Table of Contents Self-Service Analytics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 To Provide the Right Tools, Watch and Listen 1 Data-centric Tools Shift to Line-of-Business Users 3 Create a Path for More “What If” Exploration 4 The Benefits of Metadata 6 Develop a Culture of Data Literacy 7 Don’t Overlook Data Governance 8 Collaboration with IT 10 Stay Central and Avoid Silos 10 iii.
Self-Service Analytics More than ever before, organizations are swimming in oceans of data. But that doesn’t necessarily lead to a surge in business insights.
significant time and talent, but clearly marked where there wasn’t a sufficient dashboard application—which would have saved time and let the developer focus on the data—available to them. “It was just representing that we didn’t have the right toolset for them,” he says.
Franco of Talend sees those data-centric tools shifting to line-of- business users. “If you are a marketing department, you want to make sure all of your marketing decisions can be challenged with data,” says Franco. His company provides data integration capabili‐ ties that help organizations make their information ready for users to consume.
ulation? “What we’re doing is lowering the barrier to entry, so users are able to do more complex analysis at scale.” With self service, requests that might have taken hours or days for IT to complete can now be executed by the user in seconds.
The number of employees who use the platform has exploded dur‐ ing the past two years, says Singh, and that wouldn’t have been pos‐ sible without Yahoo’s emphasis on ease of use. “Years ago, I didn’t ever have a person in marketing or sales using the platform, because it was considered too techie or too difficult,” says Singh. “But that has changed. They don’t go to the reporting guy and say, ‘Pull this report.” They can do it themselves. We even have a senior vice presi‐ dent who runs Hadoop jobs—that’s the power of this thing.” For Singh, the most valuable part of isn’t the data itself—it’s the abil‐ ity to track what happens to it. When needed, he can monitor indi‐ viduals’ activities on the platform down to the granular level of who opened a particular file and what that person did with it. Yahoo has billions of files, 3,000 users, and 600 terabytes of storage space— which would make the self-service environment a very difficult problem without the right capability to audit the platform. “Being able to answer questions like ‘Who accessed this data set in the last three months?’—and answer it very quickly—is extremely impor‐ tant. It helps us meet a lot of regulatory compliance, for example, and ad hoc audits for consumer privacy.” The vast majority of organizations don’t have an easy way to do those audits quickly, and that’s a big problem, says Singh. “That abil‐ ity to audit is critical as you go more and more into self-service,” he says. “You are making it extremely easy for people to access and to work with data, but one of the pitfalls is you expose yourself to greater risk.” The best way to resolve conflict between security and access, he says, is audit and monitoring.