#8 Defining user personas for your Atlan rollout!


A few weeks ago, I had promised you a 4 part series to decode what goes into a successful use case roll-out. So far, we have talked about user surveys and user interviews — tools that help you research your end-users. You've asked me really good follow-up questions during our office hours (and I absolutely loved hearing your thoughts). One common theme in a lot of these discussions was "How can we analyze all this information we will be accumulating?" A fantastic solution is to summarize all these learnings through user personas, and today, in part 3, I wanted to share tips on exactly this!

What is a user persona? It's a data-driven representation of your current users. Typically this is a one-page document that depicts a realistic but fictional person who shares similar traits, attitudes, and behaviors with an entire group of users. Essentially, you are grouping users based on their problems rather than their "titles". Your segments are user personas, and problem-solution fit is the use case. When the time comes to pick a use case for roll-out, all you need to do is choose one use case per user persona. Keep it super simple.

Three are three broad steps in creating user personas.

1. Gather the right data

It is no surprise that the quality of your persona will depend on the quality of your data, so make sure that your foundation is strong. If you haven’t already, research your end-users. You can use tools like user surveys and user interviews to gather this data.

2. Analyze

After conducting user surveys and interviews, you will end up with a wealth of data, both qualitative (e.g. answers to open-ended questions) and quantitative (e.g. scores on survey questions). Try to find common themes and patterns in this data. Some factors you can consider are:

  • Type of consumption: Find a natural grouping based on the nature of data consumption. Are your end-users mostly data consumers — i.e. they work with processed data? Or are they data producers — i.e they write queries and perform ETLs to get data in a shape that others can use?
  • Type of roles: Think how similar kinds of roles can be grouped together. For example, can all the roles who do a lot of SQL querying represent one persona, and all the ones who are concerned with ETL represent another persona?
  • Type of tools: Try to understand if there are patterns in the type of tools that your end users use. For example, users who use Excel and Tableau (for reporting) might fall in one group, and users who use SQL and create dashboards in another.

3. Interpret

Once you’ve analyzed the data and you have a clear picture of who your users are, it’s time to create a one-pager for these personas. The main points you need to summarize in this document are:

  1. What are the broad categories of each persona?
  2. What are their main goals?
  3. What challenges do they face in achieving these goals?
  4. What are their current user flows?
  5. What is your desired user flow for this persona on Atlan?

Example user persona: a SQL expert in organization X

We have put together a user persona template guide where you can read more examples and also find a template to help you start defining user personas in your organization. 🚀

A detailed article is also up on the community: link

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, shoot me an email. I'd be happy to brainstorm over an office hours session!

Speak soon,


P.S. The purpose of these emails is to share learnings and best practices to empower our community of DataOps Leaders. All the previous editions of these weekly digests can be found on our community website. Though we have put a lot of thought into curating the most relevant content, if you do not wish to have access to this, you can choose to opt-out by emailing me here: opt-out 🙂