ASK: The Secret Society for Data Geeks Who Want to Change the World (or at least their Boardrooms)

Analytics Success Klub
Analytics Success Klub
Written by Heather L. Cole, May 5th, 2023

Are you an analytics professional looking to take your career to the next level?  Are you tired of being a behind-the-scenes nerd, crunching numbers all day without much recognition?  Well, we've got just the thing for you!  Welcome to the Analytics Success Klub (ASK) by Heatherized, Inc.

Your Best Investment is YOU

We believe that the best investment you can make is in yourself.  But analytic professionals are often too busy to attend expensive training.  So, Lodestar Solutions in partnership with Heatherized, Inc. is bringing a unique membership program for ambitious analytic professionals that want to go to the next level.   Regardless, if you use IBM, Power BI, Tableau or Qlik, social skills are the secret to promotions, raises and interesting projects.

Soft Skills

We know that analytics professionals often have impressive technical skills, but soft skills are just as important for success.  That's why Heatherized created a monthly membership program designed to help you level up your communication, influence, facilitation, presentation, negotiation, storytelling, and other essential soft skills.

Not a True Story but Could Be

Don't just take our word for it.  Let us tell you a funny story about a socialized nerd leading their company through the data revolution.  We know this one guy, let's call him Dave.  Dave was the ultimate analytics nerd, spending his days holed up in a corner, pouring over data sets and running complex algorithms.  But one day, Dave had an epiphany.  He realized that his technical skills were not enough to get the recognition and success he deserved.

So, Dave started attending networking events, joined a mentorship program, and invested in himself.  He even attended a Tony Robins event.  He worked on his communication and presentation skills, and before he knew it, he was leading a team and presenting to executives.  Dave became known as the go-to guy for all things data-related, and he was even invited to speak at conferences.  All because he took the time to invest in himself and develop his soft skills.

Now, we're not saying that you need to be the next Dave, but we believe that investing in yourself is the key to unlocking your full potential as an analytic professional.  By joining ASK, you'll have access to a community of growth-minded individuals who are all working towards the same goal - career success.

What is ASK?

As a member of our community, you'll have the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals and learn from industry experts.  Our virtual meetings every month will feature guest presenters, breakout sessions, hot seats, and more.  You'll have the chance to share your experiences and learn from others in the field.  We're here to support you as you grow and thrive in your analytics career.  Heather Cole, an industry thought leader and executive high performance coach will provide ASK members insights and things she learned the hard way as an introvert turned socialized nerd.

Lodestar Clients

And here's the best part - active Lodestar Solutions clients will receive two complimentary ASK memberships for their team members!  Just email services@lodestarsolutions.com with the name of your team members and we will get them registered.  Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to invest in your team and take your analytics capabilities to the next level.

If you are not an active Lodestar Solutions client, no worries, ASK is software agnostic.  The early bird membership fee is only $49/month.  Investing in yourself has never been easier or more affordable.  For the cost of a nice lunch with a friend, you can join our community and start building your skills and connections.  Don't wait any longer to take your career to the next level.  Join us at the Analytics Success Klub - ASK and let's grow together!

You can cancel at any time.  But if you do you will lose access to the ASK library and an amazing network of high performers.

Our first live session is on May 19th from 1-2:30pm Eastern.  We can't wait to see you there!  So come on, join us at the Analytics Success Klub - ASK and let's grow together!

Persuading Your Executives to Adopt Analytic Solutions: Applying Pre-Suasion Principles

Persuading Your Executives to Adopt Analytic Solutions_Applying Pre Suasion Principles
Persuading Your Executives to Adopt Analytic Solutions_Applying Pre Suasion Principles
Written by Heather L. Cole, April 27th, 2023

In today's rapidly evolving business environment, the use of analytic solutions has become increasingly crucial for companies to gain a competitive edge and make data-driven decisions.  However, many companies face a significant challenge when it comes to the adoption of these solutions, as executives may not fully understand their value or be resistant to change.  As an analytic professional, it is essential to be persuasive and influential in your approach to gain the necessary support from your executives.

One approach that can help persuade your executives to adopt Analytic Solutions is applying Pre-Suasion Principles, as outlined in Dr. Robert Cialdini's book "Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade."  I have read this book many times, and believe it’s a MUST read book for all analytic professionals that want their voice heard!

