Business Intelligence As A Service (BIAAS)

Does Your Organization Need Business Intelligence?


Cloud computing is transforming virtually every area of business software—and Business Intelligence, data analytics, dashboards and self-service reporting are no exceptions. Consequently, companies are delivering BI ‘front-ends’ on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis to great effect. But for many companies, a full Business Intelligence as a service (BI-as-a-Service) solution, rather than just a front-end, may make more sense.

What makes a great Business Intelligence solution

We think that there are three main functional ingredients to ensure that you get a great business intelligence or self-service reporting solution. These are:

  • Your data is seamlessly extracted from multiple sources and pulled together into one place
  • A well designed data warehouse, in order to organize, join together and host your data in a high-performance way
  • A groovy front-end, that your users will like to use, and which will make your data look pretty

SaaS BI tools like Birst and GoodData excel at the last piece – the groovy front-end.

Alas, the real work (and hence cost and time), is in the first two pieces i.e. getting the data extracted and then organized into a ‘single version of the truth’ (or, as we would call it, a Data Warehouse).

A business intelligence as a service (or BI-as-a-Service) solution delivers all three areas: extracting data from your core systems, organizing it into a high-performance data warehouse, and giving business users access to this warehouse through a natty front-end. It’s still fast to implement and easy to afford, like any other Cloud system, but crucially, it’s end-to-end.

So who does a BI-as-a-Service solution make sense for?

BI-as-a-Service solutions make sense in the following situations:

You need:

  • You have business users who want to self-serve to access and create reports and dashboards
  • You have bottlenecks around a small number of skilled employees who are creating and managing reports for others
  • Management information is slow/hard to access/capitalize upon
  • You have the data, but accessing it is sufficiently slow or painful that sometimes you don’t

Your situation:

  • You need something to happen fairly quickly (weeks or months, not years)
  • You have finite IT resource, or your IT resource is already stretched working on higher value projects
  • You have a business-led requirement where IT support will be hard to get (as they’re perhaps busy elsewhere)
  • You have a corporate business intelligence (BI) solution already, but you need a tactical solution for departmental/divisional/regional level which is faster or more agile to implement

In these situations a BI-as-a-Service solution will often make more sense, cost less and be faster to implement than either a traditional BI solution, or a Cloud BI front-end coupled to a build-yourself data warehouse.

If however you already have your data beautifully organized, and an IT team managing change in the Data Warehouse, than both traditional and Cloud BI tools/front-ends may work fantastically at bringing that data to life.

You can read more about solutions we provide at or

Share this post