In the last article in our Anatomy of a Decision series, we examined the features and functionality of analytics tools which are required by analysts and researchers. The nature of their work requires strong self-service tools that provide them with access to real-time data so they are empowered to make accurate, relevant decisions that impact the business. To maximize efficiencies, analysts also need a single analytics product that allows them to perform a mix of descriptive, diagnostic, guided, predictive, and prescriptive analyses to satisfy the broad range of analytical requirements within the organization.
Like analysts and researchers, IT stakeholders benefit from a single analytics platform that satisfies a broad spectrum of use cases from advanced analytic techniques to dashboards, and simple, self-service data discovery.
For starters, investing in a single analytics environment reduces solution licensing and maintenance costs, time spent training staff on multiple platforms, and the volume of helpdesk tickets from business stakeholders. This simplifies the budgeting process and reduces reliance on IT, allowing IT to focus on strategic, value-added initiatives that strengthen business outcomes and make the business run more efficiently
Second, an enterprise-wide solution that supports the needs of all business users, from data scientists to warehouse managers, means your business will never outgrow your analytics solution. As analytic use within the organization matures, you won’t have to purchase a supplemental solution to satisfy the growing requirements for advanced analytics. Also, as adoption increases, scalability and breadth of deployment options become critical considerations.
When line of business managers are able use their own data to make decisions on their own schedule, stakeholder satisfaction is higher. The right analytic solution will improve data access for business leaders and give them better confidence in their data and their decisions. Dependency on IT to update or build reports slows down business responsiveness and impacts their agility when market conditions change. Workers must be free to explore data without the legacy confines of traditional BI.
Of course, freely giving business users access to analyze data sets can cause anxiety for IT. Data-driven companies, or companies that are striving to be data-driven, know all too well that data quality, and therefore, the quality of business decisions can be compromised if proper governance is not in place. Data and security breaches can occur and laws broken if data gets into the wrong hands. For example, someone in sales should not have visibility into personnel data nor should someone in facilities have access to sensitive customer data like credit card information. When researching analytics tools, consider solutions that offer strong security and governance functionality.
There are, of course, other direct benefits for IT organizations of implementing a robust analytics platform. For example, application use, server productivity and network diagnostics can be analyzed to anticipate performance issues and minimize downtime.
In summary, IT and line of business leaders benefit from adopting a robust, self-service analytics platform which is capable of supporting the end-to-end needs of the entire company.