Motivate and Innovate: Encouraging Employees to Use Business Intelligence Systems


Motivate and Innovate: Encouraging Employees to Use Business Intelligence Systems

Any time you launch a new system, there’s a learning curve. It can be challenging to get employees excited and enthusiastic about a new software system, no matter how wonderful it is. Many companies spend considerable time and effort choosing a new business intelligence system only to wonder why they’re not getting the most from it later on.

The challenge may lie not with the system, but with the employees. If the employees aren’t using the system to its fullest capacity, your company may not be deriving the greatest benefit.

If you’re finding that adoption and use of your BI system lags behind expectations, here are three areas to delve into for the answer. Many companies find that one or more of these areas, once addressed, solves their issues around BI system use.

Blog: What is Business Intelligence?

Build a System People Want to Use

The best way to get your team excited and enthusiastic about a business intelligence system adoption is to actually build a system they want to use. This means including members from each team who will be using the system in the planning, vendor selection, and scope creation meetings so that the eventual BI system meets the requirements of all teams who are using it.

If you look across your company data and see that one team isn’t using the BI system as much as you hoped it would, check back on your process for creating the system. Did the system creation take into account that team’s needs and issues? If not, you may be able to rectify the situation.

The more a system works for your employees, the more they’ll use it. If the system doesn’t help them do their jobs better or faster, they won’t use it. To encourage people to use your BI system, make sure it’s a system that people will want to use.


Make Sure Staff Receives Adequate Training

Let’s imagine that someone gave you a wonderful new sports car. It’s bright cherry red with lovely leather seats and all the trimmings. But it’s a manual shift, and you only know how to drive an automatic. Would you use your new car? Only if someone taught you how to shift and use a clutch. If you’re not taught how to use it, chances are good that even the most beautiful and expensive sports car will sit in the garage collecting dust.

The same may be said for the best business intelligence system. It may be like the sports car—beautifully designed, intuitive, fast, and accurate. But if your staff isn’t taught how to use it, they will shy away from it and return to the tools that are comfortable and familiar to them to get their work done. The beautiful BI system will collect dust and your investment will languish.

Whenever you’re launching a new system, schedule several training sessions. Make sure that training sessions are scheduled around the time of system deployment so that people can put their newfound knowledge to use as soon as they learn it. Knowledge, if unused, isn’t retained.

Next, schedule working sessions so that employees can bring projects or project-related questions into training. It helps to have someone on each team trained as a system expert, or someone with advanced knowledge, so that once the system is deployed you’ve got someone on hand to answer questions.

Scheduling adequate training to use your BI system may feel wasteful, but without it, the system will go to waste. Give people the knowledge and skills they need to use their new tool wisely.

Address Information Gaps

You can have a hammer in your toolbox, but without a nail, you can’t hang a shelf on the wall. Similarly, you can have a great new business intelligence tool in your toolbox, but without the right data inputs, you can’t study the problems you wish to study.

Review the information feeding into your business intelligence system and talk to your employees about the outputs they’re getting from the BI system. Is the data feeding into the system adequate to address the issues they wish to solve? If not, what can you do to rectify the situation?

Information gaps can create frustration, and often such gaps span multiple departments. People may not be sure how to resolve such issues. Make it a priority to investigate and close any information gaps that may be precluding staff from effectively utilizing the BI system.


At BAASS Business Solutions, we listen to your business challenges and design solutions to help you overcome these challenges. Whether it’s business intelligence data, HR, ERP, accounting, or other needs, we can help. Contact us or call 1-888-650-5544.

James Tang

About The Author

James Tang

James is a Senior Certified Consultant and a member of the management team at BAASS. James brings forth a high level of experience in Project Management, Business Analysis, and Technical Pre-sales. He has performed over 150 successful conversions to Sage 300 ERP and holds a professional designation as a Certified General Accountant (CGA), and Honours Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto.