Business intelligence blog

    How to get your employees to use your business intelligence solution


    Implementing a Business Intelligence (BI) solution can help streamline operations, create effective strategic plans, increase productivity, and boost sales. However, getting employees to adopt a new solution is often challenging. This is especially true for those who aren’t tech-savvy or have a natural resistance to change. Today’s blog will discuss strategies to encourage employee adoption.

    Choose a solution that is intuitive for non-technical users

    Valuable employees work hard and often find themselves with very little extra time. They probably won’t have space in their calendar to learn to use a complicated system. Also, many employees don’t have a technical background, and may find learning a new system a daunting task.

    Therefore, it is essential to select a solution that is intuitive and user-friendly right out of the box. An intuitive system will enable users to quickly and easily identify, understand, and work with important features, with only minimal training. With an intuitive system, your employees will see the immediate benefits, making adoption far more likely. 

    BI solutions like Phocas are designed to be highly intuitive. The Phocas dashboard is unique in that all of the dashboards are directly connected to the Phocas grid, so all of your metrics are visible at a glance, while providing the option to click through and explore the underlying data. As your sales manager reviews the information on the dashboard, they can quickly follow their train of thought and drill down into the underlying data with just a simple click. After a demonstration of the intuitive nature of Phocas, Michael Smith, Director of Operations at Johnstone Companies, said, "Five minutes into the demo, I had found items that didn't have the margin I was expecting, customers that didn't have the profitability I was expecting and vendors that weren't performing the way I expected. I realised that we were onto something that would be very impactful to our business."  

    Ensure employees can access training modules and support

    In addition to choosing an intuitive BI solution, it is important to provide accessible training and support at all times. This way an employee doesn’t have to wait for your IT team or external support when they run into a challenge. Having to wait for support may lead a time-strapped employee to resolve the problem as they would have before the introduction of your BI solution.

    By having easily accessible training modules available at all times, your employees are empowered to learn as they go. Phocas offers an online training academy. Here, your employees will find short training modules that are easy to navigate and understand. In addition, Phocas has an online forum where your employees can connect with other Phocas customers to ask and answer quick questions, discuss best practices and share tips and tricks. Finally, because Phocas is committed to our customers’ success, we have customer success teams who understand the needs and challenges to your particular industry. Our teams are committed to ensuring you get the most out of your solution because your BI journey is dependent on how much value the solution adds to your business from the very first day onwards.

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    Include BI in your routine operations

    Once your BI system is implemented, make it a routine part of the way your business operates, and the way you communicate. For instance, use the dashboard and scorecards during meetings and one-on-one mentoring sessions, and include insights in e-mail correspondence. Begin asking your sales, and other departments that may use the solution, to generate weekly reports for meetings, or finding interesting trends to action. Phocas has a collaboration feature that managers can use to start group discussions within the software. This way you ensure your employees use the actionable insight gained from Phocas to inform their decision making.

    By incorporating the software into your routines as often as possible, your employees will become comfortable using it. The ‘mere exposure effect’ is a psychological concept where seeing something or someone repeatedly will increase liking. Mere exposure to BI in your daily operations is therefore important in getting your employees comfortable with your BI solution, and subsequently increase user adoption.  

    Incentivize the use of BI within your business

    Lastly, make it fun and offer rewards as an incentive. Rewarding behavior is much more motivating than criticism. By engaging your employees through a gamified experience, they will be driven to improve their performance through positive feedback.

    For instance, managers might offer rewards to the employees with the highest number of login times for the week. Another option might be to reward employees for isolating trends or other insights on their own. Your sales department may have a friendly competition among reps to detect new opportunities to increase sales. Whichever way you do it, make sure to incentivize by positive reinforcement in the form of rewards, rather than through negative reinforcement in the form of punishment.

    Which rewards you offer depends on your business. Rewards might include the accumulation of points toward a prize; a bonus for discovering a new opportunity that leads to a significant sales increase; or recognition during a weekly meeting. The end goal is to make it fun, and to create a bit of excitement around adopting the new solution, rather than to offer a costly prize. 

    By choosing the right solution, offering support as needed, making it a part of your routine, and encouraging everyone to have fun with it, you will ensure your employees use and benefit from your BI solution. To learn which key operational metrics you and other key managers within the business should be reporting on, download a copy of our latest eBook. Simply click here, or on the button below

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    Written by Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
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