Setting Priorities and Finding Time

It’s been quite a while since the last post, and much like what is likely the case in your job, one never seems to have enough time to get through a long to-do list. Action items towards the bottom may bubble up, but new higher priority ones always seem to pop in ahead. That has been happening for months now with my action item to write a blog post! It became particularly acute when admiring our new website design, but seeing the last blog post was six months ago!

This may not seem related to BI, but I realized this issue of setting priorities and finding time is one of the main challenges in the roll-out and success of reporting and analytics initiatives. People have to find the time and make it a priority to learn what they have and get hands-on practice using the results to improve their organizational and business processes.

This topic came up during a Q&A session after a presentation a few weeks ago to a group of CIOs and technical folks. They face a big challenge increasing adoption and getting value from their technology investments. Part of that challenge is having effective training. Our training methodology helps by creating customized training focused on specific examples relevant to the person’s job with real data that comes from their actual systems and BI implementation. We don’t provide generic reporting and analytics training using examples from a Bicycle Shop or Fashion Store.

Yet, while very effective for enhancing skills and understanding, this approach only goes so far. Once the person leaves the training, how do you ensure they practice what they learned? How do you increase the chance they’ll go back into the BI environment and use the reports and tools to make a difference? When will they find time and prioritize this among their long list of everyday tasks, especially when for some roles, use of data is not always a daily requirement?

Regular use of what one learns reinforces the skills and encourages adoption, but this rarely gets the priority needed. To increase the real or even the perceived success of BI in any organization, this has to change.