Barriers to business intelligence adoption

Main barriers to business intelligence adoption

Business Intelligence is a widely known concept used for the very first time by Howard Dresner in 1989. Since then, it has been gaining popularity. Currently, most companies are aware of its importance in digital transformation. However, there are still many barriers that stop or slow down adoption.

Identifying these barriers is crucial because it is the first step to overcoming them.

In this article, you will find the main barriers to business intelligence adoption and recommendations for overcoming them. They range from selecting the right tool or solution to having a data ecosystem ready for business intelligence challenges.

Barrier 1. Lack of proper training
Without training suited for a team, the learning curve will tend to last longer than expected, which can result in employees neglecting the use of the new tools or solutions. In these cases, users go back to using Excel since they are familiar. In other words, users should learn as fast as possible; so frustration does not reach unwanted levels.

A good piece of advice in this matter is to identify the most common tasks and lead training to solve these works first. This way, your team will stay motivated from the beginning by incorporating the new tool into their daily routine.

Barrier 2. Data not available or poor quality

Since data is the raw material for business intelligence, accessing reliable data is crucial. One of the most popular misconceptions about business intelligence might reside in the belief installing a business intelligence tool can solve poor data quality immediately. Something completely false.

To take down this barrier is critical to understand that the implementation of a solution must include recognition of databases, data sources, and data flows; and identify problems derivated from a lack of data governance.

Once problems are detected, for example, data silos, lack of centralization, or errors in data entries, you should elaborate a work plan oriented to successful data governance. This plan has to guarantee data availability and quality. As last, it is necessary to understand this is a continuous improvement process and requires the compromise of everyone working with data.

Barrier 3. Tools or solutions hard to use

It is important to choose tools that meet employees’ needs. Since the market has a wide range of solutions finding the right match is crucial. This match should take into account companies’ needs and data vision.
In this sense, a mismatch happens when the tool is too inflexible and limits users’ operations in terms of access and interaction with data. On the other side, we can find self-service solutions with an excessive stock of options which might lead users to an overwhelming experience. In both cases, users tend to quit and go back to Excel.

As an additional recommendation, providing users with the proper companion in topics like training and support makes a big difference, especially for those novel users in your team.

Another difficulty, beyond tools selection, is the poor design of data models that do not fit users’ needs and limit what they can do with data. It is the same story when dashboards have the wrong parameters or are overloaded with them.

Last point but not least, pay attention to the speed of queries. If this is too slow, the experience for users will be deprecated. Make sure your infrastructure setup can guarantee it.

Barrier 4. Data culture unexistence or too immature

Organizational culture is important to foster changes in companies, and business intelligence adoption is not the exception. That is why it is necessary to work involving the whole team.

Every employee needs to be aware of their role and fulfill it. C-level executives must lead change with their own example by using the BI tool themselves and encouraging their teams to use it. Otherwise, the way to a mature data culture will be impossible, and the acquisition of any business intelligence tool will be useless.

Middle managers should prioritize projects that can provide early victories to help their teams to incorporate Business Intelligence tools. Working all together will achieve a business intelligence adoption across all the organization.

As we mentioned before, identifying these barriers is crucial to overcoming them. In that sense, choosing a tool at the BI4Web level is an important step to having the necessary bases to overcome the barriers. With BI4Web, you can have the flexibility your users need without sacrificing data governance. They can access analytic documents according to permissions and navigate through them at the level of detail users might need.

Another remarkable contribution of BI4Web to business intelligence adoption is to have a short learning curve, so you will not have to invest too many resources for your team training.

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