Implementation means different things to different people. If you want to get up and running with iCharts, it can take as little as a day to install the software and build your first chart. However, if you need a bunch of charts, and several customized dashboards for specific roles, the process can take weeks. As expected, larger projects will take longer to implement. Other factors like data quality, NetSuite knowledge, and third-party data connections can also affect implementation time. No matter what kind of goals you have in mind, preparation is the key to a swift implementation.
1. New customer: After the ink is dry, we’ll help you get started.
2. Install the iCharts bundle: This part of implementation is usually smooth. We estimate that 9 out of 10 installations happen in under an hour.
3. Customer onboarding: From here, iCharts will help you with your initial setup, including a free one-hour training call. We can also get you started using our QuickStart templates, so you can build on a solid foundation. This process should take as little as a few hours.
4. Building your charts: At this point, iCharts is fully functional, and it’s up to you to decide how many charts and visualizations you want to build. This is where implementation times vary the most. Depending on your goals, building out your dashboards could take as little a day, or as long as a few weeks.
Factors in Implementation Speed
Scope of the project: The more charts you need, the longer implementation will take. The difference between 5 or 55 charts, metrics, or KPI’s can start to add up. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until everything is done before you can start using the charts you’ve already built. At iCharts, we always recommend you start small. Not only does it ensure you’ll start with a solid foundation, it’s also the quickest way to get up and running. It may not take more than a week or so to replace all your existing, weekly reports with automated iCharts visualizations.
Context of the project: Sometimes starting small isn’t an option. If you need iCharts to solve a specific problem, you may need to get everything running all at once. For example, maybe you want to use iCharts to monitor production data in your factory. An implementation like this may require a connection with production software, which can have mixed results. Connecting third-party data to iCharts is often very straightforward, but it all depends on where the data comes from. Connecting data from an antiquated, or otherwise complex system can create hurdles in your implementation.
Goals of the project: If you already know what KPIs and Metrics you want to measure, your implementation will be faster. If you’re new to analytics, it’s worth taking the time to figure out the goals of your project. At this stage, it’s important that you’re not too vague, or too specific. You should know where you want to start. However, if you’re too specific, you can run into problems when something isn’t exactly how you expected. For tips figuring out what KPIs to measure, check out last week’s post, “3 Steps to Finding KPIs and Metrics That Matter For You.”
Data quality: If you format your data poorly, it can become an issue in your implementation. iCharts relies on a certain level of formatting in order to parse data from your NetSuite environment. The software isn’t too picky, but if your NetSuite data has issues like “notes” fields that serve as a dumping ground for several data points, you may run into problems. Before you start your analytics project, be sure you properly format your data.
System knowledge: Understanding your NetSuite environment and its data will go a long way towards speeding up your implementation. If your organization has a dedicated NetSuite administrator, you should be in good shape. However, if you’re not as familiar with your NetSuite environment, it can slow down the process. It’s the difference between knowing the answer and having to look it up. The time it takes to chase down solutions can start to add up, so if you’re rusty, try to brush up on your NetSuite instance before starting the implementation process.
Resources available: iCharts is one of the most straightforward analytics tools on the market, but it still requires some work to get it going. That means time and labor. If your company is too busy or short staffed to devote time to your analytics project, implementation times can suffer.
Preparation goes a long way. In an ideal world, a full implementation with all the charts and visualizations you need will take 1-3 weeks. This includes fairly complex implementations. One of our star customers, fairlife, was able to build out seven fully populated dashboards, including data from their production software, in around three weeks.
For more information, stay tuned for our upcoming ebook, “How to Prepare for BI and Analytics.” For now, check out our resources page for more tips.