In this blog, we will explore how analytic professionals can use the principles of Pre-Suasion to persuade executives to adopt analytic solutions.

Principle 1: Unity

The principle of unity emphasizes the importance of finding common ground and establishing a sense of shared identity with the person you are trying to persuade.  To apply this principle, it is crucial to understand the goals and objectives of your organization and present the benefits of analytic solutions in a way that aligns with those goals.  By highlighting the shared objectives, you can create a sense of unity and build a stronger connection with executives.

Principle 2: Similarity

The principle of similarity suggests that people are more likely to be persuaded by those whom they perceive to be similar to themselves.  As an analytic professional, you can use this principle by emphasizing your shared expertise and knowledge with the executives.  By demonstrating your understanding of the business and industry, you can build trust and establish a rapport with executives, making it easier to persuade them.

Principle 3: Familiarity

The principle of familiarity can be very effective in persuading executives.  This principle suggests that people are more likely to be persuaded by things they are familiar with.  As such, analytic professionals can leverage this principle by using case studies and success stories of companies similar to theirs that have successfully implemented analytic solutions.  By demonstrating how other companies in their industry have successfully implemented analytic solutions and the positive outcomes they have achieved, analytic professionals can build confidence in the decision to adopt these solutions.  If you are an IBM Analytics client, the IBM website has a number of customer videos and case studies.  Go to this link and scroll near the bottom.   Knowing how others in your industry have used analytic solutions like IBM Planning Analytics can help executives better understand the potential benefits of analytic solutions, as well as the challenges they may face during the adoption process.

Principle 4: Liking

The principle of liking is another important principle that analytic professionals should keep in mind when trying to persuade their executives.  This principle suggests that people are more likely to be persuaded by those they like and trust.  To apply this principle, analytic professionals should focus on building a positive relationship with executives based on trust, respect, and honesty.   The best way to build trust is start by adding a lot of value!  Here’s a link to our blog, Learn the Secrets to Massively Increase the Perceived Value of Analytics. 

By establishing a strong relationship with executives, analytic professionals can create a positive perception of themselves and their solutions, making it easier to persuade them to adopt analytic solutions.  It's also essential that they take the time to listen to executives and understand their concerns and objectives.  By doing so, analytic professionals can tailor their approach to better align with the executives' priorities and concerns.

Principle 5: Authority

The principle of authority suggests that people are more likely to be persuaded by those they perceive as credible and knowledgeable in the subject matter.  This is where analytic professionals can leverage their expertise and experience in the analytics field.  By demonstrating their authority on the subject matter, analytic professionals can build credibility and persuade executives to adopt analytic solutions.  They can also emphasize the potential competitive advantage that can be gained by adopting analytic solutions, helping to create a sense of urgency.

Principle 6: Scarcity

I believe the most important principle for analytic professionals is the principle of scarcity.  Scarcity suggests that people are more likely to desire something that is perceived to be scarce or limited.  Analytic professionals can use this principle by highlighting the potential competitive advantage that can be gained by adopting analytic solutions.  By emphasizing the scarcity of businesses that have successfully implemented analytic solutions, analytic professionals can create a sense of urgency and persuade executives to adopt analytic solutions.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, analytic professionals can use the principles of pre-suasion to effectively persuade executives to adopt analytic solutions.  By leveraging the principles of unity, similarity, familiarity, liking, authority, and scarcity, they can build a strong relationship with executives, establish credibility and expertise, and create a sense of urgency around the adoption of analytic solutions.  It's essential to understand the goals and objectives of the organization, present the benefits of analytic solutions in a way that aligns with those goals, and demonstrate their expertise and experience in the analytics field.

Adopting analytic solutions can be a challenging process, and it's essential to have the right skills and strategies to navigate these challenges successfully.  If you want to learn more about how to effectively persuade your executives, attend Lodestar Solutions' Analytic Leadership Mini-Workshop on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 10-1:30am Eastern.   REGISTER HERE.  Or scan the code below. 

Analytic Leadership Workshop 2023

This workshop will provide you with the tools and strategies you need to become a more persuasive and influential analytic leader.  For additional events and dates go to www.lodestarsolutions.com/events.

