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Delivering additional value to your customers by providing data-driven insights is a sure-shot way to improve your competitive advantage and monetize your data. It’s not a question of if but when this functionality becomes basic table stakes.
Several steps are required to turn data into revenue and go even further — including creating the right data strategy and identifying data opportunities, building your profit and loss statement and use cases, getting buy-in, finding a partner, implementing and launching, and finally growing post-launch through an iterative innovation process.
Zooming in on design and implementation: Delivering value means combining the right features, KPIs that drive action, and visualizations that tell a compelling story.
In addition, there is an important but oft-overlooked aspect to successful data monetization: user interface (UI) design (or visual design). While UI design is a vast topic, a common challenge when delivering analytics to customers is to create a consistent and seamless experience, since you are embedding a third-party application in your product.
Simple UI is good UI
Consistent design is intuitive design. It should be immediately obvious to the user how to accomplish whatever they want to do. Expectations of users today are higher, so you also need a beautiful design that intuitively directs a user to take action.
From a branding standpoint, it should also always be clear to the user that the product is unified: Typography, logo, image styles, brand color schemes, etc., should be reflected across the application (in the core offering and the analytics), just like the rest of the brand’s properties.
When embedding analytics, you are bringing two different applications into one space, so it is critical that your end-user seamlessly experiences both the core product and analytics.
Let’s take a deeper look.
Tip 1: Maintain consistent branding elements
Your brand matters! Consistent visuals resonate more effectively with your audience.
This is no different when you are delivering analytics to your customer. Remove any trace of third-party applications by changing any external logo or text to align to your organization’s brand. Leveraging a drag-and-drop UI-based interface to change the settings makes this process faster and will allow you to get to market rapidly without worrying about custom development.
Tip 2: Consider visual hierarchy
Colors can convey powerful messages, so it’s crucial they be used mindfully and consistently. It can be unharmonious to have your brand colors be teal and black, for example, and part of your application or the analytics you deliver be yellow and white.
Leverage your corporate brand guidelines, if they exist, to customize the analytic application’s primary brand colors, primary and secondary text colors, etc.
If brand guidelines don’t exist, use easily available color palette selectors (there are tons of options to choose from) to select a color palette. Build your palette with a primary color in mind (usually your main brand color). Most products that are well designed use a visual hierarchy of fonts and color palettes to help ignite the experience.
In the palette, make sure to have a couple of options:
- Primary brand color
- Highlight or accent color for banners or toolbars
- At least two light and two dark colors for contrast between background and texts (dark background, light texts or vice versa)
Once you have the colors, you can add them to “favorites” and make it easier to pick and choose.
In addition to the application colors, also make sure to change the visualization color palette to match the application brand color palette. You can either use one of the several out-of-the-box color palette options or create a custom visualization palette. Again, you can customize your palette to match your brand colors.
Tip 3: Build branding with typography
Typography is a crucial element that uplifts a design and gives it a personality. Typography is also an important element that should be part of your brand. Typography conveys personality and grabs a user’s attention while establishing the tone of your brand. Certain fonts can also improve scannability, legibility, readability, and even navigation. It’s important that the font or fonts you use are consistent throughout your digital experiences.
Tip 4: Minimize the steps to insights
It’s a fundamental tenet of UI/UX design that the fewer clicks a given action takes, the better. When embedding analytics, be sure to keep actions like filtering, exporting, etc., in one place in the host application so users don’t have to repeat the actions twice.
Think like a user: Would you want to first filter on the host application and then repeat the action again in the embedded analytics? Of course not. A seamless user experience (UX) means that when you do something once, it affects the entire application without you having to repeat steps.
Explore how you can implement these experiences and get inspired in the Sisense Embedded Playground.
Tip 5: Focus on ease of implementation
While good UI design makes a difference, it’s also important to be mindful of the cost, effort, and complexities of implementing seamless and consistent experiences.
Customizations that require developer skills and coding take considerable effort and increase time to market. These are also difficult to maintain over time. For example, upgrades can become a hassle due to backward compatibility issues. Changes to underlying infrastructure can break the code, requiring complex updates.
To avoid such hassles, find an analytics solution that makes rebranding and customization quick and easy. Using a solution that allows you to implement your changes via drag-and-drop, out-of-the-box capabilities that are always up to date with newly released versions helps you avoid some of these larger issues down the line. It also allows you to focus your efforts on data insights and application functionality instead of worrying about code, maintenance, or changes that can break your code.
Delivering standalone analytics solutions
Whether you choose to deliver analytics as a standalone product or service, or you embed them into your application, your analytics product should be an extension of your brand and visual story, and all the tips above remain true.
By white-labeling and customizing the look and feel of your analytic application, you deliver a consistent and great user experience! Sisense is equipped to allow you to put analytics where you need them and make them look and work the way you want. Whether you are creating your own solution from scratch or using ours, keeping these design tenets in mind will help you build an awesome product.
Shruthi Panicker is a Sr. Technical Product Marketing Manager with Sisense. She focuses on how Sisense can be leveraged to build successful embedded analytics solutions covering Sisense’s embedding and customization capabilities, developer experience initiative and cloud-native architecture. She holds a BS in Computer Science as well as an MBA and has over a decade of experience in the technology world.