2014 STATE OF SELF-SERVICE BI REPORT

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1 2014 STATE OF SELF-SERVICE BI REPORT Logi Analytics First Executive Review of Self-Service Business Intelligence Trends 1

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 3 Introduction 4 What is Self-Service BI? 5 Top Insights 6 In-depth Insights 6 Self-service BI is essential to businesses 7 Business flexibility drives need for self-service 9 Self-service BI reduces the load on IT 10 Adoption of BI tools is still low 11 Age-old IT problems limit adoption 12 Top areas for IT investment in self-service 13 Self-service means self-purchase 14 Unveiling the underserved 15 The most underserved industries and departments 17 Top self-service BI capabilities 19 The business demands better functionality 21 Most in need of better functionality 22 Preferences for accessing self-service diverge 24 Spreadsheets everywhere 25 Spreadsheets are still a problem for IT 26 Bridging self-service with production reporting 27 Doubling down on big data 28 The relationship between business and IT 29 Appendix 29 Survey Methodology 30 About Logi Analytics 2

3 INTRODUCTION At Logi Analytics, our mission is to transform the way companies unleash the power of data. The traditional approaches to business intelligence (BI) are fading, marred by a long track record of expensive and poorly adopted solutions. To be competitive in today s world, all business users from the C-suite to the factory floor must have easy and intuitive ways to work with data and gain insights. We believe that serving the informational needs of business users is much more than sending spreadsheets to one another via . On one hand, users must have secure access to trusted sources of data and information, standardized and controlled by IT. On the other side, they should also be able to analyze and draw insights from data that they have direct access to, such as cloud applications. Business users should be able to use all this information when they want, where they want, and do so without having IT in the way. It s about EMPOWERING all users with self-service business intelligence. With this report, we endeavored independently to discover the current state of self-service business intelligence from the perspective of both business users and IT. We are happy to have both groups validate what our instincts have been telling us: self-service business intelligence is essential, and business users are increasingly taking matters into their own hands. Over 90% of respondents say that it is important for business users to access the data and information they need without IT. Additionally 24% of businesses have purchased BI tools without IT, which is a growing trend. At the same time, we discovered areas of misalignment and need for improvement. Business users say it is most important for them to not only consume pre-formatted reports, but also be able to analyze data and create reports on their own. On the other hand, IT considers consumption and exporting to spreadsheets as most important to business users. To make matters worse, the most important capabilities for business users were the ones they were least satisfied with. The 2014 State of Self-Service BI Report looks to provide insight to executives, operational managers, and technology leaders on how self-service impacts their business. We delve into the underlying need, the opportunities for improvement, and evolving trends for self-service business intelligence. 3

4 WHAT IS SELF-SERVICE BI? Self-service BI is defined as the capabilities of a software tool or application that enables business users to access data, analyze data, visualize insights, and obtain and share formatted information in the form of reports and dashboards, without the help of IT. The goal of self-service BI is to make business users become self-reliant and less dependent on their IT organization / BI team for data analysis and information needs. In many cases, IT provides these tools and applications to the business; such that at the time a business user needs that data and information, they can get it themselves. 4

5 TOP INSIGHTS Over 90% of business and IT users agree that it is important for business users to access data and information without the help of IT. Business users say that the biggest driver for self-service BI is the flexibility to get things done on their own time. Top outcome is increasing operational efficiency. On average, self-service BI reduces IT requests by 37%. Only 22% of business users have access to and use self-service BI tools when needed. 84% of IT organizations plan to invest in self-service BI in the next months. 24% of businesses have already purchased self-service BI tools without IT signoff, and this trend is growing. Who is most in need of self-service BI? Most underserved industries: Healthcare Technology Most underserved departments: Finance Marketing Most sought-after functionality by business users are also the ones most in need of improvement: Analyzing data to create visualizations Consuming reports Creating reports and dashboards Business users prefer desktop applications, while IT prefers web applications. 79% of business users say they mostly use spreadsheets versus other tools. Data integrity, security, and distribution are the biggest IT concerns with spreadsheet software. Only 31% of business users say they can promote a new insight they discover to a standard report delivered by IT. Adoption of emerging big data repositories for self-service is expected to double within 2 years. 5

6 SELF-SERVICE BI IS ESSENTIAL TO ES Business and IT Agree How important is it that you are able to access the data and information you need without asking IT? How important is it that business users are able to access the data and information they need without asking IT? 52% 56% 40% 40% IT 6% 2% 4% 1% LEGEND Very important Somewhat important Somewhat not important Not important The majority of business and IT view self-service as very important. Just as we are all empowered in this digital age to do more on our own, the same goes for the use of data. Very few people today question the need for business users to access data and insights without the intervention of IT. 6

7 FLEXIBILITY DRIVES NEED FOR SELF-SERVICE Results in efficiencies, agility, and competitiveness To what extent do you agree that the following issues drive the need for self-service BI? 45% 43% 10% 3% Business users want to get things done on their own time 31% 52% 13% 4% The organization demands to be more data-driven 22% 47% 22% 9% IT has limited resources 21% 51% 22% 6% Business users do not have access to the tools that IT has 20% 47% 25% 8% IT takes too long to respond to business needs 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% LEGEND Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree The biggest driver for self-service is the flexibility it gives businesses who desire to get things on their own time. And it also supports the over-arching desire companies have to become more datadriven. Criticisms of IT, which traditionally include their lack of resources or response are still present, but take a back seat. 7

8 To what extent does self-service BI enable the business to do the following? 37% 50% 8% 5% Increase operational efficiency 34% 52% 8% 6% Respond quicker to changing business conditions 33% 49% 12% 6% Be more competitive 30% 53% 12% 5% Increase customer satisfaction 28% 56% 10% 6% Create a shared understanding of business operations 27% 54% 13% 6% Empower employee decision-making 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% LEGEND Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree The top business outcomes from self-service are increasing operational efficiencies, providing business agility, and becoming more competitive. 8

9 SELF-SERVICE BI REDUCES THE LOAD ON IT Frees up IT for other essential tasks With self-service tools in place, how has the IT / BI team reduced the number of requests to write and deliver reports? Average reduction in report requests: 37% IT Count % 1-10% 11-20% 21-30% 31-40% 41-50% 51-60% 61-70% 71-80% 81-90% % Response (binned) IT can realize tangible return from investing in self-service BI, and a reduction in report requests in an important way to measure this. Respondents report an average reduction of 37% and median of 30%, which informs those who are initiating a self-service project today that they should probably not expect to eliminate all requests. Rather, having business users accomplish easier tasks can provide a quick productivity boost, while IT works on more difficult tasks. At the same time, it is interesting to note that 14% of IT reported no reduction in report requests. In these cases, one should not assume the outcome was failure. When it comes to insights from data and analytics, it is common for business users to ask for more after having their initial requirements satisfied. Delivering self-service BI and reaping its rewards is a journey, not a sprint to the finish. 9

10 ADOPTION OF BI TOOLS IS STILL LOW Both access and usage can be expanded What percentage of your department has access to self-service BI tools? Average: 39% Of those business users, what percentage uses the self-service BI tools when they need it? Average: 56% Count % 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-99% 100% Response (binned) X 40 = 22% of business users have access to 20 self-service BI and use them 0 when needed, as reported by business users Count 0% 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-99% 100% Response (binned) Business and IT both report that less than a quarter of business users have access to self-service BI tools and use them when they need it. Both access and usage have room for significant growth in order to increase adoption. What percentage of business users in your company has access to selfservice BI tools? Of those business users, what percentage uses the self-service BI tools when they need it? Average: 46% Average: 51% IT Count % 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-99% 100% X 40 = 23% of business users have access to 20 self-service BI and use them 0 when needed, as reported by IT Count 0% 1-25% 26-50% 51-75% 76-99% 100% 10

