Investing in training as a means of driving cultural change

I am fortunate enough to share my analytics experience with different companies with the goal of helping them becoming more data driven.

The most successful deployments of analytics in organizations often involve buying tools like alteryx and tableau followed up with ongoing investment in  up skilling staff to take advantage of the full capabilities of such tools.

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Training drives cultural change and cross company collaboration

While tableau and alteryx are easy tools to learn,  investing in staff training often has a multiplier effect on cultural change. In fact it is best if at each training session, the stakeholders come from diverse business units such as sales, marketing, finance. Often in larger organizations analysts are in different pockets and don’t often may not know each other. Other times the various stakeholders know each other well and training becomes an opportunity to further cement those relationships

Training is more than a recipe, rather a sharing of experiences

Just as anyone can brew a cup of coffee, learning from a barrister on how to brew the best cup of coffee is something of a different experience. Often learning is not just about technical skills rather it is a knowledge sharing session of what works within their organisation, what pitfalls to avoid and how to actually use that knowledge once people have gotten back to their day jobs.

I also enjoy learning from new users to alteryx and tableau and are often surprised by the many different ways of thinking that they come up with within the tools.

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Learn how to drive the Ferrari 

Alteryx as a tool is incredibly deep as it covers the full spectrum of analytics from ETL to spatial, predictive and prescriptive. Investing in training enables a person to quickly learn how to ‘drive’ it like a Ferrari and not a scooter.

Similarly tableau is simple to learn however there’s a lot to mastery of visualization technique and finding the best way to present the message to influence business change.
Start user groups whether formally or informally to keep the momentum

Often within organisations there will be more advanced users as well as those just starting the journey. Encourage sharing of skills within Alteryx and Tableau with users of all skill levels with each other. The advanced user through teaching reinforces his knowledge while the newer user also gets the benefit of a mentor.

But it costs money…. Not training is a false economy

From an executive and management point of view, companies often heavily invest in training at both the senior leader and manager level thinking it will drive improved performance.

This alone is not sufficient to drive the organization, training needs to filter down to gassroots level and not just be a computer based training routine to save on costs.

It’s about engagement

Some companies spend $1k per FTE per year. Assuming a decent analyst costs $100k per annum, in essence this equates to only 1% of the cost structure.  Trust me 1k doesn’t get you much these days. Companies  should be targeting a training pool of $3k-5k per analysts per year. This equates to between 3-5% of cost base. In return the analyst will drive either process improvements or highlight revenue and cost opportunities a magnitude of that!

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