Except, you’re met with confusion from some users. People are asking questions that the app should answer intuitively, and worst of all, your stakeholders are reluctant to use the app. The app is “great, but a bit too complicated.” Womp womp.
If this sounds familiar to you, one of the potential issues surrounding users’ confusion could be that you need to increase data literacy among your stakeholders. While there is something to be said for building user-friendly, at-a-glance BI applications, often times the problem is not the app itself. It doesn’t need to be further simplified, it doesn’t need more features and there don’t need to be more enablement documents, how-to sessions, FAQs, or walkthroughs.
The basic premise here is that users must understand the underlying data and business processes that it supports to properly utilize the BI tool that it's built around. How will your marketing users recognize registration numbers if they don’t know what a lead or a contact is in their CRM system? Try explaining your new revenue forecast, which you’ve boiled down to a single number, to someone who has no idea how pipeline is managed in the system!
So how do you increase data literacy if you don’t hold more webinar enablement sessions or meet with every one of the reps in your 1,000 member sales force?
Door-to-door isn’t the answer. It isn’t effective and it certainly isn’t scalable. You need an effective way to teach multiple users complex concepts quickly and here’s how you can do it.
Focus on the faithful few who want to be the early adopters of every new app, super users of every new feature who peak under the hood of each new metric, those who find all the flaws in your shiny new predictive model. They are already familiar with the underlying data and are relying on you to work your BI magic on top of it, all the while making their jobs easier and tickling their analytical fancies.
Why does this work? It’s much more than the classic "train the trainer" approach; it actually borrows from a marketing concept. Think of your BI app much like any other software application. It has a brand. It has a community. It relies heavily on word of mouth to be successful.
These power users are the ones that sit within the smaller teams, work with them day in and day out, and their opinions are trusted. They know the specific business questions, use cases, recently run campaigns and sales territories of interest that their team members need to see within your app for it to really click. Your advocates aren’t just interested in showing off their own prowess within the app. They are thoroughly invested in winning converts and they will dig deep to teach the underlying data so that their teammates can have that same light bulb moment that turned them on to your app.