Best Practices for Business Intelligence (BI) Training

Conducting an instructor led analytics training class is a daunting task even for an experienced trainer.  Best practices are acquired over time and shaped by constant and constructive student feedback.

How do you determine whether your organisation requires BI training and how does training make you look good?

Although some signs are obvious, firms occasionally do not know when to call for training.  Here are some indications your firm requires BI training:

  • New Skills or New Knowledge:
    • New employees destined to be BI users;
    • New BI technology or tools (including migration to a new release of your current solution);
    • New BI requirements, processes, or procedures.
  • Evaluation Deficiencies when:
    • Users lack fundamental BI skills/knowledge;
    • Users don’t know how to apply their current BI knowledge.
  • Address Skill Gaps in your Existing Workforce when:
    • Talented users want to take on additional responsibilities in a “train-the-trainer” type scenario;
    • Skilled employees would like to learn the ropes of a higher position;
    • Customer-facing executives or salespersons need to augment their skills to better serve customers;
    • You are looking to bridge users’ BI skills to increase productivity or to raise the bar on performance.
  • Meet New Compliance Regulations or Obtain Extra Credit when:
    • New legislation or policies are passed, necessitating updating of skills;
    • You are eligible for credit for training expenditures for workforce skills development.

When does training typically occur in a BI implementation process?

It depends. Some firms prefer to wait until after the initial implementation is complete.  The advantage is your data has already gone through user acceptance testing and therefore personalized training can be given using this data, adding value since many of the practical exercises will be applicable to your business.

Other companies prefer to dive into training early in the implementation phases since much of the user community lack fundamental BI skills.  Thus, training using sample data and quickly ramping up basic BI tools skills could make more sense.

The most common training scenario is a combination of using sample data and actual business data.  Sample data training allows users to focus on how to get around the solution, reducing distraction by real-time data.  The curriculum is subsequently enhanced by using your trusted information to add value by covering true business scenarios.

What is the format of a typical training scenario and why select us as your training partner?

Our trainers have implemented BI solutions at hundreds of clients and have over 15 years practical training experience. Training can be offered onsite in both English and French for up to 8 to 10 users.  Larger groups require either an assigned mediator from your organization, or splitting the training into groups according to skill levels, which allows for optimal management.

We design our training curricula to be engaging, interactive and collaborative instead of passively reading from a bulleted list in a PowerPoint slide deck.  Users follow instructor-led demos as well as  hands-on exercises and workshops with some guidance. Participants are called upon to provide answers or contribute.  Open-ended questions help users synthesize and apply concepts presented to facilitate integration of the material. Breaks are built in to give users a chance to digest the material.

At the end of the day, the objective of training is to add value to your organization.

Are you looking for training or to simply augment your skills in your BI solution? Consult our Training Services page for more information on our training offerings.  If you are looking for assistance, please contact our BI experts at NewIntelligence at

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