15 Keys to Unlock Business Intelligence User Adoption

Adoption Dictionary

Most of the chatter surrounding Business Intelligence revolves around the vendors, products and features that make up the tools that have become so popular to enterprise organizations in recent years. However, these conversations typically do not focus on what some see as the most important aspect, and that is getting line-of-business users to use Business Intelligence in a functional way so that they may deliver insights to their organization.

According to Wayne Eckerson, Founder and Principal Consultant of Eckerson Group in a recent report entitled 15 Keys to Enterprise BI Adoption: “Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of successes and failures in the BI space. The common ingredient to the success stores is that they all have had high levels of user adoption. The reverse is true for BI failures; I’ve heard BI managers lament, “We did everything right, but we still have trouble getting users to use the BI tools.” Eckerson even goes so far as calling user adoption “the holy grail” of Business Intelligence. After all, the first step to uncovering insights is to get the end-users on board with the initiative.

There are a wide variety of factors that play a role in user adoption to BI tools, some being technical, while others are not. Here are the top 15 keys to unlocking enterprise Business Intelligence adoption:

  1. Fast Performance: Users expect immediate responses to their on-screen gestures. If users have to wait more than 10 seconds on a regular basis, they become annoyed and may want to stop using the tool.
  2. Trustworthy Data: No one wants to use an analytics tool that delivers inaccurate or incomplete information. The process of fact-checking can take up a lot of time and waste vital resources. Thus, ensuring clarity and validated data is of the utmost importance.
  3. Actionable Dashboards: Business end-users want to be able to glance at a dashboard in order to find out where they stand against the plan in order to take the appropriate action in response. Most line-of-business users agree that well-designated dashboards that are tailored to their role and core processes are the ideal way to have their needs met.
  4. Modifiable Reports: Users want to do more than just consume content and navigate through drill paths, they want to have the ability to modify an existing view of information in a report or dashboard. There’s nothing more infuriating than receiving a document in read-only, am I right?
  5. Mobile Options: Very few business users in our modern world spend their entire day sitting at a computer. Thus, businesspeople have become accustomed to having the functionality to work from their mobile phone, whether it be in business or in their personal lives. Users want reports, dashboards and other features to travel with them, putting a premium on mobile-centric BI applications that allow users to do their jobs on the go.

For 10 more keys to unlocking enterprise Business Intelligence adoption, read the Eckerson Group’s report.


Tim King
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