Definition: The facilities within the BI environment that enable BI users to become more self-reliant and less dependent on the IT organization. These facilities focus on four main objectives: easier access to source data for reporting and analysis, easier and improved support for data analysis features, faster deployment options such as appliances and cloud computing, and simpler, customizable, and collaborative end-user interfaces.
Short comes of Traditional BI Tools
- Technology is around 20 years old.
- Architecture was based on hardware limitation like limit memory, CPU which was very scares when Architecture for Traditional BI was designed.
- Traditional BI Tools are based on Aggregations, Filters & Disk Space access, so inherent problem by these BI Tools are very old Architecture which results in very complex set of technologies to support a very old Architecture.
- The Problem of Traditional system is that they cannot exploit In-Memory, Multi-Thread, Multi-Core computing.
- Dimensions are decided at the time of designing the View, structure.
- Has a pre-defined view of the data.
- Data is aggregated even before the data is viewed by the Business User, rather when the question is raised.
Power of Self Service:
- In-memory is useful when used with Advance Technologies like using Memory instead of Disk for any operation.
- Associative Search: Operations like aggregation, Summing total are performed on the fly.
- Productivity: Self-service BI tools increase productivity by decreasing longer turnaround times often found when there is a need to go through multiple business departments such as IT operations.
- Flexibility: Each end user may be asking different questions, and looking for different answers. With flexible in-memory acceleration, users are able to create reports and answer questions for themselves, rather than having an IT department create reports for each question/user.
- Scalability: BI tools are not just for the big players in business anymore. Using self-service options, BI becomes more affordable and available for smaller companies. IBM, reviewing the rise of personal, mobile and social BI, added “BI software has historically been the domain of larger enterprises – mainly due to skill, time and cost required to implement, but today it’s being used by businesses of all sizes.”
- Predictability: Predictive analytics is playing a pivotal role in business operations today. The ability to perform real-time “what-if” analyses throughout a work day creates a self- sufficient, informed workforce.
Conclusion: Can both Self Service and Conventional BI both co-exist?
Many Enterprise have invested a large amount in Traditional BI, it will be difficult to rip-off and replace, which will give no value to their investments. Ideally they could both co-exist so let’s take an example where a Company has invested a lot in Data-warehouses and IT Infrastructure or may be a data management layer then tools like Tableau can sit on top of data management layer and help in Analysing and Visualisation of data in the best possible way as compared to Conventional BI.
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