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Democratising Business Intelligence
JJ Aiston, Director, Group Business Intelligence, Paysafe
There are two main considerations when looking to address this. These are (i) security and (ii) correctly addressing what our internal customers are trying to understand.
In the payments industry, security is fundamental to our day-to-day operations. Effective security includes segregation of data and restricted user access, but these can both present challenges in opening up a business intelligence environment to a wider audience. The best way to address this is by focusing on what users really need.
For example, do our internal customers really need transaction-level data in order to drive decision making? Often this level of data contains sensitive information which is subject to the highest level of security, so can be difficult to share.
it’s also worth considering investing in educating our audience in new ways of consuming data
It’s also important to consider the skill levels of your end customers and the resources they have. For example, if you are developing for the C-suite, will they always have time to apply filters to a Tableau workbook in between board meetings to get what they want? Do they have access to Alteryx or Power BI? There is no single answer here, so you need to take care to understand this for your audience. In some cases, they will want to invest the time into drilling into the data themselves to understand multiple scenarios on the fly. This could be just in Excel or through their own SQL queries. In some cases, they will want a simple email that gives them a “YES” or “NO” decision, nothing more.
It’s also worth considering investing in educating our audience in new ways of consuming data. It’s surprising how many people outside of the data community consider Excel to be the only way to do that. However, a thoughtful, simple, server-based data visualisation can be a much better way of helping people access and understand the information your data is producing.
These different solutions usually require the same amount of rigour, but with a different approach. Making sure you understand this from the outset brings two benefits. Firstly, it means that your efforts will be focused on the right solution for your audience. Secondly, and most importantly, it means your efforts will produce information in a format that is useful, accessible and digestible to the customer. That’s how we add value as business intelligence specialists.