SRK’s New Importer Simplifies Data Preparation to Further Elevate Self-Service BI for Business Professionals
DrivenBI, provider of SRK, the cloud-native self-service BI platform that empowers business professionals without IT’s constant support, announced its new data import utility. The DrivenBI SRK Importer provides an easy way to connect to the most commonly used data sources such as CSV/XLS files, SQL databases (Microsoft, Oracle, etc.), 3rd party Web services (Salesforce and social media), or network devices (meters or IoT).
With the launch of the new SRK Importer, the self-service paradigm now seamlessly extends to data preparation as well, allowing business professionals to easily import the data they already have on-hand into SRK without involving any programming or requiring any technical skills. And the data importer also takes advantage of DrivenBI’s collaboration features, making the real-time status of imports easily viewable and actionable from anywhere at any time.
Data preparation is an essential step to getting started with any type of business data analysis. The traditional way of data preparation (namely, ETL) has its challenges, as these tools are designed and implemented with technical professionals in mind. As a result, they inevitably require an exorbitant amount of time and resources from the IT department to set up before business users can even begin to benefit from the data analysis. Furthermore, ongoing investment of more time and resources are necessary to maintain it.
“The term self-service has been devalued in the BI world as these systems continue to remain far too complex and require continuous support from IT departments,” said Ben Tai, CEO of DrivenBI. “Some vendors have started to put emphasis on self-service when it comes to building analysis, but none have even begun to think about self-service when designing and implementing the data preparation component. And why should they, as most charge a considerable fee for this. Our one-of-a-kind data import utility is free and simple enough for business professionals to use.”
Loading data into a BI platform does not have to be a complicated technical challenge. 80% of the source data required for building business analysis are typically coming from existing reports in the form of spreadsheets or residing in SQL databases. With the SRK Importer, bringing data from these places into a BI platform can be accomplished by clicking a few buttons rather than creating a data warehouse or writing programs. Traditional data preparation tools are designed with a very technical user interface. For example, many require designing data models and writing code to load data from its source into the destination. DrivenBI’s SRK Importer offers a much more user-friendly interface throughout the data preparation process.
Other BI tools also have the tendency to bundle hordes of data connectors to all sorts of data sources. While that may deliver a powerful first impression, the tradeoff is not trivial: 1) Those seemingly all-powerful tools are not free, or the free edition only offers very limited functionalities that are hardly useful for a real BI project. Customers end up paying for functions which are seldom (if ever) used, on top of the potential ongoing maintenance cost for those connectors, and 2) Bundling too many functions overcomplicates things; as a result, those tools require users to write code to load data. With DrivenBI SRK Importer, loading data from commonly used sources, and even typical data transformation/cleansing tasks, can be easily accomplished via a user-friendly, point-and-click user interface.
In cases where clients want to load data from their legacy or proprietary systems, the plug-in enabled architecture of SRK Importer would allow DrivenBI to quickly build custom connectors per clients’ needs easily.
The SRK Importer further expands self-service to data preparation, enabling business professionals to import the data they need when they need it. This includes running multiple import tasks at the same time, or scheduling them at various time intervals from minutes to daily, weekly, or certain days of certain months. Since the SRK importer taps into the SRK Collaboration Hub, users can be notified in real-time – when data imports complete, or when and where errors occurred during import. The SRK importer allows users to easily pinpoint and clean up bad data and then quickly re-import only the problematic portion of the data. They no longer need to run to IT and ask them to check logs and/or re-import the entire set of data over and over again.
SRK Importer is available to all SRK users at no additional cost.