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Should We Gamify BI? Jury Is Still Out

Monday, March 18, 2013

Depending on what publications you look at anywhere between 65-80% of Business Intelligence projects fail. So it is interesting to see what people are looking to do in order to increase user adoption as well as the success rate. Gamification is one option, but how do you it while ensuring the integrity of the information you are presenting and ensuring best practices are still being followed?

Below is part of the article on the gamification of BI written by Madan Sheina, Lead Analyst, Information Management, Ovum and published recently on Apps Tech News:

Gamification is being touted as a way to immerse more enterprise users more deeply in business processes and tasks. Gamification borrows heavily from interactive and reward & recognition elements from online games, and maps them to business goals to drive interactivity, participation, and (hopefully) better results. The thinking is simple: the more interesting it is, the more likely people are to engage. So how can business analytics benefit from gamification’s immersive impact? And is it a game that businesses would find worth playing?

Gamified BI is about competing on analytics

Ovum believes gamification has potential to improve business decision-making. The search for and discovery of BI and analytic insights has a “game-like” feel to it. Many BI systems resemble a gamified system that seeks to engage business users and change organizational behaviors to improve business performance and outcomes. Gamified functions also typically generate a lot of data for analysis. The key is providing users with an immersive data experience that drives them to improve on that information through exploration and feedback. Technically, this is enabled by the ability to access, navigate, and manipulate large data sets quickly and easily.

BI can benefit from gamification designs that engage users in collective and continuous querying and analyzing of data to solve a business problem, much like how consumer-focused “gamified” applications such as Foldit work. But with gamification, winning is not as important (or as valuable) as the experience of taking part (or competing). It’s the latter that drives usage and a more immersive BI experience.

Ultimately, gamification can be seen as a way to further operationalize BI by embedding it seamlessly into everyday knowledge work, albeit in a competitively friendly and fun way.

Gamification can enhance collaborative BI environments

Game-play concepts can be very relevant for enterprise collaboration. Games, by definition, are usually played in a competitive, multi-user environment and require interaction. BI processes are naturally collaborative in nature; few important business decisions are made in isolation. Participation requires similar game-play concepts that promote user behaviors that improve and share information.

However, gamification should not be mistaken for collaborative BI, which is about creating communities of users focused on solving a particular business problem with specific BI tools designed to answer specific queries. Collaborative BI systems allow users to perform a variety of actions, from creating content (analyses, reports, dashboards) to bookmarking to knowledge sharing. It is the act of contribution (and the recognition that accompanies it) that is intended to attract broader adoption and usage of the BI system as a whole.

While collaborative BI systems need to be backed by easily shared access to data and analysis tools, it goes beyond simply sharing information. The idea is that users benefit from the “experience” of interacting with not just the data, but also the organization as a whole. That’s where gamification comes into play. Rather than focusing on a specific query, it aims to provide a broader context on answering a business question from different perspectives by immersing users into a data and analysis experience.

Ovum believes that both are highly complementary. Gamification has a role to play in enhancing collaborative BI by encouraging participation and making the process more engaging through quasi-competitive environments. However, in order to succeed it must be designed with clear incentives and recognition, backed by functionality such as tagging, commenting, rating, and annotating reports.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Source: Apps Tech News

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