Is Self-Service Business Intelligence a hoax? : A descriptive study of casual users’ independence using SSBI in the data mining process

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för informatik (IK)

Abstract: When using Business Intelligence (BI), organizations can improve decision-making bycompiling, understanding and utilizing the data held by the organization. Self-serviceBusiness Intelligence (SSBI) has emerged as a new focus within BI and aims to make BI tools available to business users, and relieve IT-experts involvement of in ad hoc reporting andanalysis. The aim of this research is to examine challenges of casual users being self-reliant when using SSBI tools, and the way they are using them in the data mining process. This wasdone through a qualitative study, interviewing seven individuals from different user groups: casual users, power user and IT-experts. From the results it appears that most casual users are not sufficiently self-reliant in the data mining process using SSBI. The visualization is theprime area for SSBI, which most casual users manage themselves if the data and dashboards are pre-defined for them. SSBI is becoming increasingly more common, which leads to moreand more casual users with increased experience who need to be able to dig out their own data for interpretation and analysis. Yet, without additional knowledge, such as data knowledge or SQL skill, casual users are in need of support when it comes to more complex operations thanad hoc analysis and reporting, still creating a request-response relationship to power users and IT-experts. The major challenges, limiting casual users from being self-reliant, are: not sufficiently user-friendly tools, poor data definition and lack of data knowledge, limited data access, indigent validation of reports and lastly, inadequate education.

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