Charlie Brown, The Peanuts Movie, and Successful BI
A few weekends ago, my wife and I took the kids to see The Peanuts Movie. Believe it or not, they initiated us going to see it, though if we had to, my wife and I would have gladly dragged them to the theater to meet the characters we grew up with and loved.
Like many classics, the Peanuts’ are a diverse set of characters with unique relationships to one another. It’s the ease in which we can relate to them and their situations that make these characters timeless. Whether it is Charlie Brown’s persistence, Linus’s highly intellectual insecurities, Sally’s overreactions, or Pig Pen’s filth – most of us can find a way to connect with one or more of the characters.
As I sat there eating popcorn at an alarming rate and reliving my childhood, I began to recognize that the key to the Peanuts’ success maps directly to a key factor of successful BI and analytics projects: the ability to allow a diverse audience to participate. In more analytics specific terms: high adoption rates.
For years, studies have consistently reported that most organizations hover around 20% adoption when it comes to business intelligence tools. There are many factors that impact adoption rates, including perceived value of the information, poor quality of the data, and suboptimal communication of the insights. However, from what I’ve seen, the number one factor is that many organizations either fail to recognize or can’t support a diverse set of needs in a cost effective and time efficient manner.
These needs could range from:
- A dashboard to support upper management
- A data discovery tool for the analyst to uncover that game-changing insight
- A search based application to provide simple and direct access to all your data assets
- A mobile application to streamline the process of capturing data from field personnel
- A customer-facing portal that modernizes the way your customers view and interact with your organization
Trying to support all of these needs from a user interface (UI) perspective with a “one size fits all” approach is what dooms many projects.
Not everyone needs or wants a spreadsheet, dashboard, or visualization tool. What most everyone does want is the most efficient way to get the data driven answer they need to complete the task at hand – and that will vary based on the answer and the audience.
To raise adoption rates at your organization, continue to seek out the best UI for each of the characters you need to support. The more they can relate to the UI, the more they will interact with the data, and the more value you’ll get out of your information assets.
Apply effective UI to your data driven applications and watch your adoption rates soar higher than Charlie Brown’s kite or Snoopy’s flying doghouse.
For more on creating great user experiences for a diverse bunch of characters, register to receive the on-demand recording of InfoApps: Deploying BI to Every Kind of User.