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My session at Mastering BI Melbourne…(Home-made Remedies for a well-known headache: “BI User Adoption”)

So I couldn’t sleep last night and happened to tweet about my insomnia. Mico Yuk commented that “SCN has open arms”, I decided to take her up on the challenge and post something that might be of interest!

In my last blog post on the Mastering BI Melbourne I mentioned that I would blog about my session at the event.

So I was quite excited to be invited to speak at the Mastering SAP BI/BOBJ conference held in Melbourne last month. Although I welcomed the opportunity, I have to be honest, I was quite nervous about:-

  1. travelling to a place where I hardly knew anyone! Would I be eating breakfast alone, no colleague to call on for conversation
  2. delivering a presentation to an audience who might not be able to get my accent, dry humour or the references that I would make during my session!

The point of the session was to provide the audience with practical steps that they can implement to improve user adoption in their organisations. Needless to say I was proven wrong on both points that I was nervous about – the people in Melbourne were super friendly and I felt right at home! The presentation was also well received and I received some good feedback

Below is the presentation abstract and the slides can be found on slideshare



Its no secret the BI Community has always struggled with user adoption. According to a study by the The Datawarehousing Institute in 2008, only 24 percent of the potential BI users are using BI solutions. 

Four years after the City of Cape Town’s first SAP BW implementation, BI usage was still low (22%). This was attributed to users’ feedback regarding BI, which ranged from, “The reporting structure on the portal is not intuitive, I can never find my reports“, “Those reports are too slow“.

The COCT BI Team realized that the maximBuild it and they will come” no longer holds true! This would be the same as putting out a product in the
market and hoping for the best. They thus asked themselves “what is the driving force for any business to have a successful product?” This session
will thus unpack how they answered this question:-

  1. Developing a product that sells itself is imperative thus visualization and performance ranked high on the list of deliverables.
  2. Product Image. The overall image/packaging of the product was revamped and a new look and feel on the SAP Enterprise Portal was launched, which was more elegant and made finding reports easier
  3. Marketing & Communication. A marketing strategy was developed by the BI Team in collaboration with the Enterprise Solution Centre Head.
  4. Product endorsement at all levels is critical for any campaign – thus having the buying in from the executive level right down to having champions at the operational level was imperative!
  5. Measurement. Standard Content BI Statistics have been used extensively to not only measure the success of the marketing drive but used to identify user’s pain points(i.e. long running reports, frequently used reports, etc.).

Target audience: Although the presentation will touch on some technical aspects, user adoption is not technical in nature and thus the presentation will be geared for anyone who is currently struggling with low usage and are looking for practical ideas of how they can improve it.

Key Points

  • Improving user adoption requires dedication! Be prepared to get your hands dirty!

  • Marketing and sponsorship (at all levels) are critical!

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Impressed.... keep up the good work.