Tips for Gaining Greater User Acceptance for Your BI Solution

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No matter what software you purchase in your organization, you’ll have to give thought as to how you’ll get employees to use it.  In some instances, your new application will replace another—one that users already know.  Users may already trust the application and the reports it produces.  Many times they’ve created processes around that application that influence the way they work.  Sometimes it’s a brand new application presenting an opportunity to do new things.  In that case, it also means added tasks and added time for already busy workers.  It is not always easy to get would-be users on board with your new solution, no matter what efficiencies it promises.

BIO business intelligence is a robust reporting and analytical tool with lots of functionality.  In spite of expertly designed user interfaces for both visualization and back-end data and platform management, business intelligence can be a bit intimidating to the uninitiated.  So it is especially important to develop practices that will encourage user acceptance and drive usage by the full anticipated user population to achieve the expected return on investment.

  • Start BEFORE the product release within your organization.  Start an internal promotion campaign to inform all potential users and other beneficiaries of the system of what to expect and to generate excitement.  Be sure to use a benefits approach and provide a realistic timeline of important milestones.
  • Allow users to get involved with the process.  Ask them what they need from the system and let them provide input on pre-programmed reports and dashboards.  Create a solution that is really useful to them.
  • Provide training and require that everyone attend.  You will get the best results if you can provide interactive classes at a variety of times and through a variety of media.  Offer a live classroom session, live online training, and self-directed training if possible.  Provide clear and complete learning materials and user documentation.
  • Keep in mind that training should be an ongoing process. Offer initial training to get everyone up and running and periodic additional training updates to reinforce the earlier training and to teach additional functionality.  A recent best practice is to provide chatrooms or social media groups to enable users to get together online to discuss their needs, issues, problems, and resolutions.
  • Don’t forget to train people whose fingers are not touching the keyboard.  Do those people receiving reports that include advanced analytics and eye-popping graphics know what they are looking at?  Don’t assume they do.  Be sure they know the meaning of your KPIs, ratios, and other metrics as well as how to read a tree map or a bubble graph or a series of spark lines.
  • Keep your internal promotion going until you are sure your users are entrenched with business intelligence.  Have a contest for most creative analysis or most time saved using BIO.  Send out adoption statistics and reports of internal user successes.  Be sure management as well as users are knowledgeable about user acceptance.  Have a celebration—mark milestones, such as when the first 10 or 100 users finish initial training or when the first person fires up BIO at a meeting, with free soda and chips in the reception area.
  • Pay attention! If management continues to bring paper napkins scribbled with last-minute analyses to meetings, you’ve got a problem.  Talk to the people you thought would benefit most from providing a BIO solution and find out how it’s going.  If your processes need tweaking, do it.  Then let everyone know.  Be sure to tell them that these changes were made at their request and for their benefit.
  • Talk to your partner. At BIO, we’re highly experienced at business intelligence implementation and we can help you provide a positive users experience as well as answer technical questions.  Don’t hesitate to ask for help.  Your implementation partner wants your business intelligence solution to be a success as much as you do!

BIO business intelligence is the best investment you can make to increase the value of your Microsoft Dynamics data.  It is easy to install and implement and easy and exciting for users to learn.  Your business intelligence solution will provide fast time-to-value, but only if you get people using it.

By Sandi Richards Forman of BIO Analytics, Corp., Microsoft Dynamics Business Intelligence (BI) Solution Provider

View demos of our business intelligence software and services for Microsoft Dynamics and feel free to contact me at [email protected] with any questions you may have about BIO or about business intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics.

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