Strength in Numbers: Why Crowdsourcing Works!

The heat of summer and the smell of fresh-cut grass triggers many memories. I feel a sense of yearning from those memories, particularly as I know, during normal times, the college football season has begun. It’s been many years – too many to mention here – since I last played. The sense of anticipation persists, as it is this time of year the team would gather for camp. My teammates and I would convene to begin practice, the offseason sessions are over, and now the power of the team takes over. Being a part of something bigger. Strength in numbers. My playing days are behind me; however, my football community remains to this day. In some ways, the start of the season is like the start of analytics transformation.

Empowering individuals for success with data analytics, via data democratization and self-service analytics, are key initiatives many of my customers are undertaking. The idea of freeing the data for each employee is an ambitious goal and needs to become viral, taking on a life of its own to fully ingrain in all departments of the organization. One group or leader cannot drive this shift; however, a community can.

We have become more aware of the importance of community, as we have been forced into isolation over the past months. Communities create connections, motivate and facilitate learning opportunities. It is these realities of how communities can foster cohesion and growth that can drive an analytic culture into all areas of the organization. Office hours, newsletters and messages boards are techniques that I see from customers who have developed strong communities.

Office Hours

Office hour calls are an effective way to engage with the team as they embark on their engagements with analytics or actively work applications. The Center of Excellence at a government agency with which my team is engaged runs office hours on a set schedule each week. This provides predictability and dedicated time for users to gather and share their inquiries for live questions and answers, or simply listen in to upskill.

The calls open with highlights of new assets or a use-case success shared by a team. This is a prime opportunity to highlight people in the organization that have embraced analytics and are advancing their skills. The attendees have questions addressed and are kept current on available resources, while connecting with others in the analytics ecosystem of their organization.

Newsletters

Newsletters are valuable to share resources and testimonials from the people throughout the organization. They are a great mechanism to share upcoming events, such as Virtual User groups, as well as lunch and learns. A large telecommunications firm our CSM team is engaged with uses a newsletter to share its “Big 3 Frequently Asked Questions” each week. These are the top questions or techniques that they identify from posts on their message boards or Office Hours. The newsletter keeps analytics top of mind, serves as a reference to resources and is a method for departments or team members to highlight their work. This predictable update serves as a follow up for those who missed the calls providing a summary of the weekly trends and a reminder of the governance processes.

Message Boards

Message boards, Slack Channels, and Microsoft Teams have become critical platforms to facilitate the adoption of analytics to everyone in the organization. These platforms provide a venue to scale assistance and provide guidance promptly, which reduces the frustration encountered when teams are working with a solution for the first time or trying to expand use-cases. Peers who address similar challenges can assist with questions to keep projects moving along, limiting frustration or the hurdles of starting from scratch. We have seen the interaction on the Qlik Community page reduce the need for customers to log support tickets and feel more empowered as they are part of identifying a solution to their challenge. Many of our customers include their CSM counterparts in these channels, which is another avenue to ensure a connection with your extended team.

Creating these touchpoints with purposeful interaction and awareness provide the mechanism to engage those working with analytics and reinforce the importance of embracing analytics. The promotion of both successes and failures are valuable learning opportunities that will save others time and provide guidance on proven practices. Learning from projects from your peers and identifying those with proficiency in the solution is motivating. This exposure often times leads to professional growth and a source of pride. Removing barriers to starting or advancing with analytics can engage a community.

As we are at the beginning of another football season and a season to start your analytics processes and culture anew or revisit them, how are you harnessing a community approach to get your team into the touchdown zone? Begin your community by joining the Qlik community and visit the Qlik Onboarding Hub for resources to share in your newsletters.

The importance of community in #analytics: “Communities create connections, motivate & facilitate learning opportunities[...], fostering cohesion & growth that can drive an analytic culture into all areas of the organization,” according to Adam Ciperski @aciperski.

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