Being a Monarch evangelist is an interesting situation at times, isn't it?
It seems as though the many people that we meet both online and offline who work to acquire data and convert it into information should be using Monarch. But few act on the advice and direction given to adopt and embrace Monarch.
Often these people have access to some pretty powerful tools, but Monarch's ease of use would often be a better fit, and usually at a much lower cost.
Is their inaction due to a simple fear of change? Is it the difficulty in getting slow-moving corporations to act, and perhaps abandon tools currently in use that weren't the wisest choices in the first place? I don't know; I'm just asking the questions for discussion.
Hello elgin, hello everyone,
@elgin - I think you're dead right about both points, but it's not one or the other. Crucially, people are scared of what's new, and /B don't "get" what Monarch can do. You'd be amazed how many people I've met who "use" Monarch but couldn't themselves build a top ten summary from Betty's Music Store (that's from about lesson 11 of the free tutorial included with every copy).
Now, clearly something is wrong - if a majority of users don't understand what the product is capable of! Why would any prospective user or customer embrace a radically different approach to BI - mining data from reports instead of querying databases - unless we can somehow get the message across to them that yes, Monarch can[/B] empower the desktop users to deliver the answers they need?
Anyway, to try to help, I'm giving a webinar for Datawatch on Wednesday this week - the sign up form is on the Datawatch home page, but here's the [URL="http://www.datawatch.com/_products/20100922-monarch-tips-techniques-5/index.php"]link /URL - which I hope will open some eyes to what is possible... The theme of the talk is "Invisible Data" - I hope you can make it!
This is a much bigger issue than Monarch. I would ask the question of how many people understand what Excel can do? How many fully utilize Microsoft Word? Have you ever seen someone print a contact list from Outlook and then type those names to letters or labels in a mass mailing? There are amazing software tools out there. The vast majority of the workforce is using a tiny fraction of the total available power of their already purchased software.
Maybe it is a learning curve or change resistance issue, but in my experience, most people are only interested in getting their job done and have a fear of breaking an existing process. You need to have a company with a culture where continuous improvement and excellence is expected of each employee and rewarded.
I have had some experiences where I have blown away another user by showing them the power of what Monarch can do. In one case, I saved a person two days worth of manual work on an Excel spreadsheet. When I offer to help them get Monarch and teach them how to do it, there is no interest. They are thankful for the help, but aren't interested in looking at other processes they have.
On the other hand, there are some very fine people who I work with who are always interested in doing the job more efficiently or more accurately. These are the people that I have been able to "convert" to Monarch.
My approach has always been to show people what I am doing and how easy it is at their desk rather than do the work for them and send the result. Ask them what they want done with the data and don’t be afraid to show them what options you can provide. Get them to explain what the high level need is, and not just what they asked you to do. Often, there is a large gap between what users think you are capable of and the request, and the true power of Monarch. If you can do more than the user thought, you’ve got a great start.
I also make helping other users data and process needs a high priority - you have to be ready to help them when they are interested in improving and not just when you have free time.
Excellent points, with a common thread.
I don't know of a single office that isn't running some version of the MS Office software. It's probably the single most commercially successful productivity software package ever sold, taking all releases into consideration. But I know very few people who make knowing how to make the most of any particular program in the collection, much less knowing how to capitalize on using the various components effectively together.
In addition to Joey's well thought out points, though it might be seen as being a bit abstract, I sometimes wonder if there isn't some amount of self-sabotage occurring, at both the personal and corporate levels. Fear of success and all that.
A key point Joey mentioned is that hands-on use makes the biggest impact. I too can attest to that having worked very well with a number of people in the same way.
But to get great traction for our favorite software, and improve its adoption rate, (which I really believe is beneficial to all of us, not just the software publisher) that same "gut feeling" and sense of what's possible needs to be conveyed without the potential new user having the hands-on experience.
Presentations such as the one that Olly is about to perform can convey this, but I suspect that in order to get someone commit to attending and focusing, they've got to be pretty well already convinced that this is probably a good solution for them.
Finally, as Joey said, these are points that would clearly apply to more than just Monarch software, and are real and problems without easy solutions. Still, this is a good discussion and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.
I also feel a big influence is comfort level. Some people are just too comfortable in the way they do things now, especially someone who isn't that technically inclined. I've known end users who have looked back at the time and effort they have put into learning and using a tool and after a great amount of time are finally comfortable at the level they are at. Sometimes the thought of upsetting the apple cart is worse than the actual change itself.
Microsoft's big change to the Office product a few years ago is a good example of this. I suspect the bigger upset will occur when 2003 is no longer supported and many users will be forced to the new Office program. Was the introduction of the ribbon a good thing? I think it's highly debatable and a large amount of resource was put into marketing it. (honestly, I do like the Office products Mr. Gates)
I think today's conthe everyday person has been "marketed out" There is so much marketing going on through the telephone, newspapers, tv, internet and just about everywhere else, that it's much harder for anyone to come along and promote a product effectively. People are a little tired and skeptical over anything being sold to them these days and I'm sure most don't even realize it themsleves.
Of course, I could be just a little pessimistic.
Care to help a new audience of BI users and implementors get acquainted with Monarch, MDP, and the other products that are based on Monarch technology?
Here's your chance to explain why you use this software and what it does for you to those who need to hear it. Post a comment on the topic of "[URL="http://www.it-director.com/business/content.php?cid=12357"]Is the traditional BI market in decline?[/URL]" to share your thoughts, or reiterate what's already been posted here.
While the site is IT-Director.com, I wouldn't assume that the readership is exclusively IT staff/management.