Designing Analytics from the Ground Up

Janis Yee  

How a new analytics platform helped to streamline a week-long process into a matter of minutes.

How a new analytics platform helped to streamline a week-long process into a matter of minutes.

Computer with raw data
computer with raw data is a premiere coupon site owned and operated by Metroland. As their Senior Designer, I was tasked with creating an analytics suite for Marketers.

Challenge and Context

Marketers need timely feedback on their campaign performance to respond quickly with campaign updates.

“As a marketer, I need to see a status report for my campaign so I can update as I go. Why does it take a week to get this?” Client

Defining Users: Who needs analytics?

At, both Internal Users and External Users need Reports for determining the performance of campaigns. Each group of users has a unique use case.

The Problem Defined: Barriers to Access

Each use case often requires a custom report which means the turnaround time can be as long as 7 days. The data procurement process is manual and involves reliance on internal staff to both pull the data and compile it into a chart.

Start with Knowledge Gathering

To gain some context to understand the problem:

  • Spoke to stakeholders to understand needs
  • Reviewed existing custom reports
  • Sketched existing user flows to identify areas of improvement
  • Understood the existing site and CMS platform
  • Identified user personas and their needs
  • Researched other analytics software

Key Learnings and Challenges

  • All user groups have unique reporting needs.
  • Taxonomy is dispersed. All groups use a different vocabulary for each metric.
  • Levels of understanding for digital metrics differ greatly.
  • Extreme reliance on the Admin team to produce manual reports. These often require a full week from request inhibiting users from acting on this information quickly.
  • Most analytics software suffer from a high learning curve.
  • Required metrics unique to are not available by any other service.

Ideation of Concept

  • Ideating solutions to key findings and various potential features
  • Numerous thumbnail and wireframe sketches

Identifying Possible Solutions

As part of the brainstorming process, I was able to identify possible solutions to some of the key challenges. This is a sampling of some of the solutions which were reflected in the project.

Diverse NeedsPersonalized Dashboards
Multitiered Access
Dispersed TaxonomyUnified Taxonomy
Many marketers are uneducated on metricsSimple Help System
Reliance on internal systems for manual data gatheringLive metrics

Conceptual Development

  • Sketching ideal user flows
  • Interaction design and Paper Prototypes
  • Rendering wireframes in Balsamiq
  • Iterating as necessary based on feedback from:
    • Developers for feasibility
    • Stakeholders to ensure it meets their needs
    • Hallway testing to ensure usability

User Interface Design

  • High fidelity screens to portray style guide
  • Collaborating with a front-end developer to ensure the vision is appropriately actualized
  • Wireframes were developed and iterated upon using Balsamiq

Post Development Agile Improvements

  • Continuous iteration to improve the tool based on user feedback
  • Conceptualizing new features as needed


Externally, instant access to easy to understand reports means Marketers can respond quickly and maintain momentum in their campaigns. Internally, it relieves the stress of manual reporting from Developers and Admin staff who can then focus on more important tasks.

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