefit the entire enterprise, like setting up the data warehouse and data marts underpinning the BI system, for example, while other team-members can work more strategically and efficiently. Quality data preparation tools are imperative to the independence of business users and integrated tools allow users to operate, analyze, change and calculate data sets quickly using GUI’s to alternate between data prep and visualization screens with just one click.

BI is becoming more intertwined with self-service which should be no surprise since it enables data analysis to be more streamlined and keeps companies optimally responsive, efficient and agile.  Self-service data-discovery tools allow decision-makers to tap into the information they require which enhances their success.  Self-service also helps a company to realize reduced administrative burdens, shortened timelines and the emergence of deeper insights.

Self-service acts as an enterprise’s coveted ally for several reasons:

1:  The Consumption and Enhancement of BI Becomes Simplified

Self-service business intelligence enhances the business environment since discovering, retrieving and sharing information reports and analytics can be accomplished quickly.  Personalized dashboards and automated BI capabilities allow for data to become readied for any user’s specific situations.  Additionally, data is offered in a user-friendly configuration and can be delivered to a device and user- interface, according to the user’s preference.

One of the benefits of self service, within the realm of BI, is the fact that decisions and responses are faster.  A business user’s insight becomes deeper and more insightful by way of easy interactions such as entering feedback on analytic results or models or identifying information such as external links and other information that directly impact the workings of the business.  Having this information presented in a simple format gives the user advantages that increase workflow and usability. An intuitive graphical interface allows the user to enjoy a point-and-click configuration in which they can zoom and pan allowing them to select smaller sections of data to more effectively analyze and edit it. Visual data flows simplify navigation and increase workflow by making any step instantly accessible to view data outputs and make needed edits. Finally, data lineage will allow users to highlight a data element and track its origins during the assembly process.

2: BI Tools Become Easy to Use

The tools themselves have to be user-friendly.  Not every team member will be tech-savvy, so, self-service allows a beginner to select reports, retrieve required data and create analyses with ease.

Self-service has an natural way of enhancing morale and productivity.  Even though self-service is purposed with high-tech analytics in mind, it is also designed to be successfully used by any team-member since more complicated analytics are easy to employ, create and publish.  Stress can be minimized when users are dealing with analytics that would, otherwise, be complicated. Feelings of personal achievement and independence breed productivity and enhanced success within the entire enterprise. Please note that proper data preparation tools are vital in the execution of a user friendly interface.

3:  Changes in Business and IT Backlog are Comprehensively Addressed

Business changes are as certain as taxes, and self-service helps by enabling users to construct analyses, reports and data sets that cater to individual needs without the help of IT.  A perfect scenario is created where the enterprise can choose the necessary BI components to assess the existing business climate and make decisions that are appropriate for the time and make swift and decisive assessments as business changes emerge all from a convenient interface.  Self-service thoroughly addresses business change, IT backlog and the need for a business to be analytics-driven.

IT backlogs cause big problems and when slow deliveries consume far too much time, business users feel the pressure.  When this takes place, users may choose to bypass IT and can make hurried, premature BI decisions.  This can cause incongruent sources of data and content to emerge; and this can be costly.  All this can be eliminated when self-service BI is implemented properly and  allows business users to create their own analyses.

In the end, IT can concentrate on more important and technical endeavors such as incorporating new technologies to enhance business performance.  IT becomes viewed by business users as an ally rather than an obstacle now that integrated discovery tools are being offered with embedded intelligence that aids data preparation tasks changing the way organizations leverage data for decisions.

It makes perfect sense that business users would prefer to create their own reports as opposed to waiting on IT.  Some business users insist on no IT intervention, at all, so they can take advantage of unregulated access to data and immediately use it, as it becomes available.  Self-service BI is a huge contributor in a company’s success since it all goes back to how users react to critical and essential data. Self-service is an integral component of the decision-making process, allowing conclusions, assessments and changes to be made quickly by the business user.

Potential for Growth with Machine Translation

Language Barrier Machine TranslationAs we see more businesses outsourcing tasks and job opportunities to other countries it becomes clear that the language barrier is the highest hurdle to jump. And while human translators can help with business meetings and introductions they cannot tackle the enormous amount of data changing hands everyday in just one major company. This is where MT comes into play. As the future fast approaches machine translation is becoming efficient enough for immediate publication at the push of a button.

This could assist such a platform even further by making all changes and adjustments accessible and understandable by foreign end users. And because MT can be reciprocally translated it could be used to translate text and communications back and forth between users and teams internationally. The potential for growth and expansion with the assistance of machine translation is immeasurable.

Read more about automated translation that can be published directly to the web or how machine translation can scale to match your translation needs on Send an email to to arrange a demo and see the self-service platform in action.

About the Author

Mike Miranda is a technology/software blogger. He writes about enterprise software and covers products offered by software companies like rocket software about topics such as Terminal Emulation, Legacy Modernization, Enterprise Search, Big Data, Data Discovery, Enterprise Mobility and more.