First, there are the power-users—data scientists with advanced computer and mathematics degrees who spend their days manipulating data.
Then, there is everyone else. The users that fall into the second category have a variety of skills when it comes to data mining for business intelligence. They run the gamut from the database-illiterate to those who have basic skills, all the way through advanced users.
Data mining is all about slicing and dicing data to make comparisons and spot trends. However, since the majority of users are not “data ninjas they are unable to get the information they need in a form that they can easily work with.
The biggest challenge when it comes to data mining for Business Intelligence is access. Querying databases isn’t always easy, especially with legacy BI tools. Users know that the data they need exists, but they don’t know how to get to it. It’s stuck in a database that they do not have permission to access or they do have access, but they don’t know how to run a report without soliciting the help of a developer.
This lack of access slows operations. If a user needs to take action quickly to identify a problem, it’s simply impossible with legacy tools in place. Requesting data from a developer takes time, and unless a request comes directly from the CEO, it is highly unlikely to see instant turnaround. Developers are busy, and they’ve likely got a list a mile long of reports and queries they must run for others in the organization. By the time a user gets the data they requested, it is often too late to take meaningful action.
When users have to rely on a variety of databases and developers to access mission-critical data, timing is not the only concern. Without a centralized tool, data mining for business intelligence can become an exercise in navigating useless information. The average user doesn’t necessarily know which database they need to pull from in order to get the most up-to-date and accurate data. People stick with processes they are comfortable with.
Therefore, when they have the ability to query a database, they may find themselves relying on the tool that is easiest to use, even if that particular database does not contain the precise data they need.
Those users likely don’t know the full implications of pulling from the wrong source, or they may not even be aware that they are pulling from the wrong source. However, the end result will be the same: actions will be taken and decisions will be made based on incomplete or inappropriate data sets.
There are security concerns to consider when it comes to how a user data mines for business intelligence. Let’s say, for example, that a user puts together a product sales report that includes product names, SKUs, pricing, total unit sales, and revenue. With legacy BI tools in place, sharing that report can become difficult. The user may want to share everything except revenue with another department, but they can find it impossible to eliminate that information without requesting or creating an entirely new report. Older tools limit information sharing because the user is rendered virtually powerless to control secure information flow.
Legacy BI solutions limit users’ power to access critical information and manipulate it in meaningful ways. In order to give users what they need, when they need it, new BI solutions must be considered. When evaluating a potential new tool for data mining, decision-makers should consider:
If you are looking for a better way to data mine for business intelligence, Yurbi, a BI tool developed by 5000fish can provide your organization with security, end-user access, data discovery, and data sharing on the go. Users have the information that they need right at their fingertips, and they can easily manipulate it through drag-and-drop tools to help them spot trends and find answers to questions – or further refine their questions to zone in on the answers they seek. Users can share reports instantly, and collaborate without altering the report or seeing sensitive information.
If you’d like to learn more about ways you can improve your data mining for BI, request a demo today.