One of the most important things to consider about Power BI user adoption are the different steps it takes to get to your business there. After you’ve spent all this time creating processes and putting together the minimum viable product (MVP) and then a more viable product, you move towards the production phase where certain people are starting to use it and it’s great. Now you’ve created this kind of infancy, culture of data and self-service, when it comes to the reporting. What happens next?
Concepts are Clicking
Your team will get to a point where the concepts are clicking, and user adoption is gradually occurring and even becoming self-perpetuating. At this point, what is the next stage? Iterative development and user adoption for Microsoft Power BI comes down to two main things—keeping the audience engaged and empowering iterative development within an organization. Keeping the audience engaged is the name of the game, really. It’s said if you don’t have an engaged audience, there’s nothing to deliver them. Additionally, iterative development doesn’t only have to live within your Microsoft Power BI tenancy. Now that you’ve established a culture of data for your organization, iterative development could bring questions like what data repositories are we using? What technologies can we start implementing to make our data refreshes faster? How can we start automating a lot more of these processes that we sacrifice for our MVP? They’re basically artifacts. Empowering iterative development is the trickiest subject because you can’t have eight reports out there for different audiences without a mechanism to generate that user feedback. If people are using it in a vacuum and are unable to deliver any feature requests, feature updates, etc., you’re not going to be able to keep your audience engaged. They’ll find a way to get those insights elsewhere.
Employees Going Rogue
One thing we’ve seen a few times is that disastrous case of business analysts getting a little too confident and attempting to derive from the current data set to build their own report. When employees start operating on unreliable data or miscalculated KPI’s, that’s something that really needs to be avoided. When getting similar feedback from your users and you have any mechanisms (e-mail tickets, etc.) that’s something you must set up so that you can continue adding these new pages, reports, streamline reports (bigger isn’t always better), being able to combine a lot of your reports to speak to multiple audiences at once… all major components of iterative development.
Flexibility Rewards You
Let’s talk about concept of being flexible. Change is already hard in a business, yet business and industries shift all the time. As your organization undergoes change, so will your reporting needs. With this flexibility built into the iterative development process, you can also stay at the cutting edge of your business, essentially, because you’re getting the latest data from the latest programs that you might be using.
Hook, Line and Sinker
Once your employees start to adopt the Power BI platform and the reports and they’re able to quickly get feedback from their team you can start getting stuff done in chunks. Other departments will start to see the benefits and ask, “How do I get that?” From there, it turns into more of an epidemiological model for infection when it comes to creating user adoption.
When it comes to creating user adoption, which is to create something that is of interest and usable, it’s important to identify people in different areas and departments and get them to be your cheerleaders. Have them start using the product and showing it off to other people so that they can gain buy-in from other places of your organization. In doing this, you start to essentially create this system where everybody wants to participate. You can’t just give it out to anybody for user adoption, however. That’s one of the most important things to remember: It’s key to have a couple of people who are excited about the report and how it’s going to affect their department. These cheerleader or champions can galvanize others behind it and help aid in that transition. Otherwise, it will just be something really cool that simply sits on a website. People forget about it unless you’re actively integrating it into other things and trying to pull people into the conversation. It’s crucial to explain what the data are, how employees should visualize it and what it’s doing for the organization.