Data. Analytics. Business Intelligence. Every company, large or small, needs it. The depth of analytics required will vary wildly from company to company though. As an organization grows in size, we start differentiating its needs for Corporate BI and Self-Service BI. Does a mid to large size company need both? Probably. Are Corporate BI and Self-Service BI somewhat at odds with each other? Sometimes, but not always.
The following charts depict one way of viewing levels of Business Intelligence within an organization.
Where the organization wants to plot itself on the above axes depends on many things. The top right is not necessarily the “ideal” or “best” for every company. The bottom left is not always “bad.” Ultimately, the desired level of maturity depends on what the company needs and wants in terms of analytic capabilities. It also depends on the individual business units. Perhaps the Purchasing Department gets by quite nicely with Corporate BI capabilities; however, the Competitive Pricing Department may have significant need for advanced Self-Service BI tools and techniques.
This is one situation where Corporate BI and Self-Service BI can co-exist quite nicely within an individual organization. Different business units have unique and evolving needs; therefore, each unit’s level of BI capabilities can and should adapt accordingly. Put another way: one size doesn’t fit all.
If you like this topic, then be sure to attend the April meeting of the Charlotte BI Group so we can continue the conversation. Javier Guillén (Blog | LinkedIn) and I will be facilitating a roundtable conversation titled “Corporate BI + Self-Service BI: Friends or Foes?” Hint: Javier doesn't always share the same viewpoint I have, so this will be fun! Please join us if you can - we would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.