JUN 19, 2008 3:57pm ET

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Business Intelligence The Self-Service Way

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The overall usage of BI increases in most organizations with a self-service BI environment. With most organizations, 80 percent of information that is requested by businesses for day-to-day work can be standardized, and the remaining 20 percent can be obtained by adding some flavors to the standardized information.* Standardization of information can reduce IT effort in catering to such requests by about 85 percent on average. For ad hoc requests, organizations realize that having a single version of the truth in a structured manner, with consistent standardized metadata across the enterprise, has solved several complexities. Selection of a more sophisticated reporting tool on top of this organized data structure has made life simpler for business users. There is fantastic response from organizations where self-service BI is implemented as automation in decision-making through rule-based engines. Such organizations could see 45 percent savings in cycle time and 55 percent cost reduction through automated decision-making processes. Embedded data quality in the reporting and rules services as part of self-service BI develop confidence in the decision-maker.

All this has made data ownership easier, and setting up a process under such an environment is much simpler and effective. Most companies experience overall cost savings in IT budgets by about 60 percent over the previous year’s spending. Eliminating many similar reports to create standard reports could reduce hardware costs by about 45 percent. Long-running queries from different users are also reduced, and this could give about a 30 percent boost to overall performance for complex reports. Having a single BI reporting tool across the organization as part of a self-service solution creates standardization for information access and simplifies the learning curve for the business users because they only have to learn one BI reporting tool. This creates considerable savings on training business users across the organization. All these are substantial benefits that self-service BI can give and could prepare organizations for bigger challenges. Organizations can thus raise their aspirations toward achieving their strategic vision.

*All statistics cited in this article are based on Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. select customers.

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