It is exciting and overwhelming when you first get new software for information management, reporting and analytics. This is especially true once your users first get their hands on the data and new reports.
I recall first hand when I was a system engineer and had been with SAS for only a few years. I was working with several end users showing them how to use SAS Enterprise Guide to access their data and to create reports. They quickly got the hang of it. We were in a room with long tables of users. They were very excited to be able the see the data and run reports and analysis. Everyone was talking about “what they just discovered in the data” or “a report that used to take a several days and was a pain to create was easily done with a few clicks.” They were talking from table to table or running over to another table and user to see what they just exclaimed was a cool feature or report. The fact that I had showed them how to do what they found “so exciting“ was very gratifying to me. The excitement in the room was very memorable to me (especially since that was about 11 years ago).
So, this brings me to Best Practice #8: Develop In-House IT Expertise. One of the things we enjoy doing at SAS is helping users learn to work with the software themselves. We want to ensure that users become self-sufficient. In my conversations with the SAS customers interviewed for this paper, they recommend that you develop in-house expertise through two channels.
- During development, use SAS Consulting for expert, on-site assistance and knowledge transfer – particularly with people running your systems and creating reports and OLAP cubes for stakeholders.
- Then they suggest augmenting this knowledge transfer by taking advantage of SAS’ online courses, training classes, software manuals and programming guides. Since SAS has resources for everyone, from beginner to advanced software users, end users expertise can grow and evolve over time.
If you missed the previous best practices blogs in this series, you can find them all here. Stay tuned in for more posts in this series. If you are excited about learning all the tips, read the full white paper now: 10 Tips from SAS Education customers.