Guide: Analytics and BI for Business Users

Giving the Power Back to the Business Users

Data can be easily consumed where the business user spends most of their time. Business users require relevant insights surfaced in content.

The most powerful analytics software platform in the world is useless if no one uses it. Business Users are already jumping through countless hoops to find the data and insights that they need to do their jobs. The right analytics and BI platform will supercharge these efforts by simplifying the entire process and serving up insights effortlessly. At Sisense we believe in delivering analytics to everyone in your organization, regardless of data literacy or technical ability. Our analytics are embedded into your day-to-day work processes, vs other traditional analytics solutions which can be more rigid in how you consume analytics.

Empowering the Front Lines

Sisense offers features and functionality that give more power to the business user, allowing them to be truly data-driven in their day-to-day work.

Business Users are the frontline of a company’s in-house analytics program.

They need a robust data and analytics system that empowers them to make better decisions, backed by insights pulled from current data and multiple sources. What should that system look like? Well, it should allow users to to explore business-critical data independently, surface insights fast, and allow for actionable decision making. Importantly, the right solution will allow users to do all this without help from analysts or the IT department. For a data and analytics solution to be truly self-service, it has to be powerful enough to handle data from a wide array of sources and serve up insights, and simple enough to use that even non-technical team members can work with it. Sisense is that solution.

Read on to understand why and how.

Independently Explore Business-Critical Data

The easy-to-use Sisense interface is perfect for even the most non-technical users to create their own dashboards and business reports. It has eliminated over-reliance on the data team to build basic business reports, with data scientists free to focus on core business competencies.

Probably the most important thing a business user can get out of their business intelligence and analytics solution is the ability to drill into the datasets that matter most to them, without assistance from a data or business analyst. Unfortunately, most solutions limit the end users’ ability to explore the data and often end users are left with an aggregated, historical view that confines the value they can gather from the data. It can also be challenging to perform complex analyses across complex data models. For many business users, doing anything but checking predefined dashboards and reports often involves assistance from IT or a skilled analyst, completely defeating the purpose of a self-service analytics solution designed to empower them to make data-driven decisions. And if you’re a business user with many different KPIs to keep on top of, that can mean lots of wasted time spent switching through different dashboards, rather than the optimal solution: adjusting the filters on one or two dashboards to get the answers you need.

That’s where Sisense is different. Dynamic Data Discovery allows users to modify filters, one-at-a-time or multiple-at-once, in a dashboard as well as change the way values are sorted in a visualization. To further save time in future sessions, the default settings can be locked in so that the same filters are applied every time you log in. Lastly, these filters can remain active as you navigate from one dashboard to another. Having the same view into the same dataset across multiple different dashboards with fewer clicks is another way that Sisense simplifies complex analysis without requiring sophisticated coding or database skills.

Drill into Anywhere is another feature that piggybacks on Dynamic Data Discovery to help business users get the most out of their data. As the name implies, it allows users to give deep into their dataset down to any level of granularity, including the record level. And, as is always the case with Sisense for Business Users, they can do this without help from analysts or IT. Too often, relying on support from these overworked experts can cause delays in returning results and make the insights that are produced, worthless. Business Users need to be able to ask ad hoc questions of their data, on their own, and then effortlessly share those findings across the team. With Sisense, users get a full picture across all mashed-up data that can go as deep as they need and allow them to explore paths that can lead to new or unanticipated relationships in the data and reveal game-changing insights.

Accelerated Time-to-Insights

Outdated insights from data can hardly even be called “insights” anymore. They’re history. They’re worthless for anything other than a snapshot of where your business used to be; not where it’s going. Business Users can be tech- and data-savvy, but they are not experts in these fields. They are experts in their particular business area. However, data touches everything today, so even these colleagues need to be able to get up-to-date insights to make better decisions. Outdated user interfaces can make it difficult for these frontline users to get what they need out of the system.

