How innovation can be dangerous to data culture

Apr 19, 2022

This weekend my wife said something that, while strange, was not completely unexpected.

I’ve never seen anyone powerwash a shrub.

Probably not anywhere near what you were thinking.

You see, a bug attacked our shrubs with a tarry residue that was killing them..  

And, it wasn’t washing off with the natural New Jersey rain, wind, and snow.

Now, I didn’t set out to powerwash the shrubs on a beautiful Saturday morning.  The idea came while cleaning my son’s basketball hoop.

As the residue faded and the green shone through, I had a terrible thought while finishing the third shrub.

What if powerwashing hurt the shrub, even at low pressure?  

In the excitement to implement my “innovation,” I failed to test.

This reminded me of an exercise during my client workshops.  How do you introduce a new visualization/dashboard/story to replace the status quo?  

Well, you test AND measure.  It’s easy to convince yourself the new idea is better, but persuading your user/customer will likely be a lot harder.

Before introducing your idea, prepare answers to these questions:

  • Why is it necessary to change and what are the possible disruptions?
  • What’s your test plan, who has to be involved, and resources required?
  • How will you measure that better results are being achieved?

Preparing boosts the likelihood of getting the go-ahead and in turn, the likelihood of success.

Do you have a story to share about implementing change with – or without – proper testing?  Comment and let me know.


Rewriting How People See Data™

Frustrated By Low Dashboard Adoption?

Learn how to transform passive charts into action-oriented visuals.

Click And Get The Free eBoook