Implementing a Business Intelligence system can be the tipping point that turns your company into a high-performance organization. The key to that is to ensure appropriate BI training for staff.

When I say training, I bet you are thinking about how to login to the software, where to find reports, etc.  But I’m not.

A good BI system will be incredibly intuitive for users and a great BI system will bring information directly to employees for action via email or text alerts. This means ideally, employees will only login to the system if they need more information.

Here are 5 tips for training staff before, and during, a BI system roll-out. 

    1. Make sure everyone who needs access, has access. This may sound obvious, but many companies balk at some vendor’s per-license fees and end up under-sharing the resulting data. If employees have to ask other teammates to login to a system on their behalf, you are losing time, energy, and efficiency. If you want tips on what questions to ask your BI vendor to prevent this issue, check out my prior blog post.
    2. Focus training on how and when to use information–not where to find it. If you’ve implemented a great BI system, it will deliver automated alerts based on your company’s thresholds. For example, if you run a warehouse, the system should send a text to the operations manager if an employee goes more than 12-20 minutes between picks during a shift. Focus your training on how you want staff to handle these alerts. Train managers on how you expect them to use the information in the system and then hold them accountable for those expectations.
    3. Show employees where you are sharing key data. For example, set up monitors in employee break areas, or on your intranet, to show a dashboard of key metrics. I’m not suggesting you blast top-line growth numbers and margins to the entire company (but you could). This subset of data should help employees see their impact on the business and that there are specific, measurable goals. Everyone wants to be part of a winning team and you’ll quickly find employees regularly checking these dashboards and adjusting their behaviors accordingly.
    4. Roll-out specific, measurable objectives so that everyone knows what winning looks like. Often what starts as measurable corporate-level objectives can become vague as they trickle down through layers of management. Ensure everyone has reasonable, specific, time-bound and measurable objectives and that they can see how that information is reflected in the BI system.
    5. Keep everyone singing off the same song sheet–and using the same data. Well-intentioned employees or departments will often end up creating their own versions of data, based on what they think they need. Make it clear that there is one set of company data that everyone lives and breathes and ensure that if spreadsheets or other sources of data start to pop up, that management redirects those efforts and keeps the information within the BI tool. 

One of the most powerful impacts of implementing a BI system is empowering employees at all levels and delivering a new clarity on goals that makes everyone feel like part of the team. This is the beginning of culture-shift that can drive new levels of performance and it’s what we get excited about every day.

For more on creating a high-performance culture, download our whitepaper on 5 Rules of Engagement for Breakout Performance.