How to deal with internal resistance to business intelligence
Change can be hard, especially when it comes to technology. People get accustomed to certain processes and create habits that can be difficult to break. Past experiences with tech change may not have been good which can have a negative impact on embracing new software. In other cases, the idiom “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks” may also influence whether your staff log into your latest cloud-based application.
When it comes to data analytics and modern business intelligence, your team may be resistant to adoption because it’s never been something that they’ve had to deal with. Traditional BI software has a reputation for being complicated or is seen as a software system that only the IT department or specially trained experts manage. If software is hard to use or seen as a tool that someone else is responsible for, there is a good chance that adoption won’t expand beyond a few select people.
If you’re like many companies, the pace of business continues to increase. Competition is on the rise and you need every advantage you can get in order to keep current customers happy, find new opportunities to strengthen customer loyalty and expand your market share. This is the strength of data analytics, and here are some tips to foster buy-in amongst your team.
Make sure you pick a solution that is right for your business
In other words, if you want your team to use the BI software, then find a solution that is intuitive for users of all skill levels and accessible by all departments. The selection process is clearly where some companies make the mistake, especially if they want data to drive their decision making. Don’t just fall for the brand name. Consider your users and how you want BI to be part of the process, and then pick a solution that you know your team will use. For those that may be intimidated by new technology, simple is always better.
Make sure training is part of the implementation process and beyond
Even after you select the most intuitive software on the market, your team will still need some level of education. It’s critical that as you roll out the software you also ensure that everyone that will use the solution is trained. Your software partner should provide you some level of training as part of implementation, and then provide a dedicated customer success person that can answer questions and provide one-on-one support as needed. In addition, the right partner will also have a deep and growing online library of self-help training that will allow users to learn basics and more advanced features at their own pace.
Make data a cognizant cultural decision
If you want your team to use your business data to drive their strategies and execution, then it’s important that data analytics becomes part of your culture. Do your executives and management make decisions based on gut feel or do they turn to a BI dashboard or scorecard? Does your sales manager use sales reports in staff meetings? Does your purchasing department base buying decisions on sales and inventory reports? Do branch managers turn to customer purchasing patterns and product sales reports to plan promotions? Answers to these questions lead to the next way to help your team embrace BI; access.
Make data analytics accessible to all by role and area of responsibility
Access to data analytics has oftentimes only been given to the IT team or specially trained individuals who serve as a liaison between the software and those needing reports. You demonstrate the importance of the BI software when you give access to relevant data to those responsible for decision making. Time is critical in today’s business environment, so if they have to go through a gatekeeper or are constantly waiting for reports, then there is a good chance they will lean on gut feel or past experiences to keep moving forward.
Help them see the value in your business data
Ultimately, BI adoption will increase as your team sees the value in your data. Turning raw information into actionable intelligence, including easy-to-read charts, graphs and tables, will help your team to become more likely to turn to your data to do everything from planning their next customer meetings to purchasing inventory and adding a new sales person or a new pricing plan. As they see the benefits of your BI solution through discovery of new opportunities and challenges, it will become one of the first and last things they turn to every day.
People are resistant to what they don’t know, what they don’t understand, and oftentimes, what doesn’t seem important to their job or to the overall company. Phocas BI software makes data analytics for people of all skill levels, roles and responsibilities. One of the most frequent comments from our users about Phocas is how simple it is to learn and use. Another is that you simply can’t break it. Our customers use our software, and as they do, BI becomes mission-critical to their decision making.
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