Channel Management Insights: LogicBay Measures What Matters with Tailor-Made, Embedded Analytics

LogicBay delivers a highly configurable, multi-tenant channel-management solution with data-driven insights, enabling clients to track their entire indirect sales channel. Each view in the application is dynamically updated based on a hierarchical organization structure, allowing different users to gain the insights that matter most to them, based on their role and managerial oversight. The technology also collects data from multiple sources covering a breadth of use cases. Despite the complexities of the logic, security, data, deployment, and customization requirements, LogicBay seamlessly embeds analytics into their application helping clients drive performance and profitability through increased visibility into their data and metrics.

About LogicBay

LogicBay’s technology provides support for the entire sales channel life cycle. From recruiting and onboarding sales partners to managing a global network of partners, including monitoring and reporting vital metrics, their highly configurable technology platform, combined with a unique methodology, helps companies build, scale, and optimize their sales channels — driving overall customer success.

LogicBay’s technology and services deliver substantial and consistent value to many of the world’s leading companies such as Caterpillar, Daimler Trucks North America, and Hyster-Yale Group.

Through more than a decade of expertise, their technology has evolved to serve a global audience of over 225,000 users and 11,000 partners in more than 180 countries. As the global reach of their customers has grown, so has their offering — enabling LogicBay clients to expand their focus beyond dealers and distributors to include suppliers, trade schools, industry associations, and customers.

Business intelligence and analytics

A key challenge in overseeing an indirect sales ecosystem is supporting the sales partners and their performance at the organizational and individual contributor levels. More importantly, the challenge is providing a channel partner’s management team with the information and insights that allow them to maximize their performance and profitability as it pertains to selling and servicing their product.

See LogicBay’s Embedded Analytics in Action.

LogicBay’s technology is designed to put data at their customers’ fingertips. As a single, centralized repository for all information relating to an indirect sales ecosystem, LogicBay’s platform collects data from multiple data sources and packages that data in the form of dashboards designed for each member of the sales channel based on their role.

We continue to hear from our customers that having access to quality data in real-time is an essential requirement. Our ability to provide them with segmented information – by job role, geography, team, program type, etc. is critical to helping them measure performance throughout their sales channel. Having a partner in Sisense ensures we are meeting these needs and increases overall customer satisfaction.”

Dave Goulet, CTO, LogicBay

The audiences

Each analytics report is primarily focused on management, with a hierarchical structure. For example, each user will only get to see the information of the team that they oversee, including sales and other performance metrics that are individual or activity-based (logins, resource utilization, course completions).

For example, a channel manager at the vendor level has access to everything, including every organization in the channel, while the partner sales manager has access to the same reporting capabilities, albeit only with data that applies to their specific partner organization. A manager, even at the partner level, can instantly see how their team is performing across various metrics. LogicBay’s ability to permission reporting access to additional members of the ecosystem goes beyond vendor and sales partner to also include suppliers, customers, brands, and employees.

The analytics implementation requirements

Flexibility: LogicBay provides a highly configurable solution to their clients. This means that they needed a flexible analytics solution that would allow them to meet a diverse set of customer requirements.

Security: LogicBay wanted to develop a set of out-of-the-box, universal dashboards with the flexibility to customize for each client. In order to provide one core set of dashboards for all customers and to reduce any overhead, LogicBay had to ensure robust security that not only switched the data model based on the user logged in but also handled the hierarchical and nested security requirements.

Single-tenant data models from hybrid data source: LogicBay has data in both multi-tenant databases as well as single-tenant databases for specific clients. This meant that LogicBay needed the flexibility to work with both models.

The solution

Analytics access within the client-facing business app

Clients access analytics through a menu for dashboards that is configured for each client. The dropdown list of dashboards is fully permissioned, much like the rest of the widgets in the LogicBay App — each user sees a tailored view of LogicBay widgets and analytics dashboards based on what is important to their job role. These analytics are embedded into the LogicBay application via an iFrame.

Administrators can set up what users see and do through an administration console. This gives LogicBay tremendous flexibility in the offering they provide to customers

Analytics deployment model

Hosting on AWS

  • LogicBay hosts their entire technology stack on AWS — from their databases to the core technology to Sisense.
  • LogicBay chose to move to AWS a few years ago from self-managed servers in a data center due to the speed at which they could scale resources and deploy servers to meet demand, given the flexibility and cost savings that AWS provides.

Hybrid analytics deployment model — Single-Stack™ and hosted high-availability

  • Due to the hybrid data sources and unique client requirements, certainLogicBay clients have dedicated environments with a Single-Stack™ Sisense deployment, while others run in the main, multi-tenant instance.
  • The LogicBay hosted analytics services is configured as a Sisense high-availability setup with one build and two query servers.
  • LogicBay also uses the Sisense Orchestrator to run builds in order to better control the schedule and logging.

Database Type

  • LogicBay data is primarily stored in PostgreSQL databases running on AWS.

Analytics data model

LogicBay pulls in each instance’s data into approximately three Sisense ElastiCubes (data models).

