Don't Forget the Users in BI Rollouts

Ann All

In their desire to get the technological details of a deployment right, there is one thing many companies forget: their users. Even the smoothest rollout won't be a success if users don't adopt a new technology.


Business intelligence is no exception, especially with the push to bring BI tools to a wider variety of users throughout an organization, a phenomenon that an IDC analyst calls the "third wave" of BI.


One factor that can help companies improve the odds that new BI tools will be used is establishing a competency center, a step that more companies are beginning to make part of their plans, according to a recent report on To ensure broad business adoption, one expert interviewed in the article suggests that, while IT should play a key role, the finance function should bear the primary responsibility for such a center.


Competence centers have helped a number of companies, including PepsiCo, TD Ameritrade and McKesson overcome initial user resistance to BI. A TD Ameritrade executive says his company's competency center helped business units establish common definitions for data classification, an important step for folks who had "been very satisfied working in silos."

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