Enterprises get smarter about analytics adoption
What happens when leaders focus less on adoption and more on engagement?
Business intelligence initiatives often have a well-defined start and end date and it’s not uncommon for them to be considered "complete" after they are rolled out to users. But merely providing access to business intelligence solutions isn’t the same as adoption. Chief data officers, primarily, are reevaluating how BI adoption plays a part in a strategic shift towards modernization, because true value isn’t measured by the solution you deploy, but how your workforce uses the solution to impact the business.
The assumption that everyone is getting value out of a BI platform just because they have access to it can actually be an inhibitor to real progress with analytics. As Josh Parenteau, Market Intelligence Director at Tableau states, gauging return on investment based on number of licenses "can leave both learnings, growth, and the possibility of more success on the table." Instead of adoption in its simplest terms, leaders are focusing on whether or not data and analytics are changing the way that decisions are made throughout the organization. For example, if you took the BI platform away from employees, would it impact the way they make day to day decisions in their job?
In the same way that downloading an application on your phone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re using it, opening up a report one time per month doesn’t mean that it is driving any action or influence. Leaders are evaluating programs that encourage engagement, like internal communities and user groups. These efforts that were previously considered grassroots programs will be considered fundamental elements of an organization’s BI strategy, helping users ramp up faster, self serve, and get answers to their questions quickly. Adoption follows as a result, driving leaders to increase their investment and help communities to scale.
JPMorgan Chase’s (JPMC) center of excellence team, led by IT, used this model to onboard thousands of analysts and grow its user community. They held full-day sessions—what Steven Hittle, Vice President and BI Innovation Leader, refers to as "data therapy sessions"—to share data visualization and governance best practices. These sessions were just one of many activities used to spark the engagement and conversation between roles and departments that helped JPMC scale its modern BI platform to over 30,000 people.
As these internal communities onboard workers onto a BI platform, organizations can start to delegate analytical responsibilities and create new user champions. This will ultimately reduce the heavy lifting for maintenance and reporting, traditionally reserved for IT. More internal champions will start to emerge, acting as subject matter experts who socialize best practices and align people on data definitions. Inevitably, all of these movements will lead to more people using and getting value out of BI software. And most importantly, your workforce will become more efficient and your organization more competitive.