11 AGE-OLD IT PROBLEMS LIMIT ADOPTION Budget and skill set challenges need to be overcome What is limiting overall adoption of self-service BI? (Check all that apply) Limited budget 48% IT Business user skill set 48% Data security and access control 38% Lack of IT support 30% Lack of executive support 27% BI tools are hard to use 23% No demonstrated or forecasted need for self-service capabilities 20% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% The first limiter to self-service adoption is a common one limited budget signaling the need for more affordable tools. Tied for first place is business user skill, signaling the need for more end user training. This could also mean that business users need tools that are easier to use. However, IT does not necessarily blame the tools for being hard to use, as we see less than a quarter of respondents reporting this to be the case. The third limiter is data security and access control, signaling the desire for IT to centralize control of the information that users can analyze and distribute. 11

12 TOP AREAS FOR IT INVESTMENT IN SELF-SERVICE Better tools and user training are targeted 84% of IT organizations plan to invest in selfservice BI over the next months. How does IT plan to invest in improving self-service BI over the next months? (Check all that apply) Enhancing the tools already available 45% IT Implementing new tools and applications 40% Training business users 40% Writing new reports, or improving existing reports Implementing new data repositories/architectures 33% 37% No plans 16% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Backed by clear benefits to business users and IT, the majority of IT organizations plan to invest in self-service BI over the next 2 years. This includes investments in bringing more functionality to users, deploying new technology, training on the tools, and writing new reports. 12

13 SELF-SERVICE MEANS SELF-PURCHASE The business will increasingly purchase software without IT 24% of businesses have purchased self-service BI tools with minimal or no sign-off from IT, as reported by business users. Which purchasing processes are likely to be followed for future self-service BI tools? (Check all that apply) Business purchase with little or no IT sign-off 28% Both business and IT sign-off 56% Purchase process completely run by IT 23% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% Self-service BI is empowering to the business in many ways, including when it comes to purchasing software. Almost a quarter of businesses have purchased self-service BI tools on their own, a trend that is still growing. 13

14 UNVEILING THE UNDERSERVED Satisfaction level falls short of need In addition to rating its importance, respondents rated how satisfied they are with selfservice BI. These results are used to assess how well the business is being served by comparing the level of satisfaction to the level of importance. The difference between the two exposes how business users are still underserved. Interestingly, IT is more pessimistic about business user needs being met, perhaps because they are constantly pressured to support the business and are more familiar with their current available solutions. 52% 38% 14% Underserved How important is it that you are able to access the data and information you need without asking IT? To what extent are you satisfied with your ability to obtain the data and information you need without asking IT? 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 56% 31% 25% Underserved How important is it that business users are able to access the data and information you need without asking IT? To what extent are business users satisfied with your ability to obtain the data and information you need without asking IT? IT 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% LEGEND Very important Very satisfied Underserved 14

15 THE MOST UNDERSERVED INDUSTRIES AND DEPARTMENTS Healthcare and finance are the most in need Regarding your ability to obtain the data and information you need without asking IT: BY INDUSTRY Healthcare Technology Business Support 63% 33% 30% 58% 38% 20% 57% 39% 18% Underserved Education Construction Manufacturing Retail Financial Services 56% 38% 18% 54% 38% 16% 52% 43% 9% 50% 48% 2% 45% 36% 9% LEGEND Very important Very satisfied Underserved 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 15

16 BY DEPARTMENT Finance Sales Operations Marketing Support 63% 35% 28% Underserved 56% 45% 11% 55% 42% 13% 48% 26% 22% 33% 33% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% LEGEND Very important Very satisfied Underserved On the previous page, for the industries with the most respondents in the survey, comparing satisfaction against importance shows that healthcare and technology are the most underserved industries. On this page, for the top departmental functions in the survey, finance and marketing are the departments most in need. 16

17 TOP SELF-SERVICE BI CAPABILITIES Data analysis and report authoring are essential to the business; IT doesn t realize the shift We asked business users and IT to rate the importance of ten major self-service BI capabilities to the business. How important are the following self-service BI capabilities? IT How important are the following self-service BI capabilities to business users? Read a report or dashboard 39% 66% Analyze a set of data to create a visualization 39% 54% Create and format a report or dashboard 33% 41% Export data out so I can analyze in my own tool (e.g. Excel) 33% 55% Analyze a report or dashboard with filters and dropdowns Share a report or dashboard with someone else 29% 29% 51% 64% Import data from somewhere else into the BI system 26% 43% Schedule a report to be automatically ed Combine the data I import into the BI system with the data provided by IT Connect to a data set that IT controls, in order to access the raw data 24% 23% 22% 40% 42% 41% LEGEND 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% Very important 17

18 Business users are interested in performing analysis and constructing the presentation, not just consuming the output. This is shown by their top-rated functions: read a report or dashboard, analyze data to create a visualization, create a report or dashboard, and export data (presumably to work in another tool if they cannot get the first three things done in the BI system). With report consumption and data analysis tied for most important, this diverges from the traditional view that business users are consumption-focused. It is IT, in fact, who upholds this traditional view. IT ranks reading a report first, followed closely by analysis of a report with dropdowns and filters second. Note that business views IT s second top functionality as middle-of-the-pack functionality. More alarming is how business ranks the need to create a report or dashboard as a top item, but it is near the bottom of the IT list. IT thinks that business users are focused on consuming reports when, in fact, business users express a greater need to analyze data and author reports on their own. 18

19 THE DEMANDS BETTER FUNCTIONALITY Data analysis, report consumption, and report creation are most important and most in need of improvement In addition to rating their importance, business users also rated their satisfaction with self-service BI capabilities. The difference between the level of importance and the level of satisfaction tells us how poorly needs are being met for each capability. For example, analyzing data to create a visualization is very important to 39% of business users, but only 16% are very satisfied with the functionality. This difference indicates that their needs are largely not being met. Analyze a set of data to find out something insightful and create a visualization Read a report or dashboard Create and format a report or dashboard Export data out so I can analyze in my own tool (e.g. Excel) Analyze a report or dashboard with filters and dropdowns Share a report or dashboard with someone else Import data from somewhere else into the BI system Schedule a report to be automatically ed Combine the data I import into the BI system with the data provided by IT Connect to a data set that IT controls, in order to access the raw data 39% 16% 23% 39% 21% 18% 33% 17% 16% 33% 21% 12% 29% 17% 12% 29% 21% 8% 26% 15% 11% 24% 17% 7% 23% 15% 8% 22% 15% 7% LEGEND Very important Very Satisfied Difference = Unmet Needs 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 19

20 The chart sorts the capabilities in order of decreasing importance. Generally speaking, the most important capabilities are also the ones not meeting the needs of users. (For those with a discerning eye, note that if we rank based on the ratio of unmet needs to importance level, the ability to import data from somewhere else into the BI system would move from the bottom five to the top five, swapping places with the ability to export data.) 20

21 MOST IN NEED OF BETTER FUNCTIONALITY Healthcare industry and marketing department are far from satisfied Note that for both healthcare and marketing business users, data analysis and report creation stay in the top three of important capabilities but the ability to read a report does not. Marketing views the ability to import external data into the BI system as the second most important capability functionality that no marketing user is very satisfied with. HEALTHCARE Create and format a report or dashboard Export data out so I can analyze in my own tool (e.g. Excel) 58% 12% 46% 54% 11% 43% LEGEND Very important Analyze a set of data to find out something insightful and create a visualization MARKETING 50% 11% 39% Very Satisfied Difference = Unmet Needs Analyze a set of data to find out something insightful and create a visualization Import data from somewhere else into the BI system Create and format a report or dashboard 67% 4% 63% 48% 48% 44% 7% 37% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 21

