Self-Service For Everyone Needs To Be A Mandate

Technology is not what's holding you back.


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At Qlik, we are passionate about the idea of self-service for everyone in the organization.  When I discuss this with users, there is little disagreement about the idea.  However, many think this idea of self-service for the masses as a goal can never be achieved.  Why?  I hear most users don’t need self-service.  Most users are accustomed to just getting a report and can’t even be bothered with the idea of changing an interactive dashboard.

Can an organization predict when the next innovative data driven insight will be, or who will put the analysis together?  The reality is that no one can answer this.  The demand signals for new analysis may never flow back to a central group of dashboard or visualization developers.  It is the very reason why Excel continues to be so prolific and new tools continue to emerge.  The rate of change will always far outstrip the ability for a core group of developers to keep up.  This is not to say that a core group isn’t needed to ensure governance. 

The reason is because you can’t predict who will get the most value from self-service; by definition self-service should be available to everyone.  The people who will use self-service are the golden nuggets to ensuring the path to being a superior data-driven company.

  • By allowing it for everyone, you can then see who is using self-service and for which applications.

  • You can ensure that the self-service insights are driven by governed data sets to ensure that everyone has the same lens on the data.

  • You can minimize BI tool fragmentation within an organization since self-service is largely done within a single tool where possible.

  • Eliminate bottlenecks with the core developers/analysts in an organization.  Do they really need to work on adding different pie charts for each request?

Most importantly "we’re born analysts” as James Richardson put succinctly.  I agree with James with the notion that working with self-service BI tools is more natural than we think.  Technology was a problem, especially the governed data sets, but with Qlik Sense this isn’t an issue anymore.  With Qlik Sense, managed self-service is far easier than ever before and with the current platform these capabilities will only get enhanced over time.  The bigger issue is beyond technology and it is about culture and attitude within an organization as James states.  

The key ultimately with any goal is to start: you need to begin your journey today for governed self-service.  Technology is not holding you back.  In a future post, I will explain how Qlik Sense Enterprise Server publishing is one key to unlocking the data analyst in all of us.

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