Looking back over this blog series, originally titled “5 Oft-Neglected Things EDW/BI Teams Should Do More…Oft” before being “edited”, I really think some of the suggestions we’ve made are things that separate ok teams from great teams. If you haven’t memorized them yet (what’s wrong with you?), here they are again:
- Master the basics – Don’t leave people in your organization in the dust analytics-wise while you move on to more exciting endeavors; make sure everyone has the basic analytics they need to run their corner of the business.
- Don’t neglect marketing – People can’t enjoy the engaging, insightful dashboard or paradigm-shifting real-time analytics they have no clue exists. So tell them. Sometimes even in person.
- Pull back the curtain on your EDW – Transparency, like love, covers a multitude of sins. If your EDW is a black box, then your team will bear the blame for data integrity issues alone. You don’t want that.
- Share the load – Transparency comes from openness, which is the opposite of the fiefdom-building, “this is mine” mentality so prevalent in IT. If people want to help enhance your analytics offerings, support them in doing so!
- Attend to regular check-ups – That irritating toothache is going to grow into a potentially deadly infection if you ignore it. Don’t neglect all-important health maintenance.
To close out this blog series, let me highlight the most important recommendations of the bunch:
The best marketing makes us think we absolutely must have products we don’t actually need. If I don’t buy that specific car or device or beverage, I’m going to be unhappy, boring, and rejected by everybody who is worth anything. Now we’re not advocating for that kind of manipulative marketing. In fact, we’re setting the bar far lower and merely asking you to get out there, get to know your customers, and share with them the great things your team has developed that can make their work life easier and their department more effective. If you make it a practice to spend time thinking like a marketer, even if it isn’t natural for you, it will pay off because you will be thinking of your customers’ wants and needs more. And that’s what we have to do to remain relevant.
Inherent in the third and fourth recommendations (transparency and allowing others to help develop your analytics and BI solution) is a concept borrowed from public policy: free trade versus protectionism. “Protectionism” refers to a country’s attempts to give an advantage to domestic businesses by defending them against foreign businesses through tariffs and other restrictions on imports. We do this all the time in our BI/EDW work when we obfuscate the things we develop and maintain so we can retain our position as the expert and ensure our perpetual job security. The problem is this attitude eventually has the opposite effect because we can’t keep up with all the demand alone, our customers get frustrated, and they find something else. So cast your vote for “free trade” to get the best product and then everyone benefits!
We hope you have found this series insightful. If you want to learn more, contact us!