So, you have this great business intelligence tool that came with many promises. The promise to give you valuable insight to grow your organization. The promise to ease and automate your processes. The promise to improve visibility into your operations. The list goes on. But none of that means anything without user adoption.
People get set in their ways and tend to dislike change — making user adoption a tricky situation. The solution to this problem is training, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. There are several steps you must take to ensure your BI training is effective and enacts user adoption throughout your organization.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about how you can ensure successful training that will, in turn, increase user adoption.
Provide Training at the Right Time
If your implementation is underway, you might be eager to get everyone trained so they’re ready to use the tool right after your project is complete. Unfortunately, you or your implementation team can’t always predict how long the project will take to complete. Therefore, you might end up training your users well ahead of project completion — meaning they may not have retained everything they learned. If they have to reteach themselves everything they learned, that won’t help user adoption and you’ll end up with more employees using spreadsheets than your sophisticated BI tool.
Actionable Tip: Hold short sessions leading up to the BI tool launch. Cover the basics of your solution’s functionality, while providing collateral like product sheets and checklists that your team can keep handy.
After your implementation is live, plan in-depth training sessions with a tried and true BI training partner. The timely sessions will ensure that users can go back to their desk and immediately start using the skills they just learned.
Provide Training for Various Functions
A complex BI solution like Oracle’s Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) will have different uses to various people throughout your organization. This means you can’t approach training with a “one size fits all” mentality. If you teach users things they don’t need to know, you could lose their attention and they’ll fail to get the most out of their training.
Actionable Tip: Take stock of your users. Try to place your users in groups that correspond with how they’ll be using the tool. For example, your system administrator will need to know about troubleshooting, performance management, and security. End users and report developers will need to know front-end reporting and dashboard development.
Once you’ve figured out what functions your users will be performing, you can ensure they enroll in the proper training course and make the most of their time.
Provide Training in the Context of Your Organization
It’s all too easy to focus more on what your BI tool does than why and how your team should use it. The more relevant the training is to your users’ daily life, the better your adoption rate will be. You can maximize the relevance of your training by incorporating use cases and data specific to your organization.
Actionable Tip: Choose a custom training option and give the trainer access to data used by your organization and common use cases that your users run into. Your users will more easily retain information if it directly applies to their job.
Provide Hands-on Training for Your Users
What you don’t want for your training is someone just talking in front of your users the entire time. You need the course to be hands on, giving your users an opportunity to work with the real-life data mentioned above, under the guidance of an expert trainer.
Actionable Tip: Ask prospective trainers for course agendas, ensuring that there is time allotted for hands-on training. You should also ask for customer referrals to learn about the hands-on experience and see if it was effective in enhancing user adoption.
Provide Opportunities for Questions
When you decide to implement a new BI solution, you need to be transparent about the timeline and how the tool will impact your organization. To increase user adoption, you need to make sure your users have all their questions answered.
Actionable Tip: If you're going the custom training route, you should give any questions that can’t be answered to your trainer so they can bake the answers in to your custom training course. An interactive face-to-face or virtual course will also help ensure that all of your users’ questions are answered.
If your training course isn't custom — no worries — US-Analytics offers Q&A Days after standard courses to answer the questions pertaining to your specific environment.