Self-service is a feature which we love to talk about at Qlik. When users are self-equipped to create their own analysis, the most satisfied people to be seen around are those belonging to BI and IT department. There are many customers seen to be implementing a new BI platform almost in the same way. Users can start off with few apps in a single department being handled by a limited number of people. They start learning the process to receive insights, creating new apps, adding new data sources and sharing the work with more number of users.
Self-service is great provided there is no room for chaos. There are some unwanted situations popping up due to this chaos like users are changing apps that are supposed to be gold standards for the executives. They are using data sources that they are prohibited from accessing and they are even able to see information considered to be potentially sensitive, which ideally should be kept secure and private.
There should be a constructive solution to these imposing threats. Qlik Sense being a self –service application, allows the end user to be empowered to explore any data type that they can access. This makes them able to create personalized reports and dynamic dashboards for a huge amount of data exploration. The drag-n-drop feature for building or extending the visual analysis of Qlik Sense has made things all the easier for the users.
Self-service exploration of data for either groups or individuals is the main idea behind self-service data analytics. It supports the idea of decentralized deployment of analytics. In simple words, self –service data visualization means the ability to answer one’s own questions without any external support from IT. There are essentially three parts to self-service, the first being for the business users who are just in need of answers to their queries without being dependent on the IT department, which is already overburdened.
Then there are people who have deeper questions, answers for which are not answered in that dashboard meant for them. They form the second part. The third and the final set are again business analysts who can start from scratch associating various data sources with ease.
There are few ground rules that need to be followed for this unwanted chaos removal. Some vital inputs on the same have been extended by experienced Qlik consulting professionals having extensive experience in helping customers to set up a center of excellence and governed self-service. According to Qlik experts, there should be some setup rules, properly defined processes, and controls, which would promise a gold standard experience without constraining the users from getting the most out of their BI platform.
Defining the operating model, which helps to manage the balance between the user’s responsibilities that they are willing to take and the willingness of the IT to let go, versus things that are served better by the IT for all parties. It is also a bunch of rules that maintain an equilibrium on how much self-service is dispersed versus what criteria-led action should be governed centrally. Every organization is unique on their own terms and every department is different and so it becomes very vital to know how much risk companies are ready to undertake.
Once the risk factor is identified, it can be mapped and documented the exact places where control can be governed, which ultimately becomes the foundation of the customer’s COE strategy – fragmented in verticals of a business unit, user type, and department.
An interesting point to introspect is that given the picture that when many customers start our small, what could be the exact time to get set for COE. Experts share their views stating that as soon as a customer starts thinking about organizing their BI apps into folders or for that matter streams for the Qlik Sense crowd, that moment can be considered as a good indication of the appropriate time. This is the vital juncture when the customer actually decides about which specific app could be used by what users and the way access should be managed.
There are conditions where there are customers who plan to install Qlik across their entire enterprise right from the start with the idea of proactively setting up COE from the start. This idea proves to be of tremendous help in a situation where Qlik is deployed across multiple departments at the same time, each starting to develop apps for their own use cases. But in either of the cases, majority organizations would have the need to think of defining their own COE strategy at some juncture in their BI platform lifecycle.
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