Freedom cannot exist in the absence of law. Self-service visual analysis cannot exist in the absence of governance.
Self-service is the key to unlocking the data within your organization. Governance is the foundation for self-service. Governance starts with trust in a published data set and application. Trust with a published data set ensures that everyone is working on a common set of numbers when making decisions. Spreadsheets are a good example where governance falls apart. As a former financial analyst, I remember always having to prove out my spreadsheets and also having others do the same for their spreadsheet analysis.
The real power is when you have the ability to combine a trusted data set with an application that can be leveraged by others. This is called publishing. This allows for self-service to take off because it allows users to extend the trusted application with their added knowledge. I can guarantee that your users will want to make changes to their dashboards and then will want to do it themselves to make it timely. Publishing makes this possible. Therefore, your visual discovery platform needs a notion of publishing.
Publishing allows for developers to create an application designed to be used by others. More important is the ability for the user to extend the application AND to be able to share different views of the governed data set. A published application should have the following attributes for proper governance:
- Area for analysis that does NOT change AND is CONSISTENT for all users. This establishes trust.
- Area to allow for personalization of the analysis based on the same governed data set. This allows self-service.
- Lastly an area of analysis that has been shared by others. This leverages the knowledge of the entire company.
Here is an example of what it looks like in Qlik Sense Enterprise - just make sure your solution has something similar:
Self-service only works in an environment of trust and consistency. Like the laws that allow for freedom for all individuals, governed data sets and applications allow for self-service analysis for all users. Let freedom ring!
Photo credit: Joe Buckingham / Foter / CC BY