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4 Tips for a Successful Analytic Software Rollout

For every organization implementing a software rollout, there will always be users who are wary to adopt it and who ultimately put the effectiveness of the entire project at risk. Although C-suite and heads of IT may be in agreeance on the next steps of their technology roadmap it continues to prove extremely difficult to break through the years of habits formed by their end users.

“Downloading a widget is easy yet changing behaviors is hard.”


So what is the secret to user adoption and ultimately a successful analytic software rollout? To answer that question we look back at one of our largest clients to date and take the words straight from their mouth. But before we get to the how, let us take a look at the who. This specific client operates in over 25 countries and boasts more than 200 million transactions a year; so their quantity of data is robust, to say the least. Prior to this rollout, they relied solely on static spreadsheets…. 75 weekly reports and another 175 + ad-hoc reports. Post-rollout that number was cut down to just 13 dynamic screens and was quickly adopted (and Championed) by their users. Here are five tips we practice and urge you to keep in mind when aiming for a successful analytic rollout:

Articulate clear goals for your platform

You can’t build what you haven’t defined. Step one begins with asking three essential user-facing questions:

  • Who needs to access to these reports?
  • What are they looking to learn/see?
  • Where is their relevant data being stored?

After taking your user requirements into consideration formulate key goals to determine the success or failure of your project.

Have Strong Project Leadership

Assign a dedicated team or individual to own the development and rollout of your new system. With the leadership hierarchy in place noise will begin to filter out and the project can drive towards its ultimate goals. Without strong project ownership, your project is doomed to become a tragedy of the commons.

Ease the Transition

At this time in history, we have a unique workforce dilemma. Some of our employees and end users aren’t the most tech savvy while other users can’t imagine a life without Twitter. With that said, going from spreadsheets in a color-coded binder to a digital, mobile solution can be a bit rough for some employees. Understand that user transition journey and then execute on a thoughtful UI that brings a sense of familiarity to their new superior system.

Start small then scale

It is much easier to roll a new platform out to 300 people than it is to 5,000 people. Set the correct tone by rolling out to your most adept reporters so that they can champion for entire departments once they have the lay of the land. Once organization-wide, it isn’t uncommon for departments to develop “page envy” and compete over which teams have the fanciest or most insightful dashboards.

Since switching to the MicroStrategy platform, this client has seen a dramatic improvement in the way they do business as static reports are a thing of the past. Metrics are making their way into real-time, in-store interactions and in turn, driving holistic conversations about data, results, and behaviors. General managers on the floor are now equipped with Microstrategy’s mobile solution and in turn are able to hold meaningful conversations with supervisors in real time without ever running a report. Whether on the go or in a meeting metrics can be sorted and analyzed quickly to answer the right question at the relevant time.

Before implementing our solution this client’s employees needed to complete five steps just to access a reporting tool. Now, it takes just seconds to check results rather than minutes to dig through links and PDF’s. With key decisions made both on the go and in the office, data has empowered this client to understand where they are now and where they need to be going next.

Does this sound similar to problems your organization is facing? Do you have general questions about your Business Intelligence infrastructure that you are looking to get answered? Feel free to fill out the form on the right of this page or contact us as it would be our pleasure to offer guidance through these endeavors.

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Re-engineering decision-making environments to mobilize business intelligence and immerse employees in knowledge, producing peak performance and ongoing success.