Microsoft’s Power BI is a powerful tool for leveraging data to help your business succeed. This is not news to those already familiar with Power BI and the importance of business intelligence and automation. However, this tool’s full potential is only unleashed when you get sufficient adoption. The collaborative nature of Power BI makes it an excellent tool for small team collaboration. So, how can you gain buy-in from individuals and teams to take advantage of the platform?
Implementing a tool like Power BI is like introducing any new tool. People quickly get used to the tools and processes they already have and are sometimes hesitant to change. By backing up and following a few steps early on, you can increase adoption rates and witness even faster results. A successful implementation plan for Power BI follows four stages: awareness, understanding, enablement, and adoption.
Whether you are introducing Power BI to your organization for the first time or are just trying to increase adoption with your small teams, the awareness stage is critical. Leaders often skip this and other integral steps hoping to go directly to adoption. Each of these phases builds on the previous, and your organization will see the greatest success by investing time and effort in each step. Similar to any marketing effort, the first step is getting the attention of your audience. Your teams may not be familiar with Power BI. Or, they might not understand how easy access to business intelligence data can drive better decisions or how the visualization tools can make it possible for everyone to see where the data is leading.
One way to build awareness is by selecting a person to become a Power BI Subject Matter Expert (SME). Someone with in-depth knowledge and experience is equipped to serve as a Power BI “evangelist,” helping people learn about what the platform can do and how it can improve small team collaboration. This person can also lead more formal efforts to raise awareness. Whether that is workshops, webinars, one-on-one meetings, web content, or other means, the SME can help to raise awareness across the organization.
Greater adoption often comes through driving interest rather than coaxing compliance. With a well-run awareness phase, people may begin to see the value and seek out more information to better understand the benefits and the next steps for adoption. By investing in this stage, early adopters who have already been made aware of the value proposition of the platform may seek out the SME or other resources to learn more.
When attempting to achieve maximum adoption for Power BI, it is essential to give team members everything they need to get started. Some team members may need a better understanding of business intelligence and how it can guide their work. Others may need help getting the most out of Power BI itself.
This phase includes two aspects: training and support. Excellent business intelligence training is essential to give team members a comprehensive understanding of how to use the product. While some early adopters may jump right in or find their own resources, others will look to leadership. Fortunately, companies can make use of the wealth of training already available.
Support is another essential component. If you desire a higher level of adoption, team members will need somewhere to go if they have problems. Otherwise, if they cannot quickly resolve any issues, they may be tempted to abandon the platform.
Adoption may seem like a destination rather than a phase. However, if you want to really see the fruits of using business intelligence with your small teams, adoption must be seen as an ongoing process. Not only will there be a need to continue to gain new users, but it is also essential to keep existing users on track. In some ways, the adoption phase for Power BI is a repeat of the other steps with continued awareness building, growth of understanding, and enablement.
During the adoption phase, it is also essential to recognize and celebrate those small teams that have already adopted the platform and are demonstrating the power of collaboration using business intelligence. This is one of the best possible ways to keep people moving forward while continuing to grow adoption from small teams across the organization.
There are many strategic benefits of using Business Intelligence for your business. For more information on how to effectively implement Power BI for your team or to inquire about our Business Intelligence Training Services, or schedule a consultation with one of our experts.