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Data & Intelligence

Data as Experience: The Power User Role

Before launching into a discussion on Power Users, you can take a few moments to catch up on my previous posts’ The Series Kickoff and The Basic User Role.

The Power User

Of all the user types we’ll discuss, the power user is one of most understood and most targeted. When you hear requirements like the following, you hear requirements that hit the sweet spot for the power user.

  • Self-service analytics portal
  • download reports to Microsoft Excel
  • key requirements on ability to modify what fields are viewed in the out of the box reports
  • Ability to drill down  on report
  • etc.
Data Intelligence - The Future of Big Data
The Future of Big Data

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None of these are completely unique to a power user but they do help describe this type of person. This is the driven individual who wants to know no just what but why. When events surprise them or when they can’t understand why something happened then the basic reports don’t work. Many basic reports explain what’s happening or what’s happened. Think about DSO, inventory reports, revenue, bookings, etc. Those are basic but anomalies like changes in revenue per employee or other KPI’s can have a large impact. The power user will download these and get deeply into them. Many can become power users but some roles seem to be a better fit than others. Think about:

  1. Financial analysts
  2. Business analysts
  3. Mid-level managers

What do they really want

These types of users really want the ability to dive into the data and understand what happened and why. To that end, they want the traditional self-service capabilities that include a self-service portal and the ability to download reports. But if you truly understand their needs, then you will also provide predictive analytics capabilities to this person. Not that they will create their own regression analysis but they can ask questions that setup regression analysis. To that end, you should add artificial intelligence combined with predictive analytics to the more traditional needs of these users.

Bottom Line

Power users still have needs and while previous analytics efforts have focused on them, they still need attention for two reasons:

  1. Inspired users tend to provide more insight and productivity. Giving them tools should also provide more ROI for your company
  2. The continuing evolution of analytics and additional capabilities not previously thought to be part of analytics means you have to evolve the power users experience. Now we can hate AI for making more work while loving it for automating so much and providing insights when combined with data.

Up Next

Let’s take a look at data scientists. These are people who delve into the data but with different use cases than before. These drive different approaches to the user experience.

Thoughts on “Data as Experience: The Power User Role”

  1. Power users are truly driven by data because they are great at using this data to help them understand a situation from the inside out. Business intelligence software makers should keep in mind that these types of need a product that will help them go as in depth as they need.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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