Self-service BI enables various business teams, such as marketing, sales, product development, customer service, and finance, to gain valuable insights on previously unanswered questions without relying on data engineers or IT specialists. But let’s make it clear from the outset: Business Intelligence is not just for commercial companies. It also has tremendous potential for non-profit organizations looking to optimize their service offering and day-to-day operations.
One of our non-profit clients was looking for an intuitive BI environment setup that they could maintain and expand themselves. As information gathering was rather limited within their organization, our client's management team wanted to launch this self-service BI initiative with some urgency. Their primary objective was to achieve tangible results quickly and do all this on a tight budget.
The more stringent restrictions our clients impose, the more critical it becomes to excel at what we are best at: teaming up with clients.
At the pace of our client, we organized two sets of workshops. The first series of workshops focused on capturing our client’s requirements. That’s where we worked very closely with various teams throughout the organization to thoroughly understand their specific needs and challenges. After all, we know all too well from experience how critical it is to create buy-in from all stakeholders to deliver a successful self-service BI project.
The second set of workshops focused on training end-users using the dashboards we had set up in Tableau for 2 specific domains, operations and finance (our non-profit client selected Tableau for its ease of use, superior user experience, and extensive analysis capabilities). The Tableau dashboards were powered by the data sources we had set up previously, achieved without a traditional warehouse or data lake. That was done to realize this self-service BI initiative within the possible options, time and budget constraints.
While creating the dashboarding environment, we collaborated with the data team of our client to create the process and data needed for the dashboards. Meanwhile we trained the data team in tableau so they can maintain and expand on the dashboards that we created on their own.
Our client’s team leads were excited about the dashboards we delivered in Tableau. After all, up to then, little to no information was gathered. At best, it was limited to the occasional spreadsheet that could only be used by those in the know. Our work on this self-service BI initiative, though, delivered a new dashboarding environment designed to fulfill the needs of our client's teams. Most importantly, this environment is fueled by monthly updated data from a single well-established source. For our client's team leads, that was a real incentive to propagate this solution throughout their organization.
The delivery of the dashboards, triggered new insights and questions with the team leads that could be further addressed by our client’s internal data team and the Datashift project team. That made way for a steady evolution to a more mature BI environment that our client can maintain and expand.