Feb 08, 2018 | Natalie Murray
5 Steps to Increase Adoption of your Operational Reports
We were recently approached by an enterprise prospect that needed help increasing adoption of its operational reports. Despite investing in numerous data analytics tools and hiring a variety of skilled analysts, the business recipients of the reports simply weren’t reading them. For some audiences, the dashboards which contained the information were too difficult to interpret (which is not too surprising - with business intelligence adoption hovering at only 30% of all employees, per Gartner), for others, the insights just did not seem relevant enough.
After evaluating the company’s current internal reporting processes and zeroing in on the goals and intended audiences of each operational report, we concluded that there are five areas of low-hanging fruit when looking to increase adoption, engagement, and most of all, action:
1. Prioritize insights.
Use data-driven prioritization to put the most relevant near the top. If the reader skims your report in less than 5 seconds, will they digest the most important insights? In addition, make sure the most relevant insights at the top use language that is impactful and easy-to-understand.
2. Format content to highlight key insights.
Bold, italic, underlined and colored text can help important information stick out to the reader. Create impact by using red text for negative trends and green for positive ones.
3. Test preferences and create specific personas.
Rather than guessing what your reader likes, ask them! Do they like short-form or long-form? Bulleted or not? Email or pdf? Weekly or monthly cadence? If you have a diversified audience, you may end up creating a few different reports based on various personas.
4. Drive traffic to an internal dashboard or reporting tool.
Use hyperlinks within your report to lead the reader to visualizations in a dashboard, chart, or other reporting tool to support findings.
5. Match your organization’s terms and tone of voice.
Ensure the report sounds intuitive and mimics the voice and style of your brand, delivering insights in the tone that resonates the most with your audience.
Natural language generation (NLG), technology that transforms data into contextually-relevant content, can help you automate operational performance reporting and operationalize these steps to re-engage your audience. With automation, you’ll be able to deliver consistent, quality insights, at any scale you desire, over and over again.