Have you noticed how fads and trends appear so often in the industry we work in? It almost harks back to the days of Victorian London where traveling salesman would stand on a soap box and talk about the latest and greatest invention or potion that could make you rich or cure all ills. The people in that time would often be duped in to believing that this potion would restore their virility or grow back their hair. More often than not the salesman would have run off to the next village by the time they found out the truth, leaving them with an unused comb and an unhappy partner.
In the case of BI they talk about “algorithms” and “slowly changing dimensions” or they throw 100’s of acronyms at you with a knowing smile. I wouldn’t like to count how many times I have been caught in the head lights of a consultant trying to prove how clever they are and how happy I should be to pay their $2000 a day fee. We blindly stumble through a smog of conflicting stories, emerging technologies and data the size of an African Elephant.
But we have a weapon in the war against technology without substance we can do that one thing the balding villager couldn’t do, we can turn round and say “prove it”. There is nothing like having the product go through its hoops before making that all important decision. At Qlik we call it a SIB (yes I know another acronym) which is short for Seeing Is Believing and generally in the business it’s called a POC or Proof of Concept. So why is it so important? Well who knows your business the best? You do, and no amounts of canned demos are going to show you what you want. That’s like buying a house after just seeing someone else's house on a video it just doesn’t make good sense.
But this is a pretty common approach when purchasing any BI solution so why do we still have that very low figure of 26% adoption for BI tools? Obviously part of the answer is the right tool for the job. But also is it the right tool for your job? The only way you can prove that is by making sure you understand what that job is. Too many projects get lost in the strangulation of “scope creep” and all because both the client and the provider do not have a locked down defined project. If all you do is define success metrics then you are going in the right direction but the real clue is in the phrase “User Adoption” it will only work if your user base has a feeling of ownership and not dictatorship. Thanks for taking the time and reading my blog, now I am off to try my new anti-gravity shoes I got off the internet.