Got an awesome data science or analytics team, but customers don't understand your solutions?

Does your data product power by analytics or data science make users or stakeholders go like this when they see it?


Do you wish people had reactions to your model, application, or data insights that looked a lot more like this?


Are you a leader in product management, data science, or analytics facing challenges with your enterprise data product, AI/ML service, or decision support application such as:

  • Low engagement: despite providing an analytics solution, end users still make decisions from their gut instincts
  • Your new ML/AI model is proven, but you're concerned it may not get adopted
  • A stakeholder, boss, or board is mandating you start using AI and machine learning, but no clear business problem or strategy has been established?
  • You've made significant investments in engineering, analytics, or data science, but your service's value still isn't emerging or obvious to users and stakeholders?
  • Your product doesn't sell itself, requires significant explanation, and doesn't look very attractive or easy to use?
  • You're concerned you may not be innovating with data at the pace of your competitors?

If these feel like familiar challenges, and they are for 80% of these kinds of projects, I can help you make your data products and services indispensable. 

Analytics, AI, ML, cloud, IOT, data lakes–the buzz words are endless.

Users don't care about your tech.

Design determines whether your technology is valuable enough to:

Entice customers.

Increase revenue.

Shorten sales cycles.

Transform the biz.

Designing good decision support software requires more than data viz & dashboards.

$0 to $70k MRR in 120 days

An Analytics Case Study for Apptopia

My name is Brian O'Neill, and I am on a mission to help enterprise companies turn data into indispensable information products and services. While analytics and data technology evolves rapidly—yesterday it was "big data," and now it's machine learning, neural nets, and AI—poor design and user experience makes this technology useless, lowering user engagement, hindering sales, and impeding digital transformation. Good design can address problems across the "entire stack:" customers, users, employees, and the business itself.

I've helped tons of companies design useful, usable, beautiful software including:

TripadvisorDell EMCAccenture
Token ReportMeYouHealthElysium DigitalFuture of Music CoalitionkPoint

Welcome to the Slack group!

The following suggestions and guidelines are intended to make this group easier and more enjoyable to use.


  1. Set up your profile in the Slack Directory. Upload a photo and create a short bio.
  2. Introduce yourself and tell the room a little about what you do.
  3. This is a single-channel Slack team. All of the convo happens in the assigned channel.
  4. We expect that we’ll treat others with respect. We encourage debate; we ask for patience, and we remind you that you’re here to learn and that means being open a diverse set of ideas. See the Code of Conduct below.
  5. Please resist the temptation to get into lengthy discussions about non-business topics.
  6. Nobody in the room is an attorney. Please be extremely cautious about giving or receiving anything resembling legal advice.


  • No one has signed an NDA to participate in this Slack, and you should not presume anything you say here will remain private, so act accordingly. Protect IP and legally-protected information.
  • If you want to publicly disclose anything discussed here, use Chatham House Rule as the guideline (“participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed”).
  • Membership in this Slack Team is subject to  the Code of Conduct below.


The Short Version

Be respectful of other people, respectfully ask people to stop if you are bothered, and if you can’t resolve an issue, contact me. If you’re being a problem, you can be kicked out of the room (no refunds).

The Long Version


My Slack groups are an inclusive environment, based on treating all individuals respectfully, regardless of gender or gender identity (including transgender status), sexual orientation, age, disability, nationality, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or career path.

We value respectful behavior above individual opinions.

Respectful behavior includes:

  • Be considerate, kind, constructive, and helpful.
  • Avoid demeaning, discriminatory, harassing, hateful, or physically threatening behavior, speech, and imagery.
  • Don’t be a bystander. Role model respectful behavior, but also help to address disrespect when you see it.


We believe peer to peer discussions, feedback, and corrections can help build a stronger, safer, and more welcoming community.

If you see someone behaving disrespectfully, we urge you to respectfully dissuade them from such behavior. Expect that others in the community wish to help keep the community respectful, and welcome your input in doing so.

If you experience disrespectful behavior toward yourself or anyone else and feel in any way unable or unwilling to respond or resolve it respectfully (for any reason), please immediately bring it to my attention. I want to hear from you about anything that you feel is disrespectful, threatening, or just something that could make someone feel distressed in any way.

I will listen and work to resolve the matter.


Should you catch yourself behaving disrespectfully, or be confronted as such, listen intently, own up to your words and actions, and apologize accordingly.

No one is perfect, and even well-intentioned people make mistakes. What matters is how you handle them and that you avoid repeating them in the future.


