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Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 13, 2010

It’s a commonly held myth that in order to realize the benefits of Business Intelligence technologies, you have to implement costly, complicated tools that are nearly impossible to navigate. Long man-hours of end-user training and repeated help desk calls have become an expected part of the BI experience. For smaller businesses in particular, this association can be a major deterrent from investing in a solution that could substantially benefit your business—especially when you might not even have an IT department.

It’s critical that small businesses look at what their employees are using every day to make decisions, then choose solutions that complement these tools. BI is no exception; look for BI solutions that leverage familiar tools such as Excel, SharePoint, and existing reports to help employees experience BI benefits immediately—without the headaches of difficult implementations and the horrors of getting users to give up tried-and-true business processes to learn new complex tools. You may not get all the functionality you want in a BI solution, but it’s better that your users get tools they will use. Have them step into the brave new world of BI in an evolutionary fashion, rather than expect them to make a revolutionary leap right away.

In short, your users shouldn’t need to be IT experts to get the BI benefits they need.

John Kitchen
CMO and Senior Vice-President
Chelmsford, Mass.

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