We all know that it’s important for infants to first learn how to crawl before they walk. When an infant begins crawling, the repetitious movements stimulate and organize neurons, allowing her brain to control cognitive processes such as comprehension, concentration and memory. When an infant crawls, she visually determines where she wants to go and physically moves in that direction, creating the child's first test of hand/eye coordination. This skill set is used later in life for reading, writing and sports activities. Establishing these important connections in the brain helps us as adults to understand how to get from Phase A to Phase C. By skipping the crawling phase (or Phase B), babies lose this connection that can impact there future ability to analyze problems. Enter Cognos Mobile.
This same concept applies to growing your organization’s Business Analytics program. At each step of the program’s development, end users need time to make cognitive connections of what is being offered, how it benefits it them, and finally, how to use it.
At each of Lodestar Solutions’ Virtual Business Analytics User Groups (“Techies with Panache”), we introduce or remind participants of different concepts to continually expand their Business Analytics programs. Last month, we had a 30 minute segment on Cognos Mobile. To view the presentation, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCgnN38VlxU&feature=player_detailpage
The focus of the Cognos Mobile segment was to help users and potential users understand how a small implementation can create amazing business opportunities. It clearly demonstrated that business intelligent software isn’t about the features, but about the benefits of the solution. Pretty pictures are great, but mobilizing your workforce with actionable data is extremely powerful.
However, after I completed and published the segment I realized it had one fatal flaw. I forgot to articulate that Business intelligence is an awesome power in the hands of those who are actually trained to use it; those who have the cognitive connections.
Most line of business users are not data or technology savvy. This isn’t to say that they can’t be. Quite the contrary! They are 100 times more equipped to understand the data than an IT professional, because the data is directly produced from their concentrated focus in their area of expertise.
As Business Intelligence professionals, it is our job to empower line of business users with the correct data, and in a format that speaks to them. Anybody can learn to use BA software. Saying it any way differently is like saying, “Well, my 12 month old gave it a go, but he’s never going to walk.
As your Business Intelligence/Analytics program grows, so must the personnel in your organization. That’s the Catch-22 of Business Intelligence. If you don’t train and empower your employees, I don’t care how many hundreds of thousands of dollars you spend (or how sophisticated your BI software solutions is), it will all add up to a big fat nothing. However, many times, this is forgotten and a solution is implemented with the expectation that end users will just get up and start running.