We recently interviewed BPM Partners’ John Colbert, who talked about some common attributes of failed business intelligence projects. One common attribute discussed was that after the business intelligence application is deployed, the end users don’t actually use it. Colbert notes, “not using an application is the best form of protest.”
According to Colbert, business intelligence application developers, external consultants or internal employees, need to plan on involving key end users at the beginning of the project through to the roll-out of the application.
Here are some tips from Colbert on how IT teams can involve end users in the development of successful – and usable – business intelligence applications:
- Reach out to end users early and often
- Involve them in needs assessment phase of the project
- Have a key end user be an active member of the team
- Plan regular updates with end users so they are invested in the application, and so the business intelligence development team has a way to learn if business needs have changed
The end goal is to develop a business intelligence application that actually meets the needs of the business users, the development team can also set a “softer” goal of having the end users clamor for the application. A successful business intelligence application should have those business users “pulling” for the application, rather than having the business intelligence team “pushing” the application to the end users.
Spotfire Blogging Team
Image Credit: BPM Partners