22 PREFERENCES FOR ACCESSING SELF- SERVICE DIVERGE Business prefers desktop applications; IT prefers web applications How important is access to self-service BI in these different ways? Installed application on a computer 39% 43% 9% 10% Web portal or Web application 35% 45% 11% 8% Report automatically ed 28% 42% 18% 12% Embedded inside an application you already have access to 27% 45% 18% 10% Mobile device access 22% 39% 23% 16% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Above, we see that business users prefer to access self-service BI with applications installed on their computer. On the next page, we see that IT prefers web applications, likely due to the ability to centralize distribution and security of data (issues raised with widespread use of spreadsheets). For self-service initiatives, it is important to raise user adoption by ensuring access via the preferred channels. And if multiple access points are offered, these should be supported by a common platform or managed by a process that ensures new insights are available across multiple channels. 22

23 How important is access to self-service BI in these different ways? Web portal or Web application 61% 31% 6% 2% IT Installed application on a computer 45% 32% 16% 6% Mobile device access 44% 37% 15% 5% Embedded inside an application you already have access to 43% 39% 15% 4% Report automatically ed 40% 38% 14% 8% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% LEGEND Very important Somewhat important Somewhat not important Not important 23

24 SPREADSHEETS EVERYWHERE With spreadsheets, business users think they have it all Describe how you use spreadsheet software (e.g. Microsoft Excel) compared to other self-service BI tools. I only use spreadsheets 18% I use spreadsheets to analyze data and format analysis; I only use the other tools to export data into Excel I use spreadsheets mostly; I perform some of my work with the other tools 30% 31% I use spreadsheets some; I mostly use other tools I rarely or never use spreadsheets; I primarily use other tools 11% 10% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% Above, we see that 79% of business users use spreadsheet software over other BI tools. Considering the ubiquity of spreadsheets and the importance of exporting data from a BI tool (from a previous survey result), perhaps it is not difficult to comprehend that 82% of business users think they mostly have access to everything they need below. Spreadsheets are the de facto data analysis tool. To what extent do you have the ability to access the data and information you need without asking IT? I have access to everything I need 51% I have to ask IT for some things 31% I have to ask IT for most things 10% I have to ask IT for everything 8% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 24

25 SPREADSHEETS ARE STILL A PROBLEM FOR IT Data integrity and security are the main issues How severe are the following shortfalls of using spreadsheets? Multiple users have their own copy of data; no single version of truth 37% 29% 20% 14% Users can purposefully or mistakenly change the data 31% 34% 24% 12% IT Business users do not use it efficiently and spend too much time using it 29% 33% 24% 13% No controlled way of sharing analysis, other than 28% 36% 20% 16% Data can be sent to anyone, who is authorized or not 27% 37% 20% 16% Spreadsheet software is difficult to use 12% 38% 23% 28% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% LEGEND Major problem Minor problem Slight problem Not a problem The majority of IT organizations continue to view spreadsheets as problematic from an information management perspective. Lack of controlled data integrity, security, and distribution are the undesirable aspects of spreadsheet use. Of all the issues raised with spreadsheets, ease-of-use is not one of them, which is something that lends to their ubiquity. 25

26 BRIDGING SELF-SERVICE WITH PRODUCTION REPORTING New insights must find a path to standard reports Is there a formal process in place to promote an insight discovered by a business user into a standard report delivered by the IT/BI team? 31% 69% IT 50% 50% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% LEGEND Yes No In many companies, the IT or BI team delivers standard reports to the business, with key performance indicators (KPIs) and formatting that have been agreed upon in advance. In addition to receiving standardized reporting, business users also have the ability to discover new insights on their own, resulting in new data analyses, visualizations, and formatted reports. Organizations should institute a process to ensure that these new insights are incorporated and distributed with the standard reports, in order to promote information sharing and relieve the business from continually recreating these new KPIs. We find that 50% of IT organizations have such a process in place. The majority of the business, either simply unaware or non-compliant, does not believe a process exists. Whatever the case may be, centralized and de-centralized BI activities should be coordinated to create a shared understanding of operations across the enterprise. The adoption of this formalized process still has room to grow. 26

