If you’re in the middle of implementing your business intelligence solution and you haven’t yet considered user adoption strategies, it’s time to start thinking about it. We usually think of the term “marketing” to mean collecting data about our customers to find methods that will increase sales.
In this scenario replace the word “customers” with the word “users”, and replace the word “sales” with the words “user adoption”. It’s time to learn about your users so that you can effectively promote your new business intelligence solution to increase user adoption.
When we market we learn about our customers/users through effective communication. This is accomplished by marketing campaigns, or in this scenario a communication strategy. As hard as it may be for you admit, your BI tools may not be meant for every user. Communicate with your users to learn about their needs and how they currently accomplish their daily tasks. Here are some questions to help determine a user’s needs:
- Will the user need to compare historical data?
- Does the user run the same reports on scheduled days/times?
- Is the user an analyst who will need to see the data in more detail?
- Is the user only interested in summarized data?
Once you have communicated with your users and collected information about their needs you can begin to access how the BI tool can help to make their jobs easier and more efficient.
The need for communication continues by establishing a training plan for your users. I recommend training each user on the portion of the BI tool that will benefit them the most and the fastest. If you can spend five minutes to show a user how his report can now be updated automatically and save him three hours a week he will see the instant value in the new BI solution.
This could be compared with the phrase “go for the quick win”. Creating instant value for your users will win them over and make them curious about what else the BI tools can do for them. To accomplish this training is essential. Don’t promise your users that the tool can do what they need, but leave them to figure it out for them. They will easily become frustrated and revert back to their old methods that work well enough for them.