On a lot of analytics-driven projects, I am told by my clients that there are many possible use cases or user stories that the design needs to support. Why so many? I think it stems from the fact that products and companies are collecting more and more data, and so the logical assumption is that there … Read moreHow deriving use cases from your data/analytics may be costing your company $?
“That stuff probably belongs in the reporting section.” I’ve heard that one before. There’s probably a better approach. Remember: it’s not really about “analytics” — it’s about providing information to help your customers make better decisions. Shoveling your analytics into the “reporting section” can easily become a dumping ground for “stuff that might be useful” … Read moreBeware the dreaded “reporting section” in your analytics service
I’ve worked with a lot of talented engineers in my 20+ years of designing websites and software. One of the things about analytics that can trip up some engineers: imperfect data, conclusions, and evidence. Analytics tools rarely provide exact answers, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t value to your customers. If your data, analytics, or … Read moreWhat’s my #1 engineering bias to overcome when designing good analytics products?
Post-truth. The 2016 word of the year. Yikes for some of us. This got me thinking about UX around data, analytics, and information, and what it means when we present conclusions or advice based on quantitative data. Are those “facts”? If your product generates actionable information for customers, then during your design phase, your team … Read more“Post-truth,” data analytics, and omissions–are these design considerations?
I worked on a project with two sociologists from the Future of Music Coalition a couple years ago. They conducted the first large-scale formal survey on musicians’ revenue streams to help answer the question “how do working musicians make a living?” It was a really fantastic project funded in part by the Doris Duke Charitable … Read moreDoes your data answer real customer questions, or the ones your data model supports?
At some point, you probably visited designingforanalytics.com if you’re on my mailing list, and you might have read a cast study about one of my startup clients, Apptopia.com. Apptopia hired me to help them turn a suffering marketplace business into a thriving mobile app intelligence platform based on analytics. If you aren’t familiar with this company, Apptopia … Read moreHow can good design help you raise investment capital and increase monthly SAAS revenue?
Agile software development is everywhere. You’re probably using some form of it yourself. And, that’s probably good, assuming you’re actually delivering value with agility. These days, I constantly hear about how “shipping working code” sooner trumps everything else. When it comes to designing for analytics though, I don’t always agree. It’s hard to build and ship … Read moreWant a Silver-quality analytics product? Use Agile. Want Gold? Read on.
When it comes to analytics products that need to show data to customers, one of the biggest misconceptions I see with clients is the believe that their trove of data is actually information, by default. Your data is not informative until it has been presented–i.e. designed–in a way that customers can inform their future decisions or actions. … Read moreThe #1 problem I see with clients trying to design good analytics products
It’s homework time! Let’s talk about NEST (Thermostat) for a minute. In particular, their monthly report. I have a thermostat and hot water radiators in my house (no central air). Each month, the NEST device sends me a report of how I did in terms of energy use etc. How good is this report? Hmmm. … Read moreWhat’s wrong with the analytics in the NEST thermostat’s monthly report?
Ah, fluff. It’s a great word, and it was actually born in its marshmallow form just a mile away in Somerville, MA. There’s even a fluff festival. A few weeks ago, we talked about the various levels of maturity that an analytics-driven product can go through, with the Holy Grail being one that delivers actionable, useful … Read moreIs your product producing automated insights/recommendations based on…fluff?