Best Practices in Self-Service Business Intelligence (BI)

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Self-service business intelligence (BI) has been on the organization’s wish lists for a long time and is still a high priority.

Its demand is getting a spike as more and more business owners now need flexibility in their business.

To ensure more effective and efficient working, the business needs to implement some self-service business intelligence practices.

Mostly, data-driven businesses implement these types of self-service business intelligence capabilities to enable the users to use the data they collected more easily and efficiently.

This helps them to drive positive business outcomes like higher profits.

Self-Service Business Intelligence General Practices

  • Understanding the areas that need self-service.
  • Monitoring the Self-Service Business Environment.
  • Installing easily to use Business Intelligence tools
  • Offering Support to your collaborating BI.
  • Experienced workers should not be overburdened.
  • Understanding the information required by the workers.
  • Providing appropriate resources to the workers.
  • Training and Development of inexperienced workers.
  • Keeping the Costs under control.
  • Drive flexibility by setting different parameters.

Top Self-Service Business Intelligence Tools


It is a data recovery tool that helps users to create dashboards easily. Its Best Practices are:

  • Start by creating a framework with principles and guidelines
  • Monitor the users and check that they are following those guidelines
  • Identify the key power users
  • Do Demos related to data analytics
  • Promoting & Demonstrating the Dashboard with other Qlik Sense users.
  • Creating success stories amongst the users in the organization
  • Introducing new guidelines about designing and terminologies
  • Unburden the experienced employees and protect inexperienced employees from complexities
  • Decrease complexities by creating Predesigned Templates


An interactive data visualization tool that is easier to handle doesn’t require any technical knowledge and has an easier reporting system.

These Specific features set it apart from other self-service BI solutions. Its Best Practices are:

  • Filter the report visuals and only display what is needed
  • Limit the number of visuals per page
  • Remove the unused tables
  • Replace Strings with Integers wherever possible
  • Reduce the query loads by switching off interaction b/w visuals
  • Try to apply Row-level security wherever it is possible
  • Try to avoid hierarchical filters in case of poor performance
  • Prefer On-Premises Data Gateway over Personal Gateway
  • Ensure that the Data source and Power BI report are in the same location
  • Avoid loading whole datasheets and load only necessary files and tables
  • The data source refresh frequency should be aligned the cache update frequency

Some Other Top Self Service BI tools are:


Zoho Analytics, aka Zoho Reports, is a self-service BI and data analytics software that enables users to create appealing data visualizations and dashboards. It is mostly used by administrators and CRM managers.


Tableau Desktop is a tool that gives users a clear understanding of any data. It uses interactive dashboards that help the end-users in responding to their decision-making needs and also to make some sense of their data. It is one of the best self-service business intelligence tools.


A self-service business intelligence tool that is compatible with companies regardless of their size. It enables the users to visualize and analyze the data sets instantaneously.

It is an agile, powerful, and elegant BI tool.


Self-Service Business Intelligence Governance should always be present. The power users working in the organization should never get the feeling that they are restricted by something like it.

The success of any self-service BI project mostly depends upon governance which must be carried out seamlessly.

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