Each data model encompasses multiple components of the datasets (i.e., it is not just one type of data like Certification Completion or Activity Progress or Deals — but all of them brought together). LogicBay uses a key table design approach for the main data models.

Security Provisioning

When a user accesses analytics, the vital first step is to check authentication and security. LogicBay uses SSO and Sisense REST APIs to authenticate the user, provide access to the system, and set security (both access and row-level security). The app checks if the user already exists in Sisense. If they don’t exist, then it creates the user, and based on the permission in their parent application, it places the user in the proper groups within Sisense.

The Sisense user groups determine the data models (typically three data models relevant to their organization) that each user has access to.

Hierarchical security permissioning

Once access is determined, the next step is to set up row-level security where each user can only see the slice of data that they are allowed to see.

The hierarchical organization structure is an important criterion for getting the security permissioning right. For example, if a user manages a top-level organization, then he/she may be allowed to inherit and manage everything below it.

LogicBay approached this requirement by building a user hierarchy within the Sisense data model that mapped each user down to the lowest level of the hierarchy that they have access to.

Using Sisense REST APIs, row-level security is placed on each logged-in user, which then trickles down the data model hierarchy to the fact tables, ensuring that each person only gets to see what he/she is allowed to see.

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Customizations

1. Context switching based on security—the data view switcher (MyTeam Plugin)

Due to the data model setup and security requirements, as a user logs in and accesses a dashboard, two steps need to happen:

  • First, the dashboard should point to the data models that the user has access to.
  • Secondly, based on their managerial oversight, the user should be able to switch between the data models they have access to.

LogicBay built the custom Data View Switcher (or MyTeam Plugin) on the Sisense JavaScript API and Plugin Framework to handle both these scenarios:

When a user requests a dashboard, the MyTeam Plugin dynamically switches the dashboard data model to point to the data model(s) that they have access to.

Then, based on the user logged in, the plugin also displays a toggle option at the top of the dashboard that enables the end user to switch between data models to get different views.

The MyTeam plugin also switches filters based on the data model that the dashboard is connected to.

2. Handling data complexities via FilterQueryChanger Plugin

LogicBay’s data meant that several dimensions had multiples in them based on two more parameters: ‘Locale’ and ‘Segment’. A unique key was identified by the dimension ID, the locale ID, and the segment. Based on the specific user, each dimension had to be filtered down to a specific locale and segment to get a unique and correct value.

The FilterQueryChanger custom plugin modifies the query at run time to add additional filtering based on the user’s locale and segment, effectively narrowing down the dimension to a unique value and ensuring correct results.

3. Customized Jump to Dashboard Plugin

LogicBay customized the Sisense Jump To Dashboard add-on in a couple of ways to meet their needs. The primary change was to make sure that the data sources being passed through the JumpToDash are the correct ones (the ones the user has access to). In addition, some cosmetic changes were added as well. For example, instead of JumpToDash, it says “View Details.” Also, an ‘x’ was added to the modal window to close it.

4. JumpToPage — integrated workflows

In order to tie analytics back to the operational app, LogicBay built a secondary customized JumpToDash called “JumpToPage”. When a user goes deep enough into the data to want to take some action, the JumpToPage enables the user to jump to the LogicBay application with the right context passed along.

5. Schedule Dashboard Reports Plugin

In order to enable a user to schedule reports for others on dashboards they don’t own, LogicBay built a plugin that takes a copy of the dashboard and allows the user to schedule reports for others. A high-level manager with the right role can click on the plugin which opens a modal window that has a link to the copy of the dashboard.

The modal window takes them to a landing page of scheduled dashboard tiles (much like the Pulse landing page). Only higher-level users who have the right roles can do this (managers).

6. Providing a consistent brand experience via custom UI colors

In order to provide a customized user experience for their client, LogicBay changes the colors of Sisense dashboards to their brand colors including colors of the filters, values, and chart colors.

7. Display Server Plugin for detailed context

To provide more context to the user, LogicBay built a plugin that, on hover, shows the server where the data is coming from and the build time.

Embedded Analytics Support Process

Delivering a successful data product goes beyond just building and launching the product. For a successful embedded analytics deployment, it is important to have the right support process in place as well to provide continued value and drive adoption with clients.

The internal LogicBay support team for the product handles first-tier questions or issues. They also handle the initial onboarding with clients. Deeper technical questions or issues work their way up to the development team. The support group also builds documentation and content, like videos (how to filter, export).

In addition to the out-of-the-box dashboards, if required, LogicBay will also build custom dashboards for a fee on a case-by-case basis.

The larger clients do their own training as well. LogicBay trains the trainer and their clients are responsible for training end-users within their organization, which is a powerful way to drive up adoption and success.

Summary

By building on the customization capabilities of Sisense through its flexible data modeling layer, REST APIs, and JavaScript APIs, LogicBay was able to meet their hierarchical data security requirements, customization needs, and deployment architecture needs.

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We use the API extensively. Actually, from my point of view, that definitely set Sisense apart from the other applications that we have used.

Andrew King, Sr. Software Engineer, Logicbay