This article is written by Matt Dent, BI Consultant at Data3
Data viewers, stakeholders, decision makers. They are a diverse bunch with differing needs, wants and desires. There is something they all have in common though; a desire to be able to make the best decisions for their business or for the issue they have. To make decisions there needs to be a balance between facts as well as intuition and to be able to understand the context and environment that decision sits within.
The aspect that data experts can really control are the facts; making sure it’s laid out and understood that meets the need of the consumer type. At Data3 we can put data consumers into four main groups.
Atlas doesn’t like technicality. They don’t want to know how the infrastructure works or what is happening behind the scenes they just want answers. Often Atlas isn’t too interested in Reports or dashboards, they just want pure value. Find a way of telling Atlas when profits are low, when expenses are high with no human involvement and you’re on to a winner. Dashboards are good for Atlas but they need to be top level, show off KPIs, show trends. These dashboards will need to be slick, fast and actionable. Atlas loves the next level in the BI journey – alerts and automation. This allows Atlas to ask for alerts to be sent from their dashboards into her Slack, email or other channels they know what’s happening as it happens. It is your job as the developer to make sure the ETL is bang on and they can trust the data and any outputs you are creating. You’ll need to have the skills to take BI above dashboarding and creating interesting workflows and automations.
Gray loves the numbers. Often Grey doesn’t want to know what goes on behind the scenes but loves to see the outputs. Gray will be checking all the numbers add up and that they can trust the data. But once they know they can trust the outputs they’ll dive deep into the data. Gray loves dashboards that allow for interaction with drill throughs and drill downs. Gray will find insight in charts you didn’t even know where there. Gray doesn’t particularly like alerting because they prefer to find the insight themselves and always be on top of the numbers. Gray loves digging down to super granular levels. Because of this Gray often asks for more than the dashboards can give, in the form of specific analytics projects. Gray will want to look into LTV and churn; will want to segment their customer base and apply models for marketing. They will be able to see all these outputs in reports and dashboards downstream so that Gray can constantly push to find more value from their data. You’ll be leading Gray as an Insight Analyst above a BI developer. Reports are great, but deeper insight is more valuable for Gray.
Sasha trusts design and speed. If you can’t make an aesthetic and high performing dashboard, why should Sasha trust you’ve built a high performing and robust infrastructure behind the scenes? To please Sasha, you’ll need slick visuals and design. This allows Sasha to trust the data and the output and allows them to effortlessly pull value and insight from their reports. Your dashboards will look like high end websites and speed will be priority, you don’t want to lose Sasha to other tasks because your report is too slow to load efficiently. Sasha is quite often also interested in automation to make everything be slick and take away the need for human intervention. They like their dashboards to be live and enjoy using them because they are such a pleasant experience to interact with and want to see how their data is changing on a regular basis. You’ll need to be a super designer, and follow strong design, UI and UX principles to get the most out of BI tools to keep Sasha coming back for more and pulling valuable insight from their data.
Rowan wants to know everything. In a good way. Rowan wants to be involved in every step of the journey, from inputting into ETL to the complexities of the final output. This enables Rowan to have full trust of the data and therefore to be able to know their data inside out from start to finish. Similarly, to Gray, Rowan loves to be able to see all the data, and would rather find the value themselves rather than be told what is what. Rowan likes to progress nicely along all possibilities of Business intelligence; from reporting, to alerting, to modelling, to deep projects; and loop back around to visualise each stage of the journey. You’ll be the data expert that ties all the gaps and overcomes a diverse array of issues to make sure Rowan has everything they need to have a fully fledge BI implementation that they trust every step of the way.
No matter what data consumer type you are, or you are working with, there is a way to work with the data that suits the needs of the consumer.
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