Should businesses invest more in support to achieve successful user adoption?

In a recently published viewpoint at BeyeNetworksMarty Carney discusses the importance of effective training and support for Business Intelligence tools. If users of business intelligence tools don’t “receive effective training and mentorship, they simply won’t use those tools.” Ultimately reverting back to manual and inefficient methods they are most familiar with. Indeed, industry reports suggest that more than 60% of BI implementations fail due to lack of end-user adoption.

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Carney suggested that resourcing should be invested in Vendor Support, Training and Consulting, this is clearly a costly remedy which is unfeasible in the current economic climate. We see this as a brute-force approach to achieving the end goal. Our view is that the direction to successful adoption is delivering a solution which requires fundamentally less training.

Unfortunately there is currently no BI tool in the market that’s vastly intuitive, so the prudent approach would be to ‘go with what you know’. The current tool in the workforce which Ana-Data believes is the best to build upon and extend is Microsoft Excel. Used practically by everyone for everything, from project management, calculating employee salaries through to dashboard reporting and analytics.

A solution that leverages already existing knowledge would essentially kill two birds with one stone; increase user acceptance due to the familiarity and reduce cost associated with training and support.

Following this train of thought, Clear Analytics is a BI tool that sits inside of Excel, virtually eliminating the need for any training. We believe this is the surest approach to successful adoption rates in any organization. Literally every BI vendor is providing Excel integration. However, it is only “integration”, a fine balance between playing nice with Excel, and yet holding back enough to ensure the user returns to the primary tool to perform key BI tasks.

You could spend a heap of money training and mentoring your way through to successful adoption, or you could allow the users to ‘go with what you know’ and drastically reduce your training and support spend.