BeavEx Chief Information Officer Eric Kierstead offered insights into what it takes to create an effective customer-facing analytics dashboard during his keynote presentation to Argyle’s CIO membership at the 2018 Leadership in Big Data & Analytics Forum in Atlanta on April 26. In his presentation, “Creating a Customer-Facing Analytics Dashboard for the Public Internet,” Kierstead discussed his company’s decision to offer a customer-facing analytics dashboard and how this dashboard has helped BeavEx differentiate itself from rivals in the logistics space.
Providing a user-friendly experience to customers in the logistics space often is difficult. In some instances, logistics companies focus solely on data and statistics and fail to allocate time and resources to provide user-centric dashboards.
At BeavEx, the company wanted to integrate a customer-facing analytics dashboard into its user portal to improve its client interactions. The dashboard also would help BeavEx bridge the gap with customers and allow the business to distinguish itself from the competition.
“Logistics is lagging when it comes to customer-facing technology. I really wanted to do something in customer-facing technology that would separate us from other key players [in logistics],” Kierstead noted.
BeavEx wanted to move quickly to develop and integrate a customer-facing analytics dashboard into its user portal. By doing so, the company could immediately provide customers with positive experiences, thereby enabling the business to foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
“We’re big enough to have an IT presence, but we’re not too big. So we were able to do things quickly,” Kierstead indicated.
In addition to providing a customer-facing analytics dashboard, BeavEx wanted to empower its finance department with meaningful data and insights. The dashboard provided BeavEx with the opportunity to do just that.
With the customer-facing analytics dashboard, BeavEx customers could seamlessly engage with the brand. At the same time, the dashboard enabled BeavEx’s finance department to collect and analyze valuable information that could lead to actionable business improvements.
“We wanted to build a customer-facing analytics dashboard … and we also wanted to arm our finance team with much better data than what they already had available,” Kierstead pointed out.
Building a customer-facing analytics dashboard from the ground-up required BeavEx to create a vision. BeavEx analyzed the customer experience, and as a result, developed a vision to ensure it could engage with its target audience and provide customers with outstanding experiences.
To create its customer-facing analytics dashboard, BeavEx prioritized the user experience (UX). The company developed a UX vision that it wanted to provide to its customers. Then, BeavEx determined the best ways to transform its UX vision into a reality.
“A user experience involves content, look and feel and performance,” Kierstead said. “After we had the user experience vision, we then selected the [business intelligence] platform.”
BeavEx wanted to provide its customers with the ability to manage data like never before. To accomplish its goal, the company took a “point-and-click” approach to data management. That way, customers could use the BeavEx customer-facing analytics dashboard to instantly review a wide assortment of data.
“We wanted to give customers a lot of different ways to slice and dice their data,” Kierstead stated. “We live in a point-and-click world … so that was really important.”
The BeavEx customer-facing analytics dashboard has helped the company build trust with its clientele. It enables customers to engage with BeavEx and retrieve and evaluate the data they need, exactly when they need it.
For businesses, it is important to take a UX-first approach to customer-facing dashboards. If companies understand the value of UX, they can discover innovative ways to provide customers with unforgettable experiences.
“Even if you’re working on an internal app and have a wide span of users … it is very important to create a user experience vision and stick to it,” Kierstead indicated. “If you come up with this vision and find out your tool does not [work properly], don’t give up.”
“Even if you’re working on an internal app and have a wide span of users … it is very important to create a user experience vision and stick to it.”
Furthermore, companies must constantly explore ways to provide positive online experiences.
Even a single positive online experience can make a world of difference for a business, regardless of its size or industry. If a company understands what it takes to provide customers with exceptional experiences, this business can build meaningful partnerships with customers. Perhaps best of all, this business can stand out from its rivals and accelerate its revenue growth.
“You can never underestimate the importance of a positive online experience,” Kierstead noted. “Whenever you’ve got a broad set of users, you should think about what you can do to make the online experience as inviting as possible so people come back and want to use your system.”
“You can never underestimate the importance of a positive online experience.”