BI Governance Capabilities has a tremendous value in daily decision making, data security, and privacy features, but many offerings still lack crucial governance. This article explains why governance is important and the features for rolling out self-service BI tools to the masses.
A self-service reporting system with little or no governance can be challenging to re-mediate. The reporting issues surface after the numerous data models and the reports have been developed.
A few signs that your self-service BI reporting is out of control include seeing multiple copies of the same data, you can only report on current organizational structure, you do not have a shared reporting calendar, or the rolled up detail numbers do not match summary numbers.
To avoid a reporting mess, it is far better to start with the governance in mind on Day One. The potential risks of not governing your self-service BI offering include:
- Failure to comply with the regulatory, security or privacy requirements
- Incorrect decisions based on outdated, incorrect, or incomplete data
- Numerous copies of uncontrolled data compromise
- Inefficient, non-reusable data models, business logic and metrics
- Inability to verify the data origins and the changes if audited
- Reporting inaccuracy or limitations across time periods
- Loss of credibility if reports cannot be reconciled
- Scalability, maintainability and security issues
Self-Service BI Security
Security is a deeper level, complex technical topic. BI Security is not a sizzle feature that will get a lot of business user votes to prioritize it for vendor development investment.
Be sure to include your own information security officer or the enterprise architect in self-service BI reviews. If your preferred platform does not have the adequate controls, you might be able to address governance gaps with workarounds.
Its better to protect the organization than to beg for forgiveness when it comes to data security. Don’t assume that your self-service BI offering has sufficient governance or data security controls; verify it.
When enabling and managing self-empowered reporting, the sound security is no accident. Companies that consider the security from the start assess options and make reasonable choices based on the nature of their business and the sensitivity of information. Threats to the data may transform over time but the fundamentals remain constant.
Data security should be a high priority for everyone, before and after the self-service BI implementations, to ensure these powerful tools are being used properly. BI Security refers to protective digital privacy measures that are applied to prevent unauthorized access. Data security also protects the data from the corruption or leaks.
For organizations in the highly regulated industries the financial services, pharmaceutical or biotechnology, and energy effective data management solutions for supporting legal and regulatory compliance, mitigating risk, and improving efficiency as well as cost control are simply not negotiable.
Much of the misuse breaches are not done with malicious intent, but rather for a convenience factor. One of the biggest risks to an organization’s information security is often not a weakness in technology control environment. Rather its the action or inaction by employees and other personnel that can lead to security incidents.
Key Data Security Principles
According to FTC, a sound data security plan is built on five key principles :
- Take Stock – Know what data you have and where the data resides.
- Scale Down – Keep only what is required for your business.
- Lock It – Safeguard the information that you keep.
- Pitch It – Properly dispose what is no longer needed.
- Plan Ahead – Create a plan to respond to the security incidents.
Enterprise-ready, self-service BI platforms should have built-in BI Governance Capabilities for agile, yet controllable access to data for reporting. The BI (Business Intelligence) Governance Capabilities needs structuring the appropriate authentication, data connection access, report development and sharing processes.
Here are some BI governance features that are required when evaluating self-service BI solutions :
- Single sign-on authentication for access control
- The Granular permissions for log in, authoring, editing, deletion, sharing, exporting and role based conditional content viewing
- Watermarking for approved, sanctioned data sources
- Content version control, migration workflow and the rollback
- Administrators should be able to easily migrate the published data to avoid data lock in to a proprietary engine
- Support for slowly changing dimensions to accurately report data over time and across the organizational structure changes
- Data lineage for understanding the report data sources and changes
- Collaboration with conversation BI Governance Capabilities to reveal reporting content context
- Customizable administrative reporting, usage monitoring and alerting
- Administrative utilities for mass deployments
A self-service Business Intelligence governance program is more than a collection of technical features. Governance frameworks usually address the people, process, and technology in balancing information value with organizational regulatory, compliance, data privacy and ethics needs. Without all the areas addressed or continually monitored, self-service BI governance initiatives quickly fade into a collection of unfollowed guidelines.