Selfish for Self-Service

Susan AndreArticles

Self-service analytics has a propensity towards selfishness – every party involved in the information value chain has their own agenda.

Business information users are often guilty of bypassing their Information Service departments for reasons such as “IS/IT takes too long to produce data in a usable format”,  “data is there but it is difficult to access and use”, “we are not sure exactly what data we need”,  “I know how to use spreadsheets!“ and the list goes on.

On the other hand the attitude of Information Service departments are “we do not have to gather business users requirements because we know what they want”, “They do not understand and/or have no appreciation for what we do”, “gathering data is very complex” to name a few.

Although these reasons might be valid it should not be used as an excuse to allow business people to transgress into the chaotic underworld of retrieving data.  A solution in the best interest of the business should be devised.

Even though understanding the business users information requirements is the fulcrum of designing data rich solutions, the IT/IS departments are frequently urged to collect, clean, integrate and assembling data at the speed of thought. Leaving little or no time to plan and construct a durable, flexible and value-offering information vault.

The easy way out is to allow users to grab whatever data from where ever they want at any time. Under this so called banner of Self-service the Information Service department can escape responsibilities. Or it might be a devious tactic invented to torture the business folks – “let Them struggle, let Them waste their time! “.

Without a blueprint or a proper route-plan to navigate the information highway the amount and different types of conflicting information goes viral. Spreadsheet cities arise and rogue reporting and analytical solutions proliferate.

There is a fine balance between producing Information Self-service centers and delivering an Architected Information Platform; when in balance it evens out the restraints for both providers (IS/IT department) and consumers (business users) of information.

Negotiating the equilibrium for becoming more Self-service centered in a less selfish way, while using architected data prowess is attainable.

To discover how to find this balance enroll TODAY for the Concepts, Design and Modelling for Extended Data Warehousing course that teaches sound principles to be applied no matter what technology is used.