If I determine that someone is behaving disrespectfully, I may take any action they deem appropriate within this Slack team, up to and including expulsion and exclusion from the room.

I will seek to resolve conflicts peacefully and in a manner that is positive for the community. We can’t foresee every situation, and thus if in my judgment the best thing to do is to ask a disrespectful individual to leave, we will do so.


Many thanks to Michael Lopp, Chris Ferdinandi, Jonathan Stark,and Kai Davis for influencing these guidelines.

I can’t recommend Brian enough…

When Brian came on board, he helped us significantly accelerate our design efforts and meet our major enterprise clients’ expectations and deadlines. We have gotten a lot of mileage out of his work, and we've received good responses from our customers. I can’t recommend him enough.

Alex BeletskyAlex Beletsky
COO and Co-Founder

We needed Brian's approach…

I wondered at first whether Brian’s relative lack of experience in the patent/IP space would work with our team in the creation of a product like Legion, especially given the conservative, security-oriented corporate culture of Elysium. By the end, I realized just how much we needed Brian's approach, influence, and outside presence/energy to design a successful patent analysis tool. Brian made us think through the entire Legion product experience, and through this process, we learned to improve our own design skills. Today, our litigation consultants continue to use Legion regularly with clients. It has probably reduced collaboration overhead by 50% (which our clients love!) and allows consultants and clients to come together, using Legion’s data and analytics, to build shared understandings of patented inventions quickly.

Paul MattalPaul Mattal
Managing Director
Elysium Digital

So much higher than what most designers can provide…

When you’re bringing on a consultant, there is always a level of uncertainty about results, and there’s nothing worse than ending up with solutions that aren’t feasible, workable, or usable at the end of the process. While Brian’s processes differed from what I was used to, and I didn’t always want to get into the level of requirements detail that he felt was necessary, the bottom line is that Brian brings a very high floor in terms of end results. Given how many different responsibilities I am juggling at any given time, it was extremely comforting to know that my goals for the [new Apptopia analytics] product would always be met, and that my bottom line was so high. I’ve recommended Brian to my peers because the worst possible end result they will get from him is so much higher than what most designers can provide at their best.

Jonathan KayJonathan Kay
COO, Apptopia

Brian’s discovery and planning absolutely needed to happen…

Until Brian came in to help us, nobody could see a strategic direction, or if they did they lacked the ability to articulate it in an actionable way. This discovery and planning absolutely needed to happen and it's been great. It's nice to have a plan we can get behind and finally feel like we're on the same train as the leadership team. Execution will be more satisfying because we're going to have a better sense of what stakeholders need to see and how that relates to what we get to work on.

Tara HalwesTara Halwes
Principal UX Designer

I wouldn’t hesitate to call Brian for design strategy…

Brian’s questioning of our business and user objectives for a new video analytics SAAS–prior to any discussion of design solutions–was a bit unusual for me. In fact, I’ve rarely met anyone with a process like his. That said, by the time we started negotiating with Brian, we had already decided to work with him. One of the key capabilities Brian brought to the table was the ability to help us distinguish between "vanity" analytics and "actionable” analytics, so that our service’s data was always presented in a way to help users actually make better business decisions. In the end, the prospects to whom we showed Brian’s designs were wowed by the extremely clean and elegant presentation of our video analytics, and we got excellent feedback that this design was much better than the existing, highly established players in this space. At that point, we knew our main business challenge would be sales access, and not product quality. If I needed to develop a design strategy for another analytics product or service in the future, I wouldn’t hesitate to call Brian first.

Rohit SharmaRohit Sharma
Managing Director, North America
kPoint Technologies

I recommend his design services without reservation…

Initially, the FMC had no prior exposure to Brian’s design work, but in the end, the design strategy that he formulated with us enabled us to design a stunning data portal that exceeded our expectations. Timely delivery and transparent communication also helped us to manage expectations and plan well. Brian really felt like a thought partner for what we were trying to do, and I recommend his design services without reservation.

Jean Cook, Future of Music CoalitionJean Cook
Board Member, Future of Music Coalition
Project Director, Artist Revenue Streams

Recent Speaking

Boston College
You Built It, But They Didn't Come: How Human-Centered Design Increases the Value of Decision Support Tools

Jan 23, 2020 - 5pm
Boston College / Woods College of Advancing Studies
Back-to-School Keynote for Students and Faculty in the M.S. in Applied Economics Program
Boston, MA