So, you have your new business intelligence software solution but what should be the next step? How to convince employees that these changes are necessary? How to prepare for using the new program? Where to start?
Your organisation has gone through a lot to get to this point and you are ready for the final stage of implementing a new BI tool and taking your business to the next level. Changes are about to happen and it is up to you how you and your employees perceive them. No matter how good the solution is, now it is your job to make everything work and introduce the new solution to your company and employees.
Below you can find 6 tips on how to successfully implement business intelligence in your company.
- Define your needs
First of all, you must know what you perceive as a success for your company. Is it doubling the revenue, acquiring a bigger market share or hiring more employees? Think of how you would like your BI tool to help you in achieving these goals. Then, it is time for you to define your key performance indicators (KPIs) to create guidelines to process and adapt data. After doing that, focus on your goal once more and decide how you can achieve it by using the business intelligence tool. That is how you prepare for successful implementation of business intelligence at the early stage. The implementation is easier when you know what you need to track.
- Prepare your team
Everybody must know what is going on and be prepared for changes. Inform all the employees about the plans. Everybody should be involved in all the preparations, training and information campaigns including CEOs, directors, and managers. People will follow their lead. You can organise meetings with domain experts, who may guide your employees through the implementation process. These advocates know how to get value from business data and can help you to train your employees while implementation is taking place. Make sure people working with new solutions are able to use them one hundred percent.
- Make small steps
By introducing the new solution to one department after another you can stay more focused and be prepared to face possible unforeseen problems. Celebrating quick wins may convince other employees to use the BI tool. Also by doing that, you can focus more on one thing at a time. Once you gain some experience it will go smoother and easier when you proceed to the next department. All the time your employees should see how the implementation is going and be prepared for their turn. They may also gain some interest in the new solution which would definitely help. While implementing solutions to one department, it might be a good idea to start with only one set of data. Make small but confident moves and proceed towards full implementation.
- Keep it simple
The simpler the solution the easier the implementation. If your business intelligence tool is too complicated, its potential will not be fully unleashed because employees may have difficulties to use it efficiently. There are a lot of ways your BI software solution can be simplified. Firstly be sure that the product you are buying meets all your needs and is user-friendly. In this field, bespoke software has a huge advantage over the commercial products. There are many vital features that facilitate the use of a BI tool. For example, drag-and-drop, natural language processing or visual interface. After choosing the right program put the pressure on keeping the training of your employees as simple as possible.
- Clean your data
If you want valuable and reliable answers, you need to provide your software solution with clean data to process. If the data is dirty and inconsistent, instead of focusing on implementation, you spend a lot of time cleaning that data. But what is clean data? Simply, your information is entered in the way that your BI software recognizes and understands it. Ensuring the data is clean is not complicated and does not require any extraordinary skills but it must be remembered and used. One of the examples of dirty data might be a confusing semicolon (;) with a colon (:). When the dirty data is not correctly uploaded and starts to be processed, reports might be irrelevant and extra work may need to be done.
- Keep on working
As far as the implementation itself it is a one-time thing, the whole process should last for a long time. That means you should talk about it and convince people to use the BI tool all the time. Stay open to changes and be confident about making the next steps. Show your employees that there is nothing to worry about. You should shift your mindset and improve continually and this is what real business intelligence is about.
To sum up
Tips presented above are vital for the implementation of business intelligence software to any company but there are a lot more things you should pay attention to during that awaited and important process. It will take time to successfully finish it but stay open to new propositions and go with the flow to achieve all your goals. Your software provider should accompany you through that time and be there to help you.