Dell’s SAS migration began shortly after we acquired the advanced analytics product Statistica. Within weeks, we had decided to move all of the company’s analytics users from SAS to Statistica. After assessing how the migration would affect employees, the next challenge was to get everyone on board.
Change can be daunting, especially when it involves embracing unfamiliar technology to accomplish daily tasks. Our main strategy for getting employees on board was to replace fear of an unknown product with curiosity about how best to accomplish analytical tasks with it.
Download the e-book, “Statistica: The Great Analytics Migration"
Understanding the Reactions
You don’t expect any sweeping change to be widely met with open arms and high-fives, so we were certainly prepared to address concerns from the Dell workforce. When the news was announced, most reactions fell into three buckets:
Most users had never heard of Statistica and many of them felt a deep-seated career-attachment to SAS. Once we realized that, we started working on ways to replace their fear of an unknown product with curiosity about Statistica.
Addressing the Concerns
It was our responsibility to arm employees with as much knowledge about Statistica as possible. We began by arranging communication between our employees and our migration leads from Statistica, to show them that their long years of work would not simply be discarded.
The leads examined the techniques and functions our users had worked with in SAS – K-means clustering, polynomial regression, GLM, ARIMA, neural networks, and more – and demonstrated how to replicate and enhance them in Statistica. Nearly all the techniques they had used in SAS were in Statistica, and were easier to implement. In short, they didn’t need to rewrite thousands of lines of code; they simply dragged and dropped icons on the Statistica workspace.
While the discussions eased their concerns somewhat, getting full-scale buy-in required more comprehensive onboarding. We’ll take a closer look at those strategies in an upcoming post.
Download the Dell-on-Dell case study, “Statistica: The Great Analytics Migration" to learn more about anticipating the reaction among your business users when you undertake an analytics migration.