For context, I’m a data team of one supporting about 30 users. Roughly 25 of those users are active at least on a weekly basis. We’ve been using Looker for almost 1 year. YMMV for some of these suggestions depending on the scale of your team and company.
We’re a small company, so I can actually afford to train every new Looker user in group sessions. I hold beginner (monthly) and advanced training sessions (less frequently) to make sure each person with a license really knows how to use the tool, including Browse and Explore. I believe it’s really important that you teach people to use Looker within their first week or so at the company so they will incorporate it into their habitual workflows from day one.
Focus on Explores
We are an Explore-first company, and we encourage our users to self-serve their own requests. My goal is that 80% of all data or analytics requests can be self-serviced by each user in Looker. This helps with adoption because people become active users of Looker, not passive users, and spend a LOT more time in Looker when they feel empowered to answer their own questions.
Update emails and Slack
I add each new user to a contacts group that I frequently email with release notes: new explores, dashboards/looks, examples of cool things other Looker users are doing, etc. I probably send these emails monthly. These are all updates I should document anyway, so why not email them out as an extra touch point for people who have forgotten about or lost interest in Looker? Maybe the new explore I rolled out suddenly makes Looker relevant to one of my colleague’s jobs, when previously it was not.
Weekly KPI report
Our weekly KPI report goes out to most people in the corporate office every Monday. This helps reinforce Looker as the source of truth for performance metrics and is a natural point for people to do their own analyses in Looker when they have questions about the weekly report.
Automated feedback collection
I wrote about an Airflow job I set up that uses i__looker and the Looker API to email inactive and active users different email templates asking for feedback on their experience. This is a good opportunity to catch “sticking points” or frustrations that otherwise would cause a user to become inactive.
Weekly data exploration sessions
I make sure I spend some time in Looker browsing Explores and answering my own questions. Sometimes, this helps me find bugs before my users do! Other times, I find interesting insights that I can pass on to my stakeholders on various teams. These are insights they a) may not have known how to pull or b) may not have thought to investigate.
Each team has 1-2 people who have organically developed into Looker power users. These people are becoming ambassadors for Looker across the company and the word-of-mouth credibility they provide is powerful. I make sure to support these people really well, meeting with them quarterly to gather feature requests.
With any product, you want to:
- Remind people it exists and actively demonstrate to them how it makes their lives easier
- Understand frustrations of active and inactive users and fix them
- Create a community of users who can help and support each other
I believe the same goes for driving adoption of Looker at your company. A little empathy goes a long way!