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Business Lemur Doesn't Care if Your Data is Huge, Just Wants Slide Deck

Decisionmaker Animal 0.8 – Click to Add Your Own Captions

I just can’t get enough of this lemur.  After putting its picture in my NYC slide deck (without the captions), and then sharing that slide in Tuesday’s blog post, I realized I simply was not done with him yet.  The meme required further…  distillation.  So I was off to for some prototyping.

Then the Data Junkie Monkey told me he thinks the lemur’s expression is saying “hey, no worries, I got this” rather than “stay away from me with your complex data stuff.”

So at his prodding, I switched animals to:

Business Cat Doesn't Care if Your Data is Huge, Just Wants Slide Deck

Do You Like Business Cat Better than Business Lemur?

He says this is 700% better.  What do you think?  This is important, people – many presentations will feature this animal in the future! Smile

Not intended to be insulting!  Embrace the lack of engagement!

Excel Pros are often frustrated that the people who consume their spreadsheets aren’t more knowledgeable.  Or curious.  Or interested.  That’s a natural frustration of course.

But remember:  if they were more skilled/interested/enthusiastic about manipulating spreadsheets, they would be doing your job instead.    So I encourage you to embrace their lack of engagement with data rather than be frustrated by it, and change your behavior accordingly.  Give them simple.  Give them insights.  Give them small data.

It’s also worth noting that your consumers are sometimes Excel Pros in their own right.  I’ve attended meetings where the executive participants were all black belts in Excel, but demanded pre-built PDF reports to power each meeting just to keep things simple.  Your consumers are busy with their job of making decisions.  They don’t want to be burdened by the problems of your world any more than you want them dumping their problems on you.

“Slide Deck” – Hmmm…

I chose “slide deck” deliberately, because fundamentally I think that’s what most business decisionmakers (the consumers of our work) are most comfortable with.  It’s no accident that Amir Netz pressed so hard for Power View v1 to offer PowerPoint integration for instance.

But I must admit that I personally chafe at the idea of producing slide decks as the vehicle for insight.  Why do I resist?

  1. Partly it’s because I’m lazy – I produce XLSX files, and converting them to PPTX is an extra step.  Tedious busy work.
  2. Slide decks are almost always non-interactive.  Making them interactive ranges from very difficult to impossible.
  3. Frankly I just am not wise enough to take my own advice sometimes.  I probably would gain more traction at times with slide decks than I realize.  My insistence on interactivity for instance is sometimes misplaced.
  4. When it comes to simple and friendly, the web is just better than slide decks.  Period.  See these demos and tell me you’d rather open a PPTX.

Other Discarded Versions is fun.  Check out some of the prior versions I discarded – some were funnier than others, some sounded too insulting.  The whole process took ten minutes.

image image

Some Discarded Versions

Rob Collie

Rob Collie

One of the original engineering leaders behind Power BI and Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, Rob Collie founded a consulting company in 2013 that is 100% devoted to “the new way forward” made possible by Power BI and its related technologies. Since 2013, PowerPivotPro has rapidly grown to become the leading firm in the industry, pioneering an agile, results-first methodology never before seen in the Business Intelligence space. A sought-after public speaker and author of the #1-selling Power BI book, Rob and his team would like to help you revolutionize your business and your career.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Just wants slide deck to help articulate to the community at work just what can be done with PowerPivot.

    Why re-create when you can borrow? 🙂

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