Register now to secure your spot for the May 18th event!

Facilitating Analytic Discovery for Success

Facilitating Analytics Discovery for Success
Facilitating Analytics Discovery for Success
Written by Heather L. Cole, April 28th 2022

Are you looking for more time to deliver analytics?  Maybe your team is short staffed, and you are doing the work of 2-3 people.  I get it!  I have been in that race, and it can be stressful.  So, I must ask you, have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself, “How can I be more effective in my role delivering analytics to my organization?”  We spend so much time moving through the motions, responding to urgent requests from executives and yet what if we just stopped and took a few steps back and say can I be more effective?  When I did this as an IBM Cognos consultant, I realized I needed to learn how to be better at facilitating analytics discovery for success. 

Time to Become More Effective

Think about it.  If you had a crystal ball and could identify exactly what your executives wanted, if you could not only read their mind but help them determine what they want, you would be so effective.  No more building reports and dashboards people don’t use.  No more scrambling as they changed their minds daily.  You would have executives calling you to meet with you as they strategically plan the growth of the organization.

What is Facilitation?

Facilitation is the act facilitating or act of making easier according to Merriam -Webster dictionary.  So, facilitating analytics discovery is the act of making analytics discovery easier.  Who wouldn’t want to know how to do that better?  Note I use the word discovery and not requirements gathering intentionally.  You see at Lodestar Solutions we believe users often don’t know what they want.  So, there’s nothing to gather until you help the users discover what’s possible and what they would benefit from.

easy button

I am guessing you have taken a few training programs on how to use Cognos, Tableau, Qlik, Power BI or other solutions.  So, you know how to build reports.  Maybe you even are working on an advanced degree in Business Analytics from a school like University of South Florida here in Tampa.  But how much time have you spent learning how to do proper discovery?  How much time have you spent learning to facilitate an effective meeting? 

It's okay if you haven’t!  Most people in our industry, haven’t.  It’s rare I see a consultant or analytic professional skilled at facilitating discovery sessions.  The good news, however, is that you can learn it! 

For me I had been working in the industry for years, before I realized I was great at inspiring and motivating clients, but I would meet with clients and ask what are you doing today?  My goal was to simplify and automate the manual processes they had already defined. 

Facilitation of Analytic Discovery Experts

But one day, I took that step back and challenged myself!  I asked what do the experts in facilitation of analytic discovery do?  You know what I learned?  I didn’t know anyone good at it.  I could not think of a single role model in this area.  Who do you know that is fabulous at leading a thought-provoking discussion for executives around analytics?  Are you drawing a blank too?

After facing the hard fact that facilitation and discovery are not commonly taught, and that most of us wing it, I decided it was time to take action.  I started down my professional development journey of learning about and teaching classes in facilitation, influence, presentation techniques, and psychology of teams.  I certified in Scrum and I began to implement what I learned. 

The results were amazing! 

Benefits of Learning Facilitation.

  •  Clients and their teams gained clarity.
  • Executives gain confidence in the teams and engaged more.
  • End Users become part of the solutions and end user adoption increased.
  • Projects were more rewarding and gained visibility at the top levels of the organization.
  • The duration to delivery for projects shrunk.
  • And clients saved a lot of money.

But the biggest win for our clients was that they were empowered to host their own internal discovery sessions, because the world is changing, your business is changing and analytic discovery is not a one and done process.

Be Transformational

When Business Analytic Professionals learn to facilitate analytic discovery for success they will help lead the organization and help transformation.  Regardless of if you are on a BI team, or in Finance this is your time to lead.  For finance professionals you should see our earlier blog, Finance Must lead Business Transformation Before Someone Else Does

You are Not Alone!

My journey to be come an Analytics Leader with the skills in Facilitating Analytic Discovery sessions was a very long and expensive journey.  I traveled the world attending personal development conferences, joining masterminds, reading books.  But it doesn’t have to take you that long!  

Lodestar Solutions, Inc. is creating a new program that is designed specifically for analytic professionals!  This will be a virtual workshop, where you learn proven methods to facilitate analytic discovery.  Keep an eye out for our announcement coming soon.  If you find this interesting email us at services@lodestarsolutions.com and share your challenges.

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