DIY BI: A guide to self-service business intelligence implementation

Last updated:June 2014

Editor's note

The objective of self-service business intelligence is straightforward: enable end users to make decisions based on their own queries and analyses, while also freeing up BI and IT teams to focus on other tasks. Self-service BI also allows business users to customize reports to their own needs, rather than relying only on the predefined data and canned reports available in BI systems. However, maximizing the use of self-service analytics tools can be a challenge for organizations, despite their best intentions.

Effective implementation of self-service BI applications and tools requires an understanding of the varying needs of different users and ongoing support from BI and IT professionals to help users throughout an organization take full advantage of self-service functionality. What is intuitive for one user may elude another, in many cases requiring customized training programs for different levels of expertise in order to reap the most benefit from self-service tools.

This Essential Guide offers articles that address self-service BI trends, the technology's potential benefits and challenges, and strategies for managing successful deployments. It also looks at the self-service BI capabilities of Microsoft's SQL Server database and related technologies.

1Challenges and best practices of self-service BI

Managing self-service BI programs is more complex than it appears, as end users have different needs and typically require training and assistance on an ongoing basis. As a result, self-service BI is neither one size fits all, nor a program that runs on automatic pilot. These articles offer insights into how flexibility, carefully selected tools and user support are imperative to self-service BI success.

2Self-service business intelligence and SQL Server

Boosting the business intelligence capabilities of SQL Server has been a priority for Microsoft, which has designed tools such as PowerPivot and Power View to empower users to make decisions based on their own analyses. The articles in this section offer information about SQL Server business intelligence options, including self-service BI software.

3SQL Server self-service BI quiz

Test your knowledge of self-service BI and how it pertains to SQL Server with this brief quiz.