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5 Steps for Successfully Handing Off IT Generated Dashboards

by Mary Bolen

Jun 21, 2016

Try as we might to build the perfect marketing dashboard, it's far too often that marketing and business users don't find the value in IT generated reports. This often leads to inaccurate reporting and misinformation due to data dumps and Excel silos in an attempt for the business to perform analytics autonomously.

So how do we break the business out of Excel and get them to buy in to governed enterprise reporting? Dashboards developed alongside the business have an exponentially higher success rate of adoption than those solely created by IT. Below are five steps for successfully handing off an IT generated dashboard by working with the business during the development process.

5 Steps for Successfully Handing Off IT Generated Dashboards to Business Users

1. Shadow business users to identify current reporting processes. By understanding a business unit's current methods for reporting and communicating data, the technical team will be able to replicate those processes within the organization's governed, sanctioned platform. This will help make IT generated dashboards more consumable for business users.

2. Data discovery session to identify metrics & KPI's. This is your requirements gathering step which will help the technical team to make sense of the data they are pulling into the dashboard. This data discovery session can be as simple as exchanging emails to clarify definitions of business terms, whatever helps to better define key metrics to be included in dashboard charts.

3. Develop a sample dashboard. Now that IT has a basic understanding of the data, they can start to build a sample dashboard that provides some basic insights and acts as a springboard to get to the next level of analysis in the final LOB dashboard. Once the sample dashboard is complete, schedule a time to solicit feedback. What is valuable? What isn't valuable? What is missing? We have seen success in developing mock ups within the chosen BI tool during the requirements gathering phase, which you can read more about here.

4. Working session to develop a functioning dashboard together. Use the feedback provided by the business user to edit the sample dashboard or build a new dashboard that better fits their needs. Preferably IT would build this new dashboard alongside the business user so that they can help drive the analytics and IT can demonstrate the power & capabilities of the tool.

5. Schedule routine check-in sessions. Ultimately, user adoption comes down to two things: value and ease-of-use. Routine working sessions will help to teach business users how to better utilize IT provided dashboards and make updates so that they remain relevant and insightful. This type of ongoing support will help drive long-term adoption of IT generated dashboards and use of the IT-sanctioned tool.

Our team recently put this process to the test in a webinar on June 15th, Breaking the Business Out of Excel. This webinar walked through a live demonstration of the process as applied to a real business case. The marketing team wasn't getting answers quickly enough to their numerous ad-hoc reporting requests so they were attempting their own analysis in Excel by manipulating data from various spreadsheet dumps. IT worked alongside the marketing user to build out a valuable dashboard and familiarize them with the sanctioned enterprise reporting tool. Below you can see examples of the IT generated sample dashboard side-by-side with the dashboard built alongside marketing during this webinar.

IT Dashboard

Click here to view the full webinar recording online, or contact a data and analytics specialist at 813.265.3239 or