Migrating Business Intelligence Tools:
Common Challenges Faced

Chris CampoFebruary 23, 2021

Are you’re considering changing your BI platform? Or looking to add a new one to your tech landscape? Perhaps, you have made the decision on what BI tool to implement but need a better understanding of the process in and of itself. Well, you’re in luck. This blog provides an overview of the potential pitfalls when migrating away from or to a new BI tool and opportunities that exist for those who do.

Why do I need to migrate from one BI tool to another?

First, let’s understand why a business, like yours, might need to change your BI platform. Usually, it stems from changes in business demands or technology challenges. Your business might need to move to a newer legacy platform or application, or migrate from one BI tool to another, or simply just upgrade your current BI tool. Or, if different departments have brought one specific BI tools for their needs, your IT department might want to consolidate and organize the tech stack to a single platform.

More than likely, the incumbent BI tool has been around for some time in your department, and even with its shortcoming’s your users are comfortable with its quirks and will be sad to see it go.

What common challenges exist in a business intelligence tool migration?

Change is usually a good thing; but change can also represent a number of challenges across various levels. Trying to do everything at once, can cause you and your team to feel overwhelmed and not want to move forward. Preparation combined with experience is a key factor when planning for a successful BI tool migration. At the end of the day a BI migration can be a big project, consider the following potential challenges that may arise:

  1. Workflow disruptions – Expect disruptions in daily workflow and its impact on deadlines, near and long term.
  2. Habits both good and bad – As legacy BI tools are retired, bad habits formed by users can remain in place.
  3. Additional workloads for project participants – Migrating and implementing a new BI tool requires users to participate in the new process. Adding additional tasks for users can create roadblocks. Create a plan to ease the burden on the users.
  4. Front load the process to avoid changes downstream which translates into rework, increased costs and frustrated stakeholders – Plan, plan, plan and did I mention planning? Consider the downstream impact of conducting proper due diligence combined with collaboratively planning the migration.
  5. Training achieves acceptance and proficiencies – proper training means less rework which translates into happier business users.

What opportunities exist with a BI tool migration?

Organizations, and individual users, can benefit from an organizational change of BI tools by recognizing an opportunity for growth. It’s not easy to get the whole organization on board with the migration but educate your team about the positive benefits that widespread changes will have on the organization. By uniting your data in one tool, and provide other chances for growth, such as:

  1. Avoid bad habits by replacing with new processes – We all have bad habits. However, taking advantage of a new tool is a golden opportunity to change old habits into good, successful processes. Seize this opportunity to create new, better habits
  2. Workloads and workflows impacts – Different tools require different paths to completion and can cause angst with users. Communicate the organization’s objectives and reassure users of the end goal how this will help the organization. Adding additional responsibilities, such as participating in a tool migration likely will increase stress within an organization. Careful resource planning is strongly encouraged to help maintain a work balance.
  3. Training is critical to successful migrations – As the tool use and users mature over time, training programs need to evolve as well. Training is not a stepped process but rather an ongoing, long term process. Solid training programs will yield tool proficiencies which in turn creates process efficiencies and translates to cost savings.

Are you ready to migrate?

Contact us, and our experts will answer your questions about technologies, migrations, and how to get started so that your organization can accelerate, automate, and advance data-driven decisions.