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In our previous post we have covered first part of the top challenges any BI or Analytic Reporting project would meet. Such were fast nature of requirements change, stalled development during the project and unmet expectations of the end users. If overcoming all of the mentioned challenges may not be an issue for experienced team, the organizational and data-related ones are still on the way to successful self-service BI project.
“Resist the changes!”, will be the hidden motto of the end-users. Even if the training and proof-of-concepts were widely accepted, people will resist giving up their Excel and Access forms and sheets and moving towards brand new web-based system or mobile app. Involving user testing on the beginning of the project may help, but you really need to convert couple of evangelists to make this challenge easy to get over. The earliest end-user testing involvement is a key here. Business discovery industry leaders like Tableau focus more on end-user usability features rather than overall complexity and flexibility of the product.
Assuming that users are fine with the new system, it’s time to care on what you would fill it with. Here comes another challenge for business analytics, make users trust the numbers they see. The initial assumptions and conditions under which the data was gathered and reported after ETL stage is significant for the overall trust to the system. It is important that users are able to see the value in reports and the decisions made are relevant to the data presented.
Even if the data and reporting is accurate, stay as concise as possible in table, cross tabular or pivot reports. Although, the trends are voting for Big Data and really big datasets, it’s still the matter of proper visualization for the data to become crystal clear visible for the end users and decision makers. A report bloated with numbers may become totally unreadable for the end-user, let alone the fact it may take a great deal of time to load, which is a significant factor when a decision has to be taken under tight deadline.
We would be happy to hear your stories and the challenges you meet in your reporting. You are welcome to share them to us and… Merry Christmas and Happy Pivoting!