The Adoption Hero

Tips and tricks you can use to ensure your organization adopts your new data analytics

You’ve licensed a system to help provide data analytics to your users; you’ve built apps based on the data and reports that the users currently use; and you’ve rolled it out to those users the same way you’ve deployed other reporting systems – gave them a demo, maybe a little bit of training, and let them go. They seem pleased, but a few months later, most users are back using their old reports and not using this new system that you invested time and money to deploy. Why?

We’ve all seen the curve of emotional response to change (which I have provided in a simplified form). Doing what I just described before will take your users to the point of “Happy”, but then we either expect users will lead themselves through “Frustrated” and get to “Productive” on their own, or more likely you assumed that initial pleasure means was “Productive”. It’s not.

So, how can you be an adoption hero? Here are a few tips and suggestions that seem to have the most success:

  • Generate awareness and excitement – This is done best when it comes from the top, but making people excited to use the new system is key – focus on how it benefits them individually and organizationally. And it must be communicated multiple times. People need to be reminded why this is a good thing. Building communities to pollinate the knowledge informally helps as people will tend to follow others. Putting role models front and center also helps. If someone’s boss, or boss’ boss, is using it and talking about it, you can bet they will make an extra effort.

    How big or elaborate you want to create this communication depends entirely on how you are using data analytics and the nature of your organization. I’ve seen some companies do full-on internal marketing campaigns with contests, while others simply have a series of team meetings to discuss how people are using it. Either way, the purpose is to keep it positive and top-of-mind until you get to the state of “Productive” for most users.

  • Create user-based training – This means the training needs to be about how the user will do their job with the tool, not about the tool itself, and how it benefits them. Too often we assume users will immediately grasp how to use a new system – and some can. But most need help to envision how it works into their daily lives with the goal to make their lives easier or better. Therefore, it’s best when the training is customized for them.

    As well, don’t assume they will understand it fully the first time. As Qlik’s head of Education Kevin Hanegan mentions in his blog, most training is informal, or in other words, happens on-the-job. So, providing a training approach that allows them access to revisit that training when needed – as well as make it available to new hires and team members – can be very valuable in making sure you are getting the most out of your investment.

  • Listen to their feedback – People want to know that their opinion matters. Even if the users were involved in helping design the applications built on the tool, when they are using it day-in and day-out, they may find their requirements change. Be ready to ask and capture that feedback, and be sure to show them how you are planning to address their feedback, either in future releases or additional training. If they know that a problem is going to be addressed, they are much more likely to keep using the new system.

There is a common theme that I hope you picked up. Adoption is ALL about the user and how they benefit from investing time and energy learning something new. If you focus on making the user succeed, then you, too, will be “The Adoption Hero!”

Tips and tricks you can use from our own @marypitzer to ensure your organization adopts your #data #analytics… (bonus: you’ll be a hero)


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