Presented By
O’Reilly + Cloudera
Make Data Work
29 April–2 May 2019
London, UK

UX Strategies for Underperforming Enterprise Data Products and Analytics Services

Brian O'Neill (Designing for Analytics)
16:3517:15 Wednesday, 1 May 2019
Strata Business Summit, Visualization and UX
Location: Capital Suite 10/11
Secondary topics:  Visualization, Design, and UX

Who is this presentation for?

Custom Enterprise Data Product/Application Owners, PMs, Analytics Leaders, Data Scientists, Executives, Engineering Leaders, Designers, anyone in charge of deriving value from data in a custom software application



Prerequisite knowledge


What you'll learn

Most of this is covered in the description in detail, but the short of it is this: Business and technology leaders can't ignore design, or expect off-the-shelf vendor solutions to deliver great user experiences around complex data and analytics services. Additionally, user engagement and business outcomes are not likely to be met if the strategy is limited to "source the data, store it, and display it in a GUI." Not every design problem is a UI design problem, nor a data-visualization problem, and fortunately, many design problems can begin to be addressed by "non-designers." By clearly understanding the less-technical reasons that for low adoption/engagement and missed business outcomes, business leaders can also learn how to begin integrating good design behaviors into their organizations, whether through staffing, expert outsourcing, training, or starting small with their own "hands-on" efforts.


Gartner says 85%+ of big data projects will fail. Your company probably spent millions on a recent analytics, IoT, or big data project too. The team wrote a lot of code and deployed software using Agile, the cloud, and the latest tech stack. Somehow though, your data product, analytics solutions, or digital transformation project isn’t really delivering the business value or user experience everyone hoped for.

Brian O’Neill explains why a “people first, technology second” mission—a design strategy, in other words—enables the best UX and business outcomes possible. Business leaders who learn to have an eye for design and UX, beyond just data visualization, can deliver indispensable user experiences. Most of these principles apply equally to customer-facing SaaS-style information and data products and internal analytics and BI services.

As opposed to discussing the myriad of tools and engineering concerns that tend to be at the center of attention, Brian details good design behaviors that organizations can adopt, including:

  • How to avoid building a solution in search of a problem
  • How to put people—customers, employees, and users—first so that technology is implemented in the service of human needs
  • How a design strategy fits in with a business strategy and how to formulate one
    Immediate UX assessments that leaders can make to increase the usability, utility, and delight of services oriented around analytics and data
  • Why data visualization is just part of the story; great design strategies look beyond screen presentation
  • The maturation of analytics from historical information display to prescriptive, low-friction, low-effort experiences
  • What it means to have a holistic vision for a service that could involve offline, mobile, desktop, and other interaction formats
  • Engagement and UX techniques that internal BI and analytics stakeholders can learn from SaaS data products, in terms of driving engagement
  • Common team, staff, and employee pitfalls to avoid
  • How “fun” plays a practical role in delivering a great UX or business outcome (It can even involve tambourine solos.)

Brian also shares a free UX self-assessment guide with actionable methods to evaluate and improve an existing or a new data-driven service or product.

Photo of Brian O'Neill

Brian O'Neill

Designing for Analytics

Brian O’Neill is the founder and consulting product designer at Designing for Analytics, where he focuses on helping companies design indispensable data products that customers love. Brian’s clients and past employers include Dell EMC, NetApp, TripAdvisor, Fidelity, DataXu, Apptopia, Accenture, MITRE, Kyruus,, JPMorgan Chase, the Future of Music Coalition, and E*TRADE, among others; over his career, he has worked on award-winning storage industry software for Akorri and Infinio. Brian has been designing useful, usable, and beautiful products for the web since 1996. Brian has also brought over 20 years of design experience to various podcasts, meetups, and conferences such as the O’Reilly Strata Conference in New York City and London, England. He is the author of the Designing for Analytics Self-Assessment Guide for Non-Designers as well numerous articles on design strategy, user experience, and business related to analytics. Brian is also an expert advisor on the topics of design and user experience for the International Institute for Analytics. When he is not manning his Big Green Egg at a BBQ or mixing a classic tiki cocktail, Brian can be found on stage performing as a professional percussionist and drummer. He leads the acclaimed dual-ensemble Mr. Ho’s Orchestrotica, which the Washington Post called “anything but straightforward,” and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. If you’re at a conference, just look for only guy with a stylish orange leather messenger bag.

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