Business intelligence has been here for ages, becoming more and more advanced. Today most data folks learn to code to be proficient in their work. Generally a mix of Python and SQL to structure a set of data tools and make them work together 🙀. All of this, in order to cover the various steps of a Business Intelligence project: collection, storage, transformation, the definition of metrics, dashboarding. As data tools have evolved in more complexity and fragmentation, No-Code has emerged. A way of packaging software in a way that you don't need to type one line of code to actually ship an app or build something. Interestingly, this No-Code wave has started with Salesforce that disrupted the CRM industry, and is now a category leader in CRM. Remember this?
In the business intelligence world, Fivetran has been a pioneer in No-Code making data engineers move from coding complex python scripts and monitoring data pipelines for several weeks to clicking on their interface to move data from one place to another in 5 minutes and 2 clicks. Pretty neat? So why No-Code is the future of Business Intelligence. We've detailed a couple of reasons here.
Building a Business Intelligence project is hard, long, and complex. Data and tech people are scarce and costly. Is making them work on fixing data issues, writing complex pieces of code, and maintaining 5 tools worth their time? No.
Making them work on high-value tasks like developing your product, aligning teams on metrics, evangelizing the company on KPIs, and supporting business users measuring the results of their experimentations is a way better use of their time. No-Code lets engineers save so much time and focus on tasks that matter.
Using software that actually replaces several tools is always a driver for optimizing your overall cost. Notion replaces 3 to 4 tools for editing, designing, and delivering content and knowledge. But documents and design tools existed before right? So why are there millions of users editing their content with it every day?
First, logging into fewer tools to cover one functional need (like editing content or shipping metrics) is way more efficient. It means less content switching, higher capability to avoid errors or correct them, faster time to iterate and deliver. Second, stacking up tools comes in very costly. Using one tool that covers all their functions will reduce your costs and is less work for your finance team. You can save both on the software and hidden productivity costs
Business Intelligence that requires code is long to set up. If, or once, you have the manpower to set up your data project, a usual time to market is between 2 to 6 months. With No-Code you can ship a project in minutes. As for maintenance during the run, it can become extremely cumbersome. One request from the business users will end up in new iterations in the 4 to 5 tools used, making the answers to business users very long.
No-Code allows you to iterate way faster because making two clicks is way faster. Finally, code is often personal. We have all heard tech people debating about the way they could have coded a feature. This tends to make the transfer from one owner to another very complicated. With a No-Code tool you lower your maintenance costs and make the transferability easier.
Distribution of data knowledge is a must. You cannot hope to become data-driven by having a Business Intelligence tool that relies on just one or two people. You need to distribute metrics and analysis to data champions and evangelists. How? Are you gonna ask all your teams to learn SQL or Python? If so, good luck. It's gonna be costly and long to hire sales and marketing people.
No-Code is a great way to distribute your data culture to actually more people than just technical ones. It does not mean your Business Intelligence does not allow technical people to write code. But you need to make sure that business users and decision-makers will be able to answer questions with your Business Intelligence easily...and without having to teach them SQL 😉