If you are responsible for Business Intelligence (BI) in your organization, we already know that you are in a hurry. You'll do anything and adopt any means in your grasp, to unlock the secrets held by your data. We understand you don't have the time to wait for traditional IT to deliver a report "next month" - you want it now. That's how real-life business is.
That is why self-service analytics is trending in the world of technology. People like you can't wait. But hang on, is that the right thing to do? Or are you shooting yourself in the foot?
I can tell you, having watched this scenario unfold dozens of times with the Fortune 500 companies I have partnered for BI and analytics, that you are doing yourself and your organization a dis-service. Let me not be coy: you may be doing real harm. But I also understand that you need to dig into the data now - and react fast! You want answers to complex business questions: "What is my revenue from new subscribers? Which of my customers are responding to my social media campaign and what is their profile and how has my organization responded to them?" But the data needed for the answers is lying in scores of disparate databases and that spreadsheet you use? It just doesn't cut it anymore. You need real horsepower if you are going to motor your way to success.
But does the answer lie in using cheap and freely available talent to write some lines of quick and dirty code to tweak existing applications or create new ones that mash data from within and outside the enterprise? Does it make sense to bypass the wisdom of traditional IT and BT? I would use caution.
What you are doing today will not scale for tomorrow. Analysts have suggested that just this year alone will see 5.5 million devices being connected. By the end of the year we will have 6.4 billion devices talking to one another. Think of the data that these will be spewing. Think of the data anarchy that is on its way. Now think: does your solution have the steel it needs to stay standing?
Okay, so there isn't a silver bullet for the problem either. You can't really bridge the gap between agility and anarchy easily. But here are the first few steps in the right direction:
Be wily: Make the C-suite - people who will benefit the most - sponsor your data and analytics strategy. Create a strong data culture in the company. Future success depends on this unusually simple fact.
Stick your head in the cloud: On premise infra will always be a headache. Selectively expand your IT assets in the Cloud. Gain the ability to scale at will.
Obsess about data governance: Yes, obsess. Make data governance and quality frameworks the building blocks of your BI strategy.
Call in your IT heavyweights. Make them solve your problem. Make sure it is scalable with a focus on data acquisition and storage, data enrichment, data management and data distribution. You will end up touching practically every application and system in the organization, so be prepared for one immutable fact: no single solution will deliver the results you dream of. Get in a system integrator you trust, who knows and understands your needs and who will lay a strong foundation for your BI needs.