Self-Service is the ability for Business to self-service their data and analytical needs from the platform with no or minimal support from the IT team Sounds interesting for Business but scary for the IT team!
Festive season is fast approaching and the marketing team of a retailer is looking to launch a promo on the new lines of iPhones. iPhone series have been one of their crowd puller product and they want to leverage the ‘hype’ on the newly launched phones and the season to make most of the selling. They want to pull this off in 2-3 weeks before their competition catch up. So far they have been leveraging one of the marketing data marts to do the customer segmentation and target the campaign. Unfortunately last campaign was not very successful. To increase the success rate, the marketing team managed to source in additional data points from the social media discussions by their customers/prospects as well as some post sale survey conducted by their sales team. These additional data points need to be included for the new analysis. The Business, however, want to test if the new data points really help with their analysis. If given to IT, it is a minimum 4-6 weeks cycle time.What should the Business do? Self-service tools is the option.
‘Self-Service’ is the right solution where Business can play around with the new data points (at a smaller scale) to validate how useful they are. Once they see the benefits, this can translate to production-scale regular loads into the data mart.
Self-service tools can range from data virtualization solutions such as Denodo or Cisco data virtualization that can connect to any source in a federated fashion to provide an integrated setup for analysis; to data discovery/visualization tools such as Qlikview and Tableau that can pull the needed data into memory and present visually the relations for analysis. Once the Business understand the relevance of the new data points, it can then become the requirements to the ETL team in IT to plumb it to the data mart.
As a concluding remark, the three musketeers ‘Agility’, ‘Scale’ and ‘Self-Service’ are definitely making a positive impact on the methods and the tools of the BI World be it for ‘small’ or ‘BIG’ data!