Self-Service BI provides businesses easy access to critical information for quick decision-making. It eliminates the redundant and often constraining IT processes, as well as the involvement of technology experts, which is the downside in traditional BI. The agility thus rendered to Self-Service BI platform allows end-users to customize what they want to see. But all that glitters is not gold. Such independence from technology layer comes at its own cost. Reliability of the insights generated is the first to bear the brunt with multiple users manipulating data according to their own needs, often taking inputs from unreliable sources. The data generated in a Self-Service BI environment may further complicate the problem without robust frameworks for its organization and storage. Such freedom to use also exposes data to risks of inconsistency and poor quality.
However, there always exists a silver lining, which in this case is the concept of data governance. Data governance fits right into the voids created by Self-Service BI. With ever increasing volumes of data, relying on data processes without a governance layer is equivalent to sitting on a bomb waiting to explode. The risk of carrying unreliable data snowballs into risk of rendering unreliable information and insights which itself can spiral the organization into a series of flawed decisions - causing irreparable damage to the firm.
The benefits of data quality and integrity management in terms of reliability and security alone are reasons compelling enough for organizations to embrace data governance. However if we look at the value add that a conjunction of self-service business intelligence and data governance practices bring to the table, the prospect transcends from a 'business want' to a 'business need'.
Ability to discover data and insights with the speed and diversity that Self-Service BI offers coupled with the reliability leveraged as a result of data governance policies and processes can truly enhance the efficacy with which the business users sift through the data volumes to get to actionable insights. Organizations who can leverage capabilities of drawing insights in real-time to near real-time have the best chance of sustaining their edge in the foreseeable future. It is in this space where the combination of Self-Service BI and data governance converge to create an imperative business solution. With Self-Service BI, the role of IT as a gate keeper for data gets eliminated, yet with a governance framework in place, business user can be rest assured about the authenticity of the data they are operating on.
With well-structured data policies to keep tabs on reliability of data, organizations can reduce the data to insight cycle time significantly and continue to derive a synergies of sorts from this meant-to-be partnership of data governance & Self-Service BI.