Why Should BI Tech Owners Empower Business Users?

The short answer: “To get them out of their hair.” But seriously…

At Attivio, we work with decision-makers at various companies who own and administer the BI infrastructure. We call them “BI tech owners.” A BI tech owner’s team governs data and delivers it to business users for analysis.

BI tech owners are not in an enviable position at the moment. The proliferation of self-service analytical tools for Big Data and BI have generated orders of magnitude increases in requests for data. And those requests all come with an ASAP attached.

What are the biggest challenges in executing your vision for big data?

No One Wants to Be a Bottleneck

In most companies, BI tech owners and their teams stand between data sources and data consumers. And they take the heat because the process of identifying, profiling, and preparing data for analytical tools is so slow.

For one thing, IT often has only legacy tools to work with. Beyond that, the process is slow because:

  • BI tech owners don’t have a business user’s perspective. So when IT delivers a data set that doesn’t meet business requirements, weeks of back and forth with the business user ensue.
  • There’s no master data schema. Data may reside in Hadoop, EDWs, or legacy systems. Once it’s hunted down, these diverse data sets must be joined.
  • Without automated tools, the BI tech owner has to rely on SMEs or run sample queries—both trial and error methods.

Reducing Time to Insight with the Self-Service Semantic Data Catalog

A recent Forrester Technology Adoption Profile commissioned by Attivio took a look at just how important self-service data discovery can be to a company’s BI efforts. The report surveyed 100 business decision makers on a range of questions related to making data more easily accessible. When asked what the best solution would be to the data discovery problem, 70 percent responded “user friendly tools that enabled business users to find, integrate, and prepare data on their own.”

When it comes to BI, reducing time to insight can mean the difference between capitalizing on an opportunity and missing it. That’s why self-service analytical tools have gained such traction in the marketplace. But they only get you halfway there. The self-service semantic data catalog ensures that business users have the best data available—not just the data they know about. To how more effective data integration leads to greater BI agility, please download our Forrester report on data democratization.

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