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Five tips for success with self-service analytics

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As companies push toward digitisation, many are building complicated webs of IT systems and tools to manage their growing portfolio of networks, apps and websites. But many of these systems are isolated from each other, making it difficult for companies to get a holistic view of their entire IT ecology.

To manage and build their IT systems, companies are therefore increasingly relying on IT operational analytics tools. These tools collate and analyse data from multiple sources, allowing businesses to spot trends quickly and react to them and to make decisions with a full spectrum of information at hand. Self-service analytics tools allow companies to do this data aggregation and analysis in-house, without outsourcing the work to a third party.

But what makes a good self-service analytics tool and how do you make the most of it? Here are five tips for using self-service analytics to their fullest potential.

1. Make the data available to a range of employees

Traditional business intelligent tools were complex, yielding complicated data only interpretable by a select few. Decision-making was therefore reserved to those few, leading to slow and often tunnel-visioned actions which didn’t take advantage of the range of experience, expertise and talent from across the business. Today data is an integral part of every level of businesses. Staff should have daily access to relevant data gathered by the analytics tools so they can make decisions on their own.

2. Empower staff to use the tools

With self-service analytics tools, employees no longer have to wait for a data report from IT. Instead, they can access it themselves through the system and should be empowered to do so— viewing data in real-time, creating personalised reports and taking necessary actions.

3. Personalise reports for different teams

Different teams within your business with all different data and reporting requirements. Self-service analytics can produce bespoke reports, tailored to the needs of teams and even individual staff members. Personalisation not only enhances productivity but can also guide employees to find the right strategies

4. Enable quick and easy on-demand reporting

Ad hoc reports answer specific questions and are therefore more valuable than standard reports. Staff should be given the ability to create ad-hoc reports through the system without delay, instantly accessing and sharing information pertinent to their work.

5. Use an interface with good visuals

When selecting a self-service analytics platform, make sure it has a visual-driven, intuitive interface. Visuals allow users to view, interpret and analyse data at a glance, without wading through spreadsheets or painstakingly generating their own charts and graphs. Visualisations are also useful for presenting data to others—whether they’re team members, colleagues from different departments, managers or clients. Look for software with powerful visualisation tools, capable of producing charts, widgets, KPI metrics, pivot tables and of allowing users to hone into the nitty-gritty and slice up data to see it in different ways. 

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