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Study Finds Self-Service Integration Worthwhile for BI

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Six Reasons Businesses Need to Pay Attention to Unstructured Data

Does self-service integration make a difference for business leaders? Yes, according to the Aberdeen Group: Where self-service integration is used, managers are 17 percent more likely to find the right information at the right time than in those companies where the self-service integration was not in place.

Aberdeen Group released a study on self-service BI integration in September, but the results were available only to paying subscribers. Aberdeen has temporarily unlocked the report, so it’s now available to those who have free registration to the site.

Don’t let the term “self-service integration” throw you off. While more vendors and analysts are using this phrasing, it’s actually not a new development. “Self-service integration” (which really should probably be called self-serve integration), is just the new way to say data mash-ups made with BI tools.

Out of 147 survey responses, 64 percent said their companies are pursuing a “self-service BI strategy” to meet the endless thirst for business analytics.

As it turns out, self-service isn’t always impressive.

“Often in practice, self-service is limited to changing the presentation of existing information — adding a column to a report, or personalizing the layout of a dashboard, for example,” Aberdeen Senior Analyst David White writes. “For some, however, self-service is deeper than that, enabling end users to merge personally obtained data with corporate managed data.”

What’s impressive is how much self-service integration, aka mash-up capabilities, can reduce the integration work time. For instance, on average, organizations take 31 days to integrate a new data source into an existing data warehouse.

That slows down even simple integration jobs, which have to wait in queue with longer integration projects.

When an organization supports mash-ups, 46 percent of data integration tasks can be completed within an hour.

The report includes several important findings for CIOs considering adoption of self-service integration, including:

  • Business managers are 17 percent more likely to find timely information when self-service integration is supported.
  • It’s still important that data quality be verified by data professionals, either within IT or supported by decentralized IT staff.

The report is currently available for free download, with basic user registration.

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