Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The BI Experience: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

shoes The enemy of BI adoption is treating all your users the same.  Each role and person in your organization will use your BI platform differently, so you must deliver a solution that fits each individuals needs.  You should consider aspects such as tool complexity, usage of visualizations, navigation and accessibility.

Executive Users will be best served with high level dashboards, mobile access, and real time alerts.  The typical executive (an effective one anyways) doesn’t spend a great deal of time behind their computer.  When they do, they are likely short on time and are looking for the bottom line on their organization’s performance.  Dashboards are great for displaying all the relevant information on a single screen, allowing your user to have a one stop shop for when they are at their computer.  With most of an executive’s time comprising of meetings and talking with folks, having mobile access from their handheld device (BlackBerry, iPhone, etc.) will provide them with metrics where and when they need them.  Couple this with real-time alerts via email, and your Executive users will be able to leverage your BI platform according to their needs.

In contrast, front line users (Customer Service Representatives, Sales Representatives, etc.) need intelligence that is bundled in with their business processes.  To drive maximum effectiveness you want to inject Business Intelligence into the operational systems these people use every day.  This can take forms such as surfacing a Customer Lifetime Value score to assist with save strategies when a customer is calling to disconnect, or providing real time alerts into your Customer Relationship Management system when a critical order deadline has passed.  You certainly don’t want these roles that are the face to the customer wasting time flipping between their operational screens and the BI portal!

The way you provide a tailored user experience to your BI clients is critical to drive adoption towards the goal of pervasive BI.  Spend extra time and attention to this aspect when you are planning any major BI deployment and you will reap the benefits.

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1 comment:

Jessica Ann Mola said...

Hi Mark,

Was looking through some BI blogs around the web, and I have to say you have one of the best blogs going, Mark. Very informative, and I like your big picture take on things, which brings up my next question: how would you like to blog for ebizQ?

ebizQ would be able to provide you a great deal of exposure to a very select group of upper tech executives (considerably over 100,000 strong). Also, we would give you additional exposure in a newsletter that goes out weekly.

You can give our site a look at: http://www.ebizq.net/

Please let me know if this would be of interest to you.


Jessica Ann Mola

Associate Editor, ebizQ
(914) 712-3355

This is a personal weblog, and does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer.