Presented By O’Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 11, 2018: Training & Tutorials
September 12–13, 2018: Keynotes & Sessions
New York, NY

UX Strategies for Underperforming Analytics Services and Data Products

Brian O'Neill (Designing for Analytics)
4:20pm–5:00pm Thursday, 09/13/2018
Visualization and user experience
Location: 1A 12/14 Level: Non-technical
Secondary topics:  Machine Learning in the enterprise

Who is this presentation for?

CDO, CAO, VP of Analytics, VP of Product, Product Owners, Product Managers, Engineering Leads, Data Scientists

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/big data project too. The team wrote a lot of code and deployed software using “Agile,” 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. Business leaders who learn to have an eye for design and UX–beyond just data visualization–can deliver better business outcomes and indispensable user experiences. Most of these principles apply equally to customer-facing SAAS-style information/data products as well as internal analytics/BI services that may be utilized by employees, contractors, etc.

As opposed to discussing the myriad of tools and engineering concerns that tend to be at the center of attention, in this session, we will talk about 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, users–first, so that technology is implemented in the service of human needs.
  • How does a design strategy fit in with a business strategy? How do you formulate a design strategy?
  • What are some immediate UX assessments that leaders can make to increase the usability, utility, and delight of services oriented around analytics and data?
  • Learning how data visualization is just part of the story: great design strategies look beyond screen presentation
  • 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 interactions formats
  • What engagement and UX techniques can internal BI/analytics stakeholders learn from SAAS data products in terms of driving engagement?
  • What are the common team/staff/employee pitfalls you can and should avoid to enable these outcomes?
  • Can “fun” play a practical role in delivering a great UX or business outcome? YES! Can it involve tambourine solos? YES!

A free self-assessment guide will also be provided to help give attendees some 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 a product designer and founder of the consulting firm, Designing for Analytics, which helps companies design indispensable data products and analytics solutions that customers love. His clients and past employers include DELL/EMC, NetApp, Tripadvisor, Fidelity, DataXu, Apptopia, Accenture, MITRE, Kyruus,, JP Morgan Chase, the Future of Music Coalition, and ETrade among others, and he has worked on award-winning IT/storage industry software for Akorri and Infinio. 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. Has has also authored 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 that is “anything but straightforward” (Washington Post) 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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