On calls with prospects, we often hear about their disappointment with new analytical platforms in which they’ve invested so much time and energy. Despite thinking they were fantastic based on what the vendor told them, they ended up being more of a headache than anything else because their end users didn’t end up embracing them like they thought and they didn’t see their ROI.
They then end up investing in additional systems hoping to entice users with access to data and better insights, but usually see their efforts fall short again.
If this is you, you’re not alone, and there is a way to move forward. Once you find a platform that checks all the Must-Haves on your list, you need to focus on your users to ensure it provides what they are looking for in a platform.
So what drives user adoption?
What we have learned when it comes to data is that users are engaged and energized by having the ability to see new insights in a new format because it challenges the way they think and can offer new solutions.
To make sure your new data discovery investment doesn’t, here are a few important steps to keep in mind:
1.Talk to the end users to understand what they need and want
It seems simple enough, but this component is often overlooked. Before you jump in full force to create new KPIs, set the data aside for a moment and talk to the users. Find out why they use the data, what decisions they make, what data would add more value if it were visible, how they would like reports displayed, etc. During this process, you will probably be inundated with information, but you don’t have to complete it all at once. Compile the information, present it back to the users, and ask them to prioritize the objectives. Perhaps you have existing fields in place that can address some of what the users said and then other elements may take longer. Users get excited to see change and the platform come to life. It’s when the process is stalled that users begin to lose confidence in the platform and those responsible for it.
2.Bring real life business scenarios to life with applications
Once you’ve gathered the information from users, seek out case studies and applications that will help them visually see their similar experiences. Anyone can talk up a system, but it’s when the system can speak for itself that people see its full potential. An analytical platform should be able to tell the users a story about the data, and as quickly as users can ask questions, the story should be changing from the click of a mouse. Keep these conversations going with users, include them before, during, and even after the process so applications can be refined and grow with the changes and needs of the organization.
3.Focus on the data and tie up the loose ends
Now that you have all of the information you need, you can begin to identify what is needed to meet the requirements. It is important to identify any other systems that may need upgrading or internal processes that need to be tweaked or added.
Companies can find themselves hesitating at this step. If internal processes need to be revisited, often companies get overwhelmed because there just doesn’t seem to be any more time in the day. The great thing about updating processes is that it can be done through business intelligence consulting or business process improvement. Our clients have engaged us in these services so they can continue to focus on the data, BizXcel can map out the processes and give recommendations and even rewrite them – again, all by engaging the end user.
If you take the time upfront you will gain user trust and buy-in, and you will maximize the analytical platform so it doesn’t leave you disappointed.