If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
How do you make your users yearn for the vast and endless sea of data?
You have probably heard the old proverb, “you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”. Well, it’s the same way with BI & Analytics adoption – you can build it but they may not come. The strategy for dealing with a horse may be to tire it out (in a good way) and make it thirsty. After it quenches its thirst, you have a well exercised and hydrated horse.
You have to do the same with your users. Tire them out.
This sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out. [The only caveat – you must be in a position to influence business users or be in a leadership role.] OK, here is how.
Start asking the right type of questions. Open ended questions that provoke a change in the way work is done. In most cases, more work will need to be done. But it’s the right kind of work – healthy for the individual and the organization.
- Do we think this is true or do we know? How sure are we?
- What is your source?
- How can we further reduce uncertainty and increase our odds of success before taking xyz decision? For e.g. Are there other data sets or calculations that could help?
- What questions did you ask before formulating your hypothesis?
- Are your conclusions based on a regular report or is there an analytic model ? What are the assumptions and variables involved? How does your model handle outliers?
- Are your recommendations a “one size fits all” or have you segmented the population?
Asking such questions should start a virtuous cycle. Encourage it by doing these things.
What are some other ways to make your users yearn for data?