How to get people excited

to level up their data skills

How to get people excited to level up their data skills

The behaviour

Data and analytics are changing a lot of industries – and pharmaceuticals is no exception.  

Data insights can help to personalise treatment like never before, creating the best outcomes for patients. But only if employees have the skills, terminology and confidence to put data to the best use… 

For that, they need training. 

The big question

How can you engage employees of all experience levels with effective data and analytics training – and make it compelling enough that they voluntarily complete it? 

A selection of highlights from the launch animation

What we did

We helped a global pharmaceutical company to do just that. 

They needed a way to provide all employees with an understanding of Data and analytics, using practical examples and key industry concepts to boost data confidence. 

We started by reviewing our client’s audience mapping research to come up with ideas about what type of content might engage people at different levels. We then ran focus groups and spoke to people across the business to find out more about their level of data experience, what motivated them to complete training, and what put them off.  

This gave us three main personas.  

Armed with that, we helped the client tap into one of the most powerful behaviour-change tools there is – gamification.

The DataUp Universe  

We combined the three persona tracks into a single bespoke e-learning course, making it look and feel more like a game than data and analytics training. 

The users start with a short (and pretty fun) pre-assessment quiz to check which group they belong to, so there’s no need to self select. 

Then they’re into the main game, guided by various characters who encourage and support them as they learn everything they need to know.

A selection of highlights from the courses we created

Why it worked


When something feels like a game, we’re compelled to complete it.  

A little reward – unlocking a badge, collecting more points, adding to a streak etc. – can make a huge difference. It keeps people engaged, and it keeps them coming back. 

That’s why people spend countless hours crushing candy, or wake up excited to guess a five-letter word each morning. 

“I really enjoyed the game and felt that this was an innovative approach to learning that should be adopted for other subjects. There is a good balance between learning and ‘playing’ and it was a fun way to interact with a complex subject and I learned more as a result.” 

– Learner feedback


We like to behave consistently.  

When we say we’ll do something, we like to follow through. If we don’t, it creates ‘cognitive dissonance’ in our minds that feels uncomfortable. 

That’s why we ask people to commit to ‘tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ before they give testimony in court, because lying after a declaration like that feels unthinkable to most people. 

By getting employees to commit to the training we can create a powerful motivation for them to complete it. 

“Excellent course folks, well done! Very innovative delivery style. It certainly kept me engaged.”

– Learner feedback 

Social facilitation

Humans are social creatures who want to feel part of a group. 

By creating a game where you’re allocated to a team, all earning points and badges, we’re tapping into that need to keep up with others, as well as not letting the side down.  

Get it right, and users might even do more than they need to.

“Enjoyable learning experience, great choice of use cases. Completed both as Consumer & User learning pathways.”

– Learner feedback 

The results

This is still live, so we’re waiting for the complete breakdown of the numbers, but the initial impact was undeniable.  

Over 1000 people accessed the pilot version in the first six weeks, with more than three quarters of those surveyed saying they felt more data literate as a result. 

Plus the engagement – hell, excitement – from users when they first used the system was obvious. 

“Excellent initiative and a really fun way to learn about something that often seems quite daunting and complex. I try to follow the mantra of “always follow facts and data” in my day-to-day work, but now feel even more empowered to enact D&A everyday.” – Learner feedback 

And it’s not often you hear data and analytics training described as ‘really fun’.

Need to get your people actively engaging with your training – be it data, security, compliance, HR or anything else? Get in touch to find out how behavioural psychology can give them the nudge they need.

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