New Report From Starfleet Research Reveals Best Practices in Self-Service Business Intelligence

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The 2016 Benchmark Report on Self-Service Business Intelligence explains how top-performing companies are achieving success

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It’s easy to see why self-service BI has gained so much traction and why the advent of next-generation solutions will have an even greater impact on transforming modern-day business"

Starfleet Research today announced the release of The 2016 Benchmark Report on Self-Service Business Intelligence. Written by leading industry analysts, and based on the experiences of 276 companies, the new report offers a comprehensive look at how companies today are utilizing self-service business intelligence and data visualization tools to generate actionable insights, improve business productivity and, ultimately, drive revenue growth and profitability.        

“The decisions made by business users are informed not only by the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information contained in the dashboards and reports, but also by the ability to easily create new, customized views into the information,” said Jeff Zabin, research director at Starfleet Research and one of the authors of the new report. “Even casual users no longer wish to be merely passive recipients of reporting output from the IT department. Rather, they want to have the ability to generate their own reports on the fly and to manipulate, interact with, and analyze the data at a granular level.”

According to the new research, business users at all levels of the organization today tend to be both data-oriented and technology-savvy. They want to be able to personally generate and drill down into the details of any given data set independently, without having to involve IT resources. They want to be able to uncover underlying trends and identify opportunities within their areas of accountability that may possibly surface through data analysis. And that speaks to the value of self-service business intelligence. In fact, 94% of top-performing companies say that self-service business intelligence has been “successful” or “very successful” in terms of enabling them to achieve the desired business results.

Other key research findings include the following:

  • 84% of companies cite cost reduction (identifying opportunities to lower operational costs and also relative to traditional BI implementation and IT resource maintenance) as a top reason to deploy self-service business intelligence
  • 96% of companies agree that the mobile user experience is an “important” or “very important” purchase consideration with self-service business intelligence
  • 77% of companies cite predictive capabilities (e.g., being able to spot emerging trends and conduct scenario analysis) as one of top reasons to deploy self-service business intelligence
  • 81% of companies agree that group collaboration features and functionality are “important” or “very important” purchase considerations with self-service business intelligence
  • 87% of companies cite revenue growth (e.g., by gaining faster access and more flexible views) as one of top reasons to deploy self-service business intelligence

“Given the research, it’s easy to see why self-service BI has gained so much traction and why the advent of next-generation solutions will have an even greater impact on transforming modern-day business,” says Zabin, who previously covered data analytics and business intelligence for other leading IT market research firms, including Aberdeen Group.

The new 27-page report examines the common characteristics of top-performing companies across multiple sizes and industry sectors. It looks at how they’re maximizing the value of their investment in self-service business intelligence by putting not only the right technologies in place but also by creating the right organizational structure, instilling the right organizational culture and implementing the right performance metrics.

The competitive landscape for self-service business intelligence solutions has exploded in recent years. The leading self-service BI solutions (or analytics platforms with a significant self-service component) include the following: Microsoft Power BI, Tableau Desktop, Looker, Domo, Qlik Sense Enterprise Server, Zoho Reports, Information Builders WebFocus, Tibco Spotfire Desktop, SAP Lumira, Chartio, Clearify QQube, Sisense and Cognos Analytics, Dundas BI, Salient, Actuate BIRT, Birst, BIME Analytics, Bitam, GoodData, High IQ, iDashboards, TIBCO Jaspersoft, Yellowfin, TIBCO Jaspersoft, Pyramid Analytics’ BI Office, IBM Watson Analytics, Prognoz Platform and Interactive Edge’s XP3 Suite, Panorama Necto, MicroStrategy Analytics Platform, Strategy Companion Analyzer, arcplan Spotlight, InetSoft Clear Analytics, SAP NetWeaver BI, Pentaho BI, BOARD AIO BI, Adaptive Insights, BizzScore, DBxtra, Stonefield Query, webKPI BI Dashboard, Xtraction, Solver BI360 Suite, Dashboard Insight, InsightSquared and Logi Analytics.

To access the The 2016 Benchmark Report on Self-Service Business Intelligence, please click here.

About Starfleet Research
Starfleet Research benchmarks best practices in technology-enabled business initiatives. Our independent and unbiased research helps decision makers make smarter decisions. How? Firstly, by showing how top-performing companies are achieving their desired business objectives. Secondly, by delivering actionable insights, practical advice and expert recommendations they can apply in the context of their own specific needs to drive continuous performance improvement. Tens of thousands of senior executives and other business practitioners across multiple industry verticals read our premium content assets, which include Smart Decision Guides™, benchmark reports, Actionable Insights Reports™ and co-branded eBooks. Starfleet Research is the IT market research arm of Starfleet Media, the leading provider of content marketing programs for B2B companies in selected niche markets. To learn more, please visit

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Alisha Levin
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