Getting buy-in from senior management to data-driven design

MeasureCamp logo

MeasureCamp logo

For those who attended my session at MeasureCamp (even those who didn’t) below is some of the good and bad experiences on buy-in to data-driven design from those in attendance. As mentioned on Google+ I have written a post previously on building a culture for measurement which expands on some of these points.

Build your Advocates

Good: This was a common theme we kept coming back to; seeking out those with an interest in digital/ analytics, working closely with them, finding out what they are after, picking up the “language” they use etc. Next is to show them some of the insights you can uncover. Be visual and use real data.

Good: For some people they mentioned having a senior sponsor for a project. They then worked closely with this stakeholder doing the above which really helped.



Bad: Pretty obvious but analytics terminology is hard to understand for those not working with it directly. Any dashboard, report or conversation using these words pretty much was lost on Senior Management, especially the importance of it.

Good: Get them to make up there own terminology (not a metrics though) The example mentioned was creating terms for groups of users based on the number of visits. So things like “newbie”, “buyer”, “friend”… Having them is a: something they understand, b: something they created, thus they have an immediate interest with metrics and can actually talk about them with confidence. It also turns something numeric into something real.

Good: Other examples included having a glossary of terms.


Have a plan

Good: Lets face it buy-in isnt a quick win, but we can make it over the long term. First up was to keep it simple and start small. Pick one or two metrics that matter and go from there.

Good: Get a roadmap. Plan out where you want to be and set yourself targets along the way. This helps you focus for the challenge ahead.


Show and tell

Government Digital Service real-time

Government Digital Service real-time

Good: Real-time metrics on a big screen or as a web link if you have an api in place (see performance) Again make it “real” so rather than numbers use words, the example being what users are searching right now. GDS again have a good post on how to bring search queries into real-time dashboards as it isn’t a default dashboard.

Purestone top trump personas

Purestone top trump personas


Good: Persona Top trumps. This example, whilst on a related subject, proved a real hit. Again it was creating something on “real” users albeit a persona, but it wasn’t just numbers. Having it is physical format made it tangible and memorable. Purestone mention this in their blog “keep it real keep it relevant“. JoJo Sawyer has also tipped me off to Sport England segments as a great example.


Goal driven

Bad: A lot of people said senior management couldn’t articulate the overall goal (quite scary). Without us minions understanding the objectives and goals we will never produce meaningful and insightful metrics.

Good: To overcome this, senior management need to be the ones setting the objectives and goals (not the KPI or metric we will do that). If the own the goal they will again have an immediate interest in data you bring to the table.

Good: For those who really couldn’t articulate, simply ask them the question “what is success for you?”


Be neutral

Bad: People are scared of what you can do (i.e. say something good or bad). So straight away there is tension and then avoidance.

Good: Be a team player, sit with people and show them what you do. Show them that data might find bad points, but data will show the way to fix the bad points.

Good: Support colleagues, insightful analysis is their to help everyone so understand what people are after.


Tell a story

Good: A classic, but very successful tip especially when talking to senior management. Explain where you came from, what you did and where we go to next.


Below is the copy of the flip chart. For anyone in attendance feel free to get in touch in case I have misinterpreted/ missed off any best practice. ( or comment on this post.

MeasureCamp flipchart getting management buy-in

MeasureCamp flipchart getting management buy-in

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Posted in General Advice, Insights
4 comments on “Getting buy-in from senior management to data-driven design
  1. […] Getting buy-in from senior management & data-driven design, síntesis de la charla aquí […]

  2. […] Please note a new post from MeasureCamp 2015 which discussed Buy-in to a culture of data-driven design […]

  3. […] 4: Getting buy-in from senior management & data-driven design » Room: CallTracks By: Dominic Hurst Blog post here: […]

  4. […] can read Dominic’s blog post about the session here.After this, we headed back to the Decibel Insight room in eager anticipation of what we felt would […]

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