Because both the data warehouse and OLAP approaches fall short of expectations for speedy and comprehensive analytical data access, a new approach surfaced.
The SSBI Technology
Self-Service Business Intelligence (SSBI) technologies, like Qlik and Tableau, introduced an approach to data analytics that enabled business users to access and work with corporate information without the IT department’s involvement. These SSBI tools have the capability of ‘blending’ or locally integrating data from the data warehouse with any other data sources not stored in the data warehouse. This is accomplished by pulling copies of the data sources into a local data store where the analyst can ‘blend’ or integrate the data as needed.
Pitfalls of SSBI
These self-service tools are ﬂexible and relatively easy to implement and they provide a good level of independence for data analysts but there are clear disadvantages to these tools. The most prominent disadvantage is that data analysis performed in this manner quickly becomes unmanageable, resulting in redundant work, inconsistent results and, in short, chaotic reporting practices when used on a broad scale throughout organizations. Since everybody can deﬁne their own rules and calculations, it is both possible and likely for diﬀerent groups and individuals to calculate the same KPIs and metrics in diﬀerent ways, leading to an array of conﬂicting results, and to the publishing of both confusing and contradictory information.
Because these solutions have no permissions structure, there is no security layer to protect sensitive data, which is a severe
vulnerability since analysts frequently and casually exchange data ﬁles. Also, the ability to transform the data is relatively limited in most cases. Further, because many machines are doing the same work for diﬀerent users in parallel, powerful computer resources are being used ineﬃciently, contributing to rising costs and lower system performance.
Advantages and Disadvantages of SSBI Tools
Would you like to know more about SSBI and different data integration tools? Check out our free ebook, “Beyond the Data Lake”, and enhance your knowledge of modern data integration.