Now a part of self-service BI is interactive business analytics. What you can do is you can have that business analyst or the business user talk with that business analyst who then works out how the data should be pulled together, joined, segmented, analyzed and then make that available to the business user for him to construct his operational dashboards or analytic dashboards so that they can get the information and answers to the questions that they have.
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And another question from Rachel. Does Style Intelligence have an agile infrastructure?
Absolutely, yes. One of the things that is important with an agile infrastructure is just being able to work in a virtualized environment and be able to have horizontal scaling capability, and this really gives a lot of flexibility to usually modify that infrastructure and that’s something that the Style Intelligence server had built-in since day one. It scales extremely well horizontally and vertically within a cluster node environment so it’s perfect for the cloud. And it’s also works extremely well with the agile BI infrastructure that’s needed to support these concepts and methodologies.
And our last final question from Sarah, ow do we convince business executives to approve agile BI initiatives and fund them?
Yes, that’s an excellent question. One of the interesting paradoxes in the world of BI is that we as BI practitioners do not often and actually very rarely measure. What do I mean by that? We constantly try to instill on our business partners the best practice of running their business by the numbers, but ask yourself a question you know do you a BI project manager, BI practitioner do you really run your BI business by the numbers?
You really know how many reports you have out there, how many reports are being used frequently versus infrequently. How many clicks people take inside your report before they get an answer to a question? Have you created a very efficient and effective environment or do people really take a few clicks and they give up and they abandon reports or do they take a few clicks only to export the data to excel.
All these questions can be attributed by various user groups, by various departments, by various regions which is going to give you a lot of quantifiable and tangible data, a lot of insights in to who is using BI and how, and regardless of whether it’s an agile or nonagile BI project, I definitely recommend with this.
Do not go to any kind of budget request or new requirements meeting without really understanding quantifiably and measurably and objectively how your BI system is being used to date. Then once you establish that whether it’s on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, you can monitor your BI environment performance.
Then you can potentially start finding some correlations. Let’s say business unit A is empowered with more agile BI tools and business unit B is still using an outdated kind of more traditional BI tool. Maybe it’s scalable but does not offer an agile BI environment. If all of these stars align and you indeed see a correlation between a more efficient, more effective usage of BI in business unit A and their other business metrics whatever those business metrics are, improved sales, improved customer attrition, lower risk, more transparency and whatever that business metric is.
If you find a direct correlation you just hit a gold mine, right. That’s your gold mine to document and to take to your business managers, to your budget holders and say look, we indeed find a direct correlation between more an agile, more efficient, more self-service BI application and business performance. And I would say if you can do that you are in a very good spot.
In a lot of cases you are not going to find that correlation right so that’s obviously not as good as my first example, but that’s also not a bad place to be because that’s a very eye opening exercise, and then you really need to step back and ask yourself a question why is it that we have invested X in BI tools and BI infrastructure for this particular business unit, more modern tools, more modern infrastructure? Why aren’t we seeing a difference? What are we doing wrong? Go back to that BI on BI, and try to find some answers. Have you given them agile BI tools, but are people still exporting data to excel. Why is that? There are lots of hidden meanings in how people use BI so if you do not find a correlation between BI usage and business performance, it’s a very good exercise to go through to understand what are the missing pieces, why aren’t you getting the results?
OK, that’s all the time we have for today. Thank you everyone for attending. Have a good day.