A company can throw millions behind a large-scale BI project and it may still fail. Of course there are a multitude of reasons why projects don't succeed, but one important point cannot be underscored enough: data is useless unless it's put into the right hands in the right manner.
Empowering your end users is critical to the success of your BI project, whether that's empowering them to do more analysis by removing tedious manual work (automating tasks that used to be done with Excel spreadsheets), or empowering them through the newest trend: incorporating Web 2.0 functionality into BI solutions.
As arcplan sees it, this new trend is all about making BI more pervasive, engaging, and collaborative in order to facilitate end user decision-making, all in the hopes of helping organizations perform better. The power really is in the end users' hands; BI solutions providers are designing with them in mind, taking their internet savvy and preferences into account in their latest product innovations.
End users are looking for self-service BI that accommodates them. They expect data to be available from a range of terminal devices, from desktop PCs to smart phones. They want their most frequently needed reports accessible via widgets that can be saved on desktops and mobile devices. They want BI that takes unstructured data into account and makes it searchable. They want to collaborate and provide feedback about reports in an attractive interface that's designed around how they work, rather than one that forces them to accommodate a vendor's approach.
All of these enhancements should enable end users to find answers quickly, allowing them to make better decisions faster. Empowering your end users with solutions made for them will increase the number of optimized business decisions that are made based on facts, giving the organization the opportunity for increased flexibility, productivity, and profitability.
More and more, we're going to see BI systems that have been designed with the regular business user in mind, not BI experts or power users. arcplan's own Project Vega will launch early next year and you’ll be seeing more on this blog about it over the coming months.
Have an idea you'd like us to consider in our product enhancements? Let us know in the comments!