Business analytics can provide a major stimulus for transformational change. Yet neuroscience and psychology show us that people are typically not “wired” to engage with facts. This is why Alan D. Duncan, research director at Gartner, believes that analytics leaders striving for a data-driven culture must take positive steps to engage with emotions.
“When it comes to using analytics for influence, the facts are of little importance until the psychological and emotional aspects of an issue have been addressed,” said Mr. Duncan. “Analytics leaders must therefore find ways to engage with and overcome these psychological resistance factors if they are to ensure that data is presented in a compelling manner that supports the right decisions and drives actions that add value.”
Connect emotionally with stakeholders Quantitatively oriented people — such as analysts, accountants, engineers and technologists — are drawn to data, understand it, and are able to analyze, interpret and draw conclusions from it. Many stakeholders, however, often base their decisions on emotional responses. Emotional triggers rather than rational ones are the predominant psychological decision drivers.
Quantitative analysts need to find ways of engaging with stakeholders on a more emotional wavelength. That’s not to say they should ignore the data but instead, should try couching it in terms that connect with the emotional responses of their audience. They can do this by developing narratives that create a framework for the core information, telling stories that engage on the audience’s wavelength and using data visualization to make information consumable and engaging.
Learn more: How to be the data and analytics clarifier to your exec team.