Turning Data Owners Into Data Resources

One of the biggest challenges I hear about when I do public trainings is how to get people who are stingy with their data to share it.

My answer is always the same… buy them a doughnut.

Seriously, when I reflect back to what made me a great analyst when I was with Wells Fargo, one of the biggest reason was I made sure all the data guys liked me.

Just about every company has someone who likes to keep their data close. Sometimes it is a result of security risks. But most of the time it is because they just don’t like to share. It is also possible they just don’t like someone on your team. Whatever the reason, you have to get them to lower the gate and let you in to play with their data.

From my perspective, I generally see a few types of data gate keepers who have very different reasons to keeping you out of their data playground.

  1. They are afraid to share the data, because they know the data is not 100% trustworthy.
  2. They are afraid to share the data, because they worry you will use the data to do things they can’t.
  3. They are afraid to share the data, because they had a bad experience with you or someone like you.
  4. They are afraid to share the data, because you play for a different team.
  5. They are afraid to share the data, because you won’t need them anymore.
  6. They can’t share the data because it’s a security risk.


In every case, even the last, engagement is the key. Share with them why you need the data, demonstrate how much more awesome your analysis and reporting will be if you can include their data.

One of the advantages I have enjoyed in my career is that I really get along with people. I make an effort to be likeable and trustworthy. To be a great analyst, you will need to be likeable and trustworthy too.

And I kid you not, buying them a doughnut and dropping it off at their cube works more often than you might imagine.

The key to using analytics in a business is like a secret sauce. It is a unique combination of analytics talent, technology and technique that are brought together to enrich and empower an organization. A successful analytics culture is not easy to create, but DMAIPH can show you how. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can build a strategic plan to turn your company into analytics driven success story.


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