Sisense isn’t like that. First off, a simple drag-and-drop interface allows just about any user to log in and start mashing up datasets and revealing insights that will help them make smarter decisions, faster. That’s only the beginning of how the Sisense system empowers business users. The AI-powered Insight Miner feature is like a skilled analyst that lives inside the software and helps point out unexpected connections within a dashboard and can push analysis in new directions that a human user might not even have thought of. Human users are very good at using analytics to find answers to questions that they’ve already thought of. AI assistants, however, can think outside the box and show humans things they’d not even thought of. Additionally, as users keep interacting with the AI elements, they learn more about what kind of insights have been most valuable for users in the past, and build on these patterns to better serve them in a powerful positive feedback loop. Best of all, AI assistance can help users across the whole BI process: data cleansing and preprocessing, insight generation, and filtering/ranking all come standard, right out of the box.

But just because you have insights doesn’t mean that you automatically understand them. Sisense Narratives dynamically presents analysis and insights of KPIs in plain, everyday language. It gives business users a deeper understanding of what their KPIs actually mean with one click, so that they can make better data-driven decisions, regardless of their level of familiarity with data analysis. Sisense Narratives uses Natural Language Generation to surface and explain valuable info, instantly, as users filter and drill into KPIs in a dashboard. It is just one more way that Sisense makes business users’ lives easier.

Sisense Narratives acts as a 24×7 on-call analyst that answers questions for users. As the users drill deeper into the dashboards, they gain deeper and more actionable insights that they wouldn’t have interpreted on their own.

Data You Can Act On

So far, Sisense has already empowered frontline users to independently explore the data that matters most to them and augmented their abilities with AI assistance. However, business users don’t have all day to sit around in a dashboard. How will these workhorses stay on top of the KPIs that they depend on and have the freedom to focus on their mission-critical job duties?

Unsurprisingly, Sisense has features to help with that, starting with Pulse Alerts. Sisense Pulse monitors meaningful changes across business critical KPIs with near real-time alerts triggered according to each business user’s specifications. Pulse’s smart alerts use AI to automatically determine when important changes have occurred and can even automatically trigger events and processes in other applications to scale and automate responses from alerts. Not only do users stay in the know, but the system simplifies their lives by taking appropriate steps as needed. These workflows can be automated and scaled using Webhooks and Zapier to automatically processes events and actions in other applications. Best of all, this happens without users going into the Sisense Platform to seek it out. It pushes insights into the hands of users (via mobile and other notifications) so that they can keep a pulse on interesting or critical KPIs to your business without being glued to a dashboard 24/7.

For those times they are in the dashboard, however, and want to reveal even more game-changing insights into their KPIs, AI Exploration Paths display even more connections, effortlessly. This feature automatically generates alternative visualizations and insights that anticipate the “next question” from a business user. For example, if a user were to hover over a Sales KPI widget, Sisense would suggest additional visualizations that could be useful in the exploration of this KPI. Not only does this assist users who aren’t sure where to look next, but it also drives more consistency across the organization by leveraging the behavior of other teams. Whatever you’re doing, Sisense has a feature that aims to help you work smarter, not harder, and get the most out of your data.

Sisense allows for a real culture of data freedom, making data more accessible, easy to browse and interact with, enabling employees to make quick, impactful business decisions without having to wait for reports.

Insights for Everyone

When Sisense says “Insights for Everyone,” we mean everyone. There aren’t enough data experts in the world, and as the volume of data keeps skyrocketing, that gap will only widen. Empowering frontline users to independently explore data, find game-changing insights, and effortlessly understand those insights are just a few ways that savvy businesses can react to the need for skilled data professionals in their business units. With Sisense, even business users who lack deep technical expertise around analytics can perform their own analyses, discover actionable intelligence, and stay on top of vital KPIs, bolstered by powerful AI elements and with a UI that’s easy to use. Don’t hamstring your business users with business intelligence that’s IT- or analyst-dependent. Put Sisense in their hands and see what truly empowered business users can do with the power of data behind them.

Sisense provides [customers] with a powerful platform that scales alongside [your] business as [you] integrate more data sources and enable all employees to have a true self-service experience.

See Why Sisense Is Awesome for Business Users.