The needs of your internal customers present something of a moving target. Sometimes it must seem that regardless of your efforts to predict demand, there is always one group of users who are set on pushing the boundaries just that little bit further.
If you've ever had experience of working with old school business intelligence applications before, you'll know exactly what we mean. Despite all of the consultation with the business to establish what they'll need from the BI project for the coming five years, it takes about five minutes after going live for them to ask for something that is incredibly urgent and important, which will of course require major structural change. If you've not used BI before, the closest analogy is probably trying to pin down a definitive list of report requirements.
Our advice is to accept it. You're never going to win. Business will always change its mind because it does not know what it wants to do any better than you do. What they need is tool like Tableau Software. It's a cinch to connect to a wide variety of data sources; it's straight forward to use even for the most challenging of your customers; it can be installed and managed by your newest recruit; and best of all it puts the user community in charge of solving its own data interrogation and presentation problems.
By the way, the IT department can often produce its own fair share data and this certainly makes it a candidate as a Business Intelligence user. Collecting data from a variety of locations and representing it graphically in a single dashboard can be a very powerful management tool. Storage utilisation, network traffic status, security reports, support call progress etc. all on the same dashboard can certainly help with resource allocation. And when used in conjunction with defined performance standards dashboard are great for showing exception alerts.
If you need to search out issues, the log files from any number of applications or services can run to many thousands of rows. So the ability to be able to slice and dice this information can save dramatic amounts of time. Also the novelty of being able to analyse two sources of data simultaneously can throw up some surprising relationships.
One of Tableau's key benefits is its ease of use which means your users can pick it up in a matter of a couple of hours. And when it comes to the management of the software itself, it really couldn't be more straightforward (see Top 10 Reasons Why IT Loves Tableau).