Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Types of Analytic Users

Analytics is becoming more important for todays companies.  As companies look to make data-driven decisions, it is paramount that the data driving those decisions is accessible to all the necessary users.  Each user has a unique set of needs based on their role within the organization, their skill set and knowledge of corporate decision-making processes.

Analytical environments should be built to enable a variety of user types from a single set of data and resources.  Each user should be enabled with an interface that meets their individual job needs, and integrates with any necessary business processes.

Within Analytics, we see three primary types of users:

  • Empowered – Empowered users are those that gain real value from the analytic technologies and tools, but do not know about the underlying technology, nor does their primary role focus on the underlying technology.  These users are typically experts in a business process and the inputs & outputs of that process.  These users commonly use a tool that presents the data in pre-packaged format, while allowing them flexibility to modify any reports to meet their specific process needs.
  • Aware – Aware users are educated of the underlying technology and understand the power of it, but are not responsible for the daily operations of the analytic environment.  Aware users will commonly consume analytical technologies, have a background in computer science or information technology and focus on creating tools for Empowered users to consume.  Aware users are the connection point between information technology operations and Empowered users that consume the data stored within analytical environments.
  • Enabled – Enabled users are the staff that deeply understand the workings of the analytical environment and are responsible for operations.  Enabled users will commonly be deeply technical staff with some understanding of the business processes, but defer deep process and data value questions to Aware users.

When building analytic environments and deploying new technologies, it is key to map those technologies to the user types and ensure all users have the tools they require for the job they perform.

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