Driving Faster Understanding Through Data Visualization

Empowering customers with better access to their data across 14+ apps with the Hub & Data Explorer

Strategy & Direction
UI/UX Design



Problems & Opportunities

Like any organization that grows rapidly through acquisition, the team at Ncontracts inherited a collection of legacy reporting platforms. We surfaced the largest themes to build our hypothesis from NPS feedback and prior customer interviews.

Siloed Data

With platforms siloed to their respective tech stacks, composing reports and doing analysis across functional areas of a financial institution was difficult and needed to be done outside our platform.

Single Platform

Customers often expressed the need to visualize smaller bits of data from across the different platforms. Pulling reports just to check a number resulted in frustration, and we identified an opportunity to centralize.

No Customization

Looking at the number of requests for custom reporting that funneled from support to our development team, it was clear that the default reports weren’t enough for their needs. On average, customers had 3 custom reports (some customers have 20+) and custom reports took 2 weeks from request to being available.

Self Service

Through interviews, we learned that customers most often exported reports to get data they needed for creating their own reports. Giving users direct access to the reporting datasets and empowering them to include just what they need would save time and frustration.

Discovery & Strategy

To ensure that our hypothesis was strong, we spent several weeks interviewing internal subject matter experts and several customers that had given feedback in the past on reporting and data visualization.

After analyzing this new data and user feedback, we discovered that the most important jobs are “What should I be aware of right now?” and “How can I quickly get the information I need so that I can use it outside of your platform for making decisions or informing our leadership team?”

With these guiding questions to solve, we developed the technical and experience strategies that we needed for success. On the technical side, this included a standard way of storing data (data warehousing), creating APIs for products that didn’t have one yet, and ensuring that data was as up-to-date as possible.

In terms of user experience, we planned for surfacing data that customers should be aware of / taking action on immediately in dashboards. Information that a customer wants to retrieve or dig into deeper was planned for a tool more suited to export.

Solution: The Hub

Dashboards are an ideal way to bring together data from different platforms in a standardized way. The Hub was designed to be the entrypoint to the Ncontracts platform, and let us simplify the login workflow that previously forced you into picking a product to enter.

The Hub is comprised of widgets that are powered by data from each individual app’s API. We defined several widget types for developers to be able to build from very quickly (see in Nstyle), in addition to purpose-designed widgets that leverage other design system components.

Customization is also an important part of user engagement, and we designed the 8-column grid framework to support drag and drop interactions as well as deleting or cloning directly from a 3-dot menu.

Widget Library
To continue the theme of easy customization, our widget library lets users add widgets to their dashboard through search or browsing categories.

Solution: Data Explorer

With the technical framework in place, the solution to “How can I quickly get the information I need for use outside of the product” is the ability to create Data Blocks that can be exported or combined in a collection for export and sharing.

Building a Data Block is as easy as selecting the data you want (ex: Complaint Data), selecting specific fields and filters (ex: Complaint Type, # of complaints, only from last 30 days), and the visualization type (ex: bar graph).

For speed to market, we leveraged a 3rd party library to handle rendering of the data and built the remainder of the platform around the constraints the library needed to work.

Hub Results

Leveraging Pendo.io’s suite of behavioral tracking, we found that within the first 90 days of releasing the data visualization, 81% of users had interacted with the widgets on their default dashboard (beating our initial target of 70%).

37% had customized their dashboard, which gives the team valuable data for understanding specific data that different roles prefer. The team plans to create role-based dashboards in the future based on both usage and customer interviews.

From a development and product placement perspective, squads were able to identify a widget need and ship one to production within a week. This beat the average feature development time of 2-3 weeks, leading to Hub widgets being seen by Product Management as an efficient way to connect customers with new value more quickly.

Data Explorer Results

On average in the first 90 days a user has access to Data Explorer, 72% of customers have visited the Data Explorer and used it to access their data. In the same period, 41% of customers have created or customized a Data Block for reuse.

Custom report requests were reduced by 80%, and with the Support team educating requestees about self-service options & helping build Data Blocks for customers, months have passed with no new custom reports needing to be made.