The importance of training is more than just the obvious. BI360 users will often say, “I don’t know how to use BI360, so let me take a training class.” Structured training is about the best way to learn how to use and become more efficient with BI360. As Solver’s Training Manager with over 15 years of training experience (two of those with our tool), I say this to everyone – never stop learning!
As Solver grew, they realized the need for a dedicated training department to serve our customers and partners. Training gives you the power to exercise your mind, and with the added training you obtain, not only will you be able to use the product more effectively, but you are also able to teach others within your company or, for partners or consultants, your clients on how to use a BI tool as well.
For instance, most may think that BI and CPM solutions are a bit intimidating, but with the right training, they will soon learn that it is not just user-friendly, it is powerful. Solutions such as BI360 have so many facets that people quickly find that the application can be used for more than just financial analysis. During our training sessions, we show our clients and partners how to create reports that will help in areas from healthcare to sports arenas, and so much more. We can also teach you how to use the customizable BI360 Data Warehouse (DW).
The DW can help you to put together reports that you only imagined you could do. The ability to create your own modules, dimensions (dim), attributes, and upload your own spreadsheets of data into the DW makes the possibilities endless, but training helps you maximize your use of the tool. We have taken the time to put together training agendas that cover all areas of the BI360 suite.
Solver offers training for beginner to advanced levels in addition to our Support site that has training videos, training guides, manuals, and white papers. We can also come to your office and give you one-on-one training. And most independent software vendors are offering similar training, so there is no reason to not get trained if you’ve implemented a BI tool.
Training can be quite customized for users. Even if your Excel skills are not at an expert level, you can still learn the product. Instructors can train you on how to use specific tools. With BI360, you can still create reports that can be exported into Excel so your boss can change it to suit their report building needs. For those of you who know Excel very well, great! Instructors can also train you on how to put those Excel functions and formula building skills to excellent use. You can build elaborate reports that analyze data using KPI’s, Trees, and BI360 functions to retrieve data for Periods within a report just to mention a few.
More and more companies are finally starting to wake up to the realization that they need to offer training in areas of not just business intelligence (BI), but also in areas of leadership, time management, organization skills, and even motivation training. Previously, companies would only offer training that was related to that associate’s position. The idea was, “What’s the point if it is not relevant to their job?” But that way of thinking has changed dramatically and for the better.
Companies now offer more than just software training, but soft skills training. This is such an essential need for you and your associates. They will work harder and smarter when they feel that their employer cares enough about them to invest in training that will better them and possibly help them grow within the company, which in turn means you’re investing in them. If you’re afraid that the minute they get training, they will bolt, the percentage of an associate sticking around is so much higher.
Always make room in your budget for training. An average based on the 2015 Training Industry magazine says between 29% and 41% have room for training in their budget, depending on the size of the company. Also, look within your company and see if you have a person that already works for you that has training experience. When I started with a company years ago, I started as an Operations Manager and as the company got bigger, they started looking to create a training department. I was asked to help develop and begin the training plan for that company. They saved money because they had someone who knew the company vision and had training experience. It evolved over time, and with my help, they offered more than just specific job training.
Before Solver decided to add a training department, they used their consultants to train clients, and partners were using our online training videos to learn how to use BI360 to train their clients. There was a lack of consistency even though our consultants are very good with BI360. The difference between a consultant and a trainer is huge. A consultant’s primary responsibility is to be more one-on-one and hands-on dealing with the specific report building needs and/or problem solutions. However, a trainer’s responsibilities are to create that consistency of training with structured learning experiences and training resources for the clients and partners. It gives them one person who will give each training session the same training each time.
I feel that my passion for training comes through when I am teaching a class. Doing this for over 15 years, I‘d like to think that my attendees learn from me, but I also learn from them. I get so many attendees who tell me that I made the class fun with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and in my experience, that makes it so much easier to learn. I tell people, “If you can walk away from any training having learned at least one new thing that you didn’t know before, then it was a successful training.” It takes the pressure off them feeling like they have to be an expert after the training or that you take in everything all at once. Or worst: your attitude is “I already know this stuff. Why am I here?”
Never stop investing in your associates. They will stick with you and feel good about working for you. Training is one of the best ways to motivate your people. Knowledge creates confidence and power.