Gamify your contributors' involvement

As you roll out a third-generation data catalog in your organization, you'll want to get your initial documentation champions onboarded and engaged. After all, your end users are only going to get value from the data catalog once you move all the "tribal knowledge" from people's heads into a single repository.

In this phase, it is crucial to get teams rallied around the success metrics you want to hit as well as make the work engaging and fun for your documentation champions.

To solve this challenge, some amazing DataOps champions started experimenting with gamification drives to drive up the number of "verified data assets" in their teams.

Gamification 101

Gamification is a strategy of motivating teams to complete tasks by turning them into a game. The objective is to reward every small success and incentivize the team to accomplish their goals.

In order to reap the maximum rewards of gamification, you need to ask yourself what goals you want to achieve with this competition. To make sure your goals are clear and reachable, we recommend using the SMART framework. SMART goals are...

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
  • Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, timely, time-sensitive)

For example, a SMART goal could be: Reach 100 verified glossary terms in 10 weeks by starting a competition between all key Data Rockstars.

Best practices

The team at Monster created a gamification drive for their data champions to add data definitions and context to their glossary. We think they did a fab job, so instead of writing our typical TL;DR format, we're going to share their example as an ideal process for getting your gamification drive off the ground!

Start with a clear objective

  • Quantify your goal. Decide early what success looks like, and quantify it. For example, DataOps Champions at Monster decided that their goal was to increase the number of verified terms. They set a target of "verifying" 100 terms in 10 weeks.
  • Always lead with action. At Monster, the DataOps Champions started with adding the first few verified terms themselves to get the ball rolling. Let's say, if you want to encourage documentation in your organization, provide the team with a template and populate it for a few tables.

Agree on the scoring criteria

Design a methodology for the gamification. How will contestants be scored? What behaviors do you want to incentivize?

πŸ’‘ Top tip Keep it simple! The goal with your scoring criteria isn't to incentivize every behavior. You want to make it very clear to your champions what behaviors get them points, and keep it simple so there's no room for confusion.
Component Name Rule Notes
Number of verified terms
Every verified term - 100 points
These terms have already been assigned
Number of WIP terms
Added a short description - 10 points
These terms have already been assigned
Number of new terms
Created a new term or assigned an existing term to themselves - 10 points
Data Stewards create these terms themselves
Number of WIP terms
Added a short description - 10 points
These terms have already been assigned
Added a README - 10 points
Assigned a category - 10 points
Assigned experts - 10 points
Linked to data assets - 10 points
Verified terms - 50 points

Announce the competition and prizes

How you launch the competition will set the tone for how the entire gamification drive will perform. Make the gamification competition come alive by launching it on appropriate channels and with the blast of energy that it deserves! πŸ’₯

For example, the team at Monster leveraged the company-wide Data Governance Update to launch the competition. They did an outstanding job of not only getting all the leadership to put their weight behind it but also bringing together their Data Rockstars (i.e. Stewards) across different time zones!

Keep the communication going

  • Send regular leaderboard scores to the team to keep them motivated. For instance, Monster sent a weekly leaderboard update to all the participants to help them track their ranks and performance. They also added a shout-out at team level by recognizing the "Best Data Squads". 🌟
  • Create a channel or space for the teams to share their learnings and exchange tips or hacks. The DataOps Champions at Monster created a Slack channel with all the participants and their Atlan crew where everyone could discuss, share, and learn.


Assign a champion or champions

The champions will be responsible for leading the gamification and encouraging the team. For example, the team at Monster appointed a Data Governance Champion who drove the gamification campaign internally. It really helps if this person is approachable and engaging, which helps bring an environment of trust to the team. πŸ’™

Create buzz around the competition

  • 🎁 Announce cool prizes that are up for grabs.
  • ✨ Host raffles in community events.
  • πŸ“£ Give shout-outs and recognition on wider channels to encourage the team.
  • πŸ† Announce all the goodies and recognition that are tied to the competition. You can get as creative as you want with the gifts. For example, the team at Monster incentivized the teams with AirPods, team lunches and more!
πŸ€“ Do you want to create a gamification drive on Atlan? Reach out to your Data Success Manager to learn about how you can use Atlan APIs to set one up!

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