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Self-Service vs. Managed BI


Self-Service vs. Managed BI

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Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Self-Service vs. Managed BI

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Ken Wymore
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I think your formula one car vs house plan analogy is spot on. Sadly, it seems that the only people who get this are the ones doing the development!
Ben Moorhouse
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Oh TOTALLY agree to both of you!

Our company has recently been taken overy by another company, creating a huge company. We're now doing the BI for it, and it's giving us a chance for a bit of both - planning the "new" solution and building to plan, whilst using the old version for learnings.

That analogy, as Kenneth said, is spot on.
Dirk Wegener
Dirk Wegener
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It's not like a house where everything is planned from the start, but more like an evolving Formula-1 car that is tweaked and tuned with the user inside of it.

I like that methaphore!

However as you metioned yourself: building (great) software is hard. Why put the reponsibility at the (Powerpivot) users desk? It's hard enough for users to analyze conformed data in a (traditional) Datawarehouse let alone build a powerpivot solution.

Dirk

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Ben Moorhouse
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From my experience Dirk, the users genuinely dont know what they want.
Giving them power pivot allows them to play with the data until they get what they want. We can then build what they want.

What tends to happen now is that they'll ask for everything.
We'll then have to say no and ask them what they actually need.
They'll have a guess (it will be wrong), we'll build what they ask for and then have to go through several itterations of that.
Frustrating for both parties.
Dirk Wegener
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I can see where you're coming from and if you put it this way it makes sense to develop a BI solution by that procedure. However I still think that most business users don't have enough knowledge of Excel, PowerPivot and Database Concepts in general to be able to build a prototype. And then again even if they could, if all users build a prototype using different assumptions and definitions wouldn't it be really hard to for the BI Project Team to build a solution with all the functionality in those prototypes?

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Ben Moorhouse
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Oh yea - really hard, but a lot easier than months and months of itterations.
I think we're in a fairly good position in that most of our users are pretty switched on when it comes to data, and if they're not they get a business analyst in to do the digging for them.
OCTom
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Sometimes simple is all that's required. We DBA and developer folks tend to over-develop. We want to give the suers the world when all they really need is one small corner of it. Maybe Powerpivot is that one small corner.
Bill Beadenkopf
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There is definitely something to say for user managed reporting. I don't know how many 'great' projects I have created that are now gathering dust, because nobody is using it, whereas the data-based spreadsheet or quick-and-dirty report that fills a need is still in use.
The key seems to be to stay highly involved with your user, and begin with something basic. Grow and polish it as needed.
Ben Moorhouse
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I think the selling point for the simple Excel and Access files is the ability to easily manipulate them.
People like to put their own mark on things.
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