Driving digital change: From magic to concious use of data technology

At one point after I had been working for years with Qlik Sense (QS) to get any information that I needed I was put on a very important strategic project in another part of the Group. My main role was to help with the supporting calculations and methodologies that would be used as key inputs for the business processes.

As a CFO this should have been easy, right? Well, it turned out that while there were people who had access to data about the business, it was all in extracts from the database without any BI tool to help with the analysis. For the first time in around 10 years I genuinely felt blind. I had gotten so used to spending small amounts of time in preparing the analysis in QS and large amounts of time looking for insights that I immediately felt overwhelmed and lost.

Not a rocket science

Luckily for me I managed to get QS installed on my desktop. Right away I imported the database extracts into QS, prepared the visualizations that I needed and started to analyze the outcomes. I’m not particularly skilled so it was all rather simplistic but it met my needs. I was so excited about this that one day I showed it to one of my colleagues whose role in the project was to bridge the gap between business needs and technical specifications.

Then he said “Wow. That looks like magic! It’s wonderful but I just can’t imagine how you do that.”

Digital change in the real world: One app made up for 8 mega-excels

After that happened I remembered thinking the same thing when I first saw Qlik View (QV) 10 years earlier. It looked like magic and I absolutely wanted that for my company. Once we bought QV and tasked Emark with the implementation something very disappointing happened. Everyone was telling me that the tool was not efficient and that Excel was much better. Lucky for me I believed in what Emark had shown me and insisted on proving it.

Shortly afterwards I invited the programmer from Emark into my office (I was the CFO) and he showed me how to program. I created the visualizations in the application that moved our company from a consolidation of 8 different mega-sized excels to a simple, much more information-filled application that could be viewed from anywhere. This action made others understand how they needed to think differently in order to get the most out of QV and the transformation officially started.

Get people for your cause. This will give a new momentum to your digital change

When driving digital change, we must never forget that for each person who immediately see the new processes and tools and understand their potential, there will always be another 49 people who just see it as “magic”. They simply won’t understand how it is possible because looking for insights using data is a completely different way of thinking compared to what most people have been working with their whole lives.

For the transformation to happen, for the change to be pushed through, it is important to take the time and energy to make people understand that it isn’t something nice but far off but rather something that can significantly help them to do more, both in their personal and professional lives.
Magic is good, but practical use cases are even better.

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Check out also my other related blogs.

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