27 DOUBLING DOWN ON BIG DATA Application data and big data make their way into the hands of more business users Which of the following data sources do you plan to offer business users for self-service BI? Relational databases (e.g. SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL) Data warehouse Web Application Sources (e.g. Salesforce, Google Analytics, etc) Corporate/Internal Application Sources (e.g. SAP, etc) 67% 16% 4% 6% 7% 39% 29% 5% 16% 12% 38% 23% 12% 12% 15% 33% 21% 7% 20% 20% IT OLAP cubes 23% 24% 8% 25% 20% NoSQL 17% 19% 7% 33% 25% Analytic datastores (e.g. Vertica, Redshift) 16% 15% 10% 31% 27% Hadoop 12% 19% 8% 32% 28% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% LEGEND Already have 1-2 years 2+ years No plans Don t know As we had seen previously, 33% of IT organizations plan to invest in new data technologies for selfservice. Here we delve deeper into this topic, and find the largest installed base for traditional data repositories is with relational databases and data warehouses, continued adoption of application data sources, and, within two years, doubling the adoption of big data sources. IT expects that each of the three types of emerging big data technologies (NoSQL, analytics/columnar datastores, and Hadoop) will be available in over 30% of self-service tools within two years. 27

28 THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AND IT There is general consensus, but some differences remain How would you classify the relationship between business and IT at your company? LEGEND 24% 62% 11% 3% Excellent Good Somewhat poor 45% 46% 8% 1% Poor IT 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% & IT AGREE Self-service is essential Adoption is low Gaps exist between need & satisfaction & IT DIFFER Business desire to create reports surprises IT; IT expected consumption-focused needs Business prefers desktop applications; IT overwhelmingly prefers web applications Spreadsheets are de facto business tool; IT issues remain One of the goals in our survey was to discover how well business and IT are aligned in their perspective of selfservice BI. The report has shown that they share many of the same views at a high level, which likely contributes to the good relationship expressed in the above chart. The differences lie in the details of the self-service implementation, differences which we hope are brought together over time through better technology and internal processes. 28

29 APPENDIX: SURVEY METHODOLOGY Logi Analytics fielded the 2014 State of Self-Service BI Survey in August and September Data collection took the form of an online survey, to which there were over 600 complete responses from business and technology professionals. Survey respondents included executives, directors, and staff from line of business and IT at companies of all different sizes. 58% of respondents were from the United States, and 38% from the UK. 15% of the respondents claimed to be customers of Logi Analytics. In this report, we sometimes compare the responses given by business users versus given by IT. Survey respondents identified themselves as Business Users or in the group of IT / BI team / Business Analyst. To request further information about the design or conduct of this survey-based study, please contact us at JOB ROLE WHAT IS YOUR POSITION IN THE COMPANY? Executive / VP Director 14% 17% Business User IT / Business Intelligence Team / Business Analyst Manager Analyst Staff 13% 18% 37% NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES IN YOUR COMPANY 29% 8% % % % % % DEPARTMENTAL FUNCTION Operations 30% Finance Sales Support Marketing 19% 18% 12% 7% HR 5% Research and Development - 5% Supply Chain - 2% Manufacturing - 2% 29

30 ABOUT LOGI ANALYTICS Logi Analytics enables enterprises to make better use of their data by delivering on the promise of analytics everywhere. By providing both a Web-based data discovery solution and a business intelligence platform that can embed analytics within applications, systems and processes, Logi Analytics helps its customers from the C-suite to the factory floor to be more informed, make better decisions and improve corporate performance. With more than 1,400 customers worldwide, Logi Analytics meets the needs of organizations ranging from small businesses to Global 2000 enterprises. The company is headquartered in McLean, Virginia and has sales and support offices in the U.K. and Europe. Logi Analytics is a privately held, venture-backed firm with investments from Updata Partners, GroTech Ventures, Summit Partners and LLR Partners. For more information, visit LogiAnalytics.com. 30

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