Tips to help focus your analytics design/engineering efforts on results

If you are starting out on a new feature design, or analytics effort, can you clearly state what the value will be in quantifiable terms at the end of the sprint?

Are you building an "exploratory" UI, or one that is supposed to drive home conclusions for the customer?

When clients come to me about product design engagements, I spend a lot of time trying to understand, at the end of the project, how success will be measured. Frequently, my clients haven't thought this out very much. I think that's natural; when you're close to your data, you can probably see a lot of ways it could be "visualized" or that value could be pulled out. But, when it's time to get specific, are you and your team able to clearly share a vision of what the desired end state is?

Here are some examples of goals and success criteria I've seen with my design clients. Having these types of success metrics makes it much easier for everyone involved on the project to know if they're on track to deliver value:

  • SAAS Example: Make it easier for the sales team to sell our product by surfacing interesting analytics that help customers see the value of the product. Ideally, a 30-day closing period for a sale drops to a 1-week closing period.
  • IT Software Example: Remove unnecessary troubleshooting time from the customer's plate by running analytics to either surface a problem, or eliminate what isn't the problem. This is a reduction in customer tool-time effort. If we can drop troubleshooting time by 50%, that is worth $X per incident (the business impact time + the manpower/labor time saved).
  • Generic example: Help the customer understand what interesting outliers are in the data so they can take action. There are opportunities to exploit if the outliers are interesting. Our analytics should help surface these outliers, and qualify them as well. If we can save 10hrs a week of "exploration" time the customer has to do by surfacing this data early in the UX, that is a substantial labor savings ox $x as well as overall product quality/delight since the users can now focus on what's really important in their job (not the "hunt").

This is the start of making any design engagement successful.

Got some of your own goals/metrics to share? Hit reply; I would love to hear them.  If you're embarking on a design project and need help getting these defined,  you can schedule a free micro-consult with me below.

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