When we meet with a client to look at their data infrastructure, there’s one thing we hear all the time:
Nobody likes their tools.
Executives are often frustrated because their teams aren’t able to provide information quickly, and they’re not getting what they need to make decisions. Data analysts and Marketers and Product owners are often frustrated because the tools they’re using aren’t working the way they expect them to.
Do you have the people and/or processes in place for the tool to reach its full potential?
It doesn’t matter what tool you’re using – if it’s not correctly integrated into your ecosystem, it won’t be useful. When deciding if you should switch to something else, you need to figure out if you’ve set yourself up for success.
Who’s driving? Who’s the Tool Admin?
We’ve seen organizations that have purchased excellent tools, but no one is in charge of maintaining or monitoring them. It’s important to designate stakeholders who are responsible for ensuring that tools are working properly.
Who are the users? Have they been trained?
You’d never roll out an external product without a help section and user-friendly tutorials. But many companies roll out internal tools without proper training (or worse without a key understanding of their use cases).And on an even more basic level, it’s worth asking: does everyone know how to use the tool correctly? Ensuring that everyone who will interact with the tool is fully trained on what it is and how it’s going to be used will make all the difference.
How is the tool set up?
Most organizations are using a lot of tools that are all supposed to be part of one clean workflow. But sometimes, there are disconnects, and information is not flowing efficiently between all of them. For example, the same data may be tagged differently in different tools, and the inconsistencies lead to messy data sets.
Before spending the time and money to move from one tool to another, make sure they’re configured in a way where the data is consistent, and everything is working together.
How good is your data?
So what if the problem really is the tool?
Is the tool a problem for everyone, or just some people?
We’ve seen situations where a tool is a problem for one team, but it’s working well for everybody else. In cases like that, instead of going through the process of overhauling the whole system for everyone, it makes a lot more sense to figure out what the team needs and to find solutions to solve their specific issue. Instead of generalizing complaints, take a careful look at where the problems are – it will save you a lot of time down the line.
Is switching worth the investment?
When it comes to frustrating systems that feel impossible to use, it’s tempting to throw money at the problem and switch to something else. But before jumping ship, we encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Even if you do end up switching, chances are you’ll learn some valuable lessons about how your infrastructure is working, and those insights are priceless.