by Richard Hamje, Senior Strategy Consultant
Back in the old days – 2019 – we collected data for business cases by doing interviews with people. Occasionally the interviews would be done over the phone or internet, but often it was a face-to-face, pen-and-paper affair.
Those days are gone. Perhaps forever.
When all the parties to your business are working from their homes, collecting data can be a real pain. Who has which numbers? As an outsider, you probably don’t know. The temptation might be to host a massive Zoom conference and collect data that way.
One thing we’ve learned from COVID times is that mass videoconferencing has its limitations. Data sharing is particularly tough as people try to snag control to put their piece on the screen. We can see 25 faces at once, but we cannot comprehend 25 desktops.
We’ve found that data collection is better done asynchronously. You request data from multiple people, and they get back to you when they’ve collected it. But this approach also has issues:
- You need to set up reminders.
- Your request email may need to be: (a) redirected to a different person, (b) split between several people, or (c) handled by the person you initially asked.
- You need to track the data you’ve received, who sent it to you, and when.
If you use email for this, it’s really easy for things to get confusing over time. It’s also hard to see what you don’t have, so you may decide to create a spreadsheet for tracking, which is more work for you.
The perfect solution would be a business case tool with embedded collaboration. It could assign data inputs to individuals and track when they’re fulfilled. It could produce a report showing outstanding requests. It could let one recipient re-assign or split requests with others. All the received data could be automatically loaded into the tool with proper formatting and input validation. And all the inputs could be tagged with who provided the data and when.
There’s one business case tool that can do all of this and more. Give us a Zoom, and we’ll show you how it works.
For more information about Mainstay’s business case and value selling tools, visit our site.
Richard Hamje is a consultant for Mainstay with more than 15 years developing sales enablement tools for clients in the high technology and other industries. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.