Success in Adoption: Building Excitement


Success in Adoption: Building Excitement

Karl outlines several key steps to maximizing your success in an analytics deployment. He shares practical steps toward analytics adoption throughout your organization, as well as some personal illustrations from his family's own adoption journey.

My daughter Tori is adopted. We brought Tori home on August 4, just four days before her first birthday. We love Tori in our family just as much as our three sons to whom my wife gave birth. We’ve learned a lot about adoption, its challenges and its beautiful picture of unconditional love over the years. But something I can’t get out of my head since I’ve been working in analytics is how closely family adoption resembles the adoption of technology systems. Or is it the other way around? Analytics projects cannot be fully successful without full adoption.

Above: Tori and her dog, Muffin

The Adoption Process

In this five-part blog series, I’m going to illustrate the similarities and differences between these two adoption concepts, and by the end of this, you will know key mental and organizational steps to take to ensure your analytics project will be adopted by your company, customers or clients. You also will learn that these steps are simple. Not necessarily easy but simple. This blog series is also not a tactical blueprint but rather a thought starter. We will be talking more about the blueprint in the fifth and final entry in this series.

The five steps to adoption:

  • Build excitement
  • Follow a thorough vetting process
  • Commit to your decision
  • Get help!
  • Replace the old with the new

This post will focus on the first step: build excitement.

Building Excitement Around Adoption

It was a normal day in October 2001 when my wife came home and said, “I found our daughter!” At the time, she was working at a foster home for medically fragile children. We already had a four-year-old and six-month-old at home and weren’t even yet 24 years old. “Really?” was my response. We had talked about having a large family when we were dreaming in high school and college, but I always had in my mind we would do the adoption thing “later.” I sighed and, as always, gave my wife the opportunity to share…

Above: Tori circa 8 months old at the group foster home

My wife explained how Tori spent two months in the NICU, and her birth mother had surrendered her rights upon birth, sadly admitting she was unable to care for Tori. She explained how Tori was African-American, but she had Albinism, so her skin tone would be very light, and she would suffer from disabling vision impairments her entire life.

At this point, I basically had no choice. I’d be the worst dad ever to say, “No.”

In all seriousness, though, I knew that we were meant to open our home up to this orphan girl and give her a family she wouldn’t have otherwise. She would have two older brothers to love on her and play with her. She’d have my family and my wife’s family to be in her life. She’d have lots and lots and lots of dogs … another story for another day. I was thinking and feeling, “This could really work!”

Building Excitement with Vision

Part of getting anyone excited about anything is vision. Great leaders do this almost naturally. I’ve heard it said, “If you want to get anyone from here to there, you have to explain to them why staying here is bad and going there is good.” My wife was exercising great leadership in regard to Tori and casting a vision. She was getting me excited about what could be possible.

Maybe in your analytics journey or software journey in general, you’ve had a tough time gaining momentum or approval or just getting things off the ground. Maybe it was a disconnect with the vision, or maybe it was a lack of excitement. Excitement is crucial in adopting new technology. With Tableau, this can be done pretty easily because there are such great resources available to build excitement.

If you are looking to increase enthusiasm around visual analytics and amazing dashboards, look at resources like the InterWorks blog, Tableau Public (especially the Viz of the Day), follow folks on Twitter, attend your local Tableau User Group, create your own internal user group, or take a group of folks to the Tableau Conference held yearly in the U.S. and Europe:

Above: The InterWorks team at our booth from Tableau Conference 2018

If you’re looking to build excitement around the speed to insight and analytics because your current reporting is slower than you’d like, then all of the above work. However, also work with your Tableau rep or with InterWorks to set up a demonstration for you and your team. Bring it closer to home by allowing us to build a proof of concept (POC) with your data.

By the way, these kinds of conversations and initial interactions are similar to the visitations we did with my daughter once we started the process, but I’ll talk more about that in part 2 when I discuss the importance of an in-depth vetting process.

High-Level Takeaways

Successful analytics systems don’t happen without full adoption. Remember the key steps mentioned earlier:

  1. Build excitement
  2. Follow a thorough vetting process
  3. Commit to your decision
  4. Get help!
  5. Replace the old with the new

What I have learned through adopting our daughter can be applied to technology adoption, too.

For more on building excitement, read this blog by David Pires about his experience at Tableau Conference 2018. Read more about what an analytics journey might look like by visiting this blog by my colleague Eugenia Kis.

See you next time for the second series installment all about following a thorough vetting process. Until then, drop us a line; we’d love to get to know you better.

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More About the Author

Karl Riddett

Strategy Lead
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