Cost Savings and Competitive Advantage with a New Analytics Platform

The story of how I designed a new analytics reporting platform for digital magazine publishers.

I designed and led the implementation of an analytics reporting platform for digital magazine publishers.

As a digital publishing company, we differentiate ourselves by providing our customers with valuable analytics data about how their visitors are accessing their content.  When I first became involved in analytics years ago, it was because our product management team had identified a problem. Customers were frustrated with analytics data that was difficult to understand and use.  They had to spend a lot of time accessing different reporting platforms to get a full picture of visitor data for ad sales and decision making. I was tasked with defining what the future of analytics reporting would be for our customers.

It was an enormous challenge and I was lucky to be working with a fantastic team.  I started by gathering as much information as possible from our support staff and the reports that had been developed with the existing analytics platform. I collaborated with support staff and engineers to design new and updated reports, and learn about customer issues. We realized we needed to build something new that could bring together data from browser usage as well as app usage.

I worked with our VP of Product to schedule interviews with 8 users with different types of customers to understand their analytics reporting needs. We developed open-ended questions that helped us understand the underlying questions they were attempting to answer with analytics data. I captured detailed notes from the interviews and documented insights that I shared with the cross-functional team.

wireframe of the overview tab of a new analytics dashboard

I sketched ideas for an improved analytics reporting system and wireframed ideas. I iterated based on feedback from the team.

We scheduled follow-up calls with users to get feedback on wireframes. I brainstormed with the engineers and we explored options. I selected Mixpanel as our analytics tracking partner because it would give our team the flexibility to develop the reports I had designed and allow us to continue to iterate. We experimented and developed prototypes of reports. I led the effort to implement the entire tracking and reporting project across both app and web platforms, serving as UX designer, product owner, and data analyst. Customers were thrilled with the results. It became a very important competitive advantage during sales calls. Plus we saved money with reduced support costs and reduced analytics vendor costs.

Mixpanel wrote a nice case study about our integration.