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What Type of Employees Use Business Intelligence Solutions?

Business Intelligence | August 3, 2016

There are different end users within an organization that use business intelligence software.

Before implementing your business intelligence software into your company, you need to figure who will use it and how. This will provide you with a more pervasive view of the type of team you may need to ensemble to take complete advantage of your new technology.

So, who are the people most likely to use BI applications?

“No one person uses or benefits from using BI software.”

In his 2004 report, “Grading BI Reporting And Analysis Solutions,” Keith Gile broke down end user groups into producers and consumers. More specifically, he categorized them further into IT users, power users, business users, casual users and extra-enterprise users.

Yes! No one person uses or benefits from using BI software. Every employee will either use or be directly impacted by business intelligence software, possibly in the form of more efficient processes and improved practices.

The question now becomes, who are these users, and does Gile’s concept still apply today?

  • IT users: IT users develop the data that other people use to make high level business decisions. These users understand data integration, design and modeling.
  • Power users: Power users are professional analysts who can use complex software types but are more likely to advice business users than make decisions themselves.
  • Business users: These are higher ups – managers who review reports created by others. These managers, however, may not just sit on the developed reports. They may extract information, and because of their ability to import and extract information into and from BI software may even cross over to power user territory.
  • Casual users: Less of a hands-on role in the initial development of reports, casual users are more likely to make decisions based on information presented to them, although they may want to customize reports based on their specific needs.
  • Extended-Enterprise users: Extended-Enterprise users are anyone else who might need the BI information including customers, third parties, vendors, partners and suppliers.

As you can see, many different exist within an organization that can take advantage of BI software. The question now becomes, does this breakdown still resonate with today’s faster business environment. And the answer is “yes,” but just to a point.

Today there may be much more overlapping between the different end user, especially with smaller organizations that don’t have the cash resources to build a robust team dedicated to business intelligence. In other words, the only end users a company may have is the manager who understands how to manipulate the data and build reports.

It’s crucial that BI adopters understand the different end users within their organization. This will ensure the successful integration.


There are different types of end users who use BI software.