Creating a User-Friendly Reporting Tool for Execs to Grow Their Business

projekt202 worked with a top brokerage and banking firm to design a set of mission-critical reports for the retail advisor business. Our team created a set of Tableau reports to drive daily business decision-making, while providing visibility into the big-picture strategy of growing the business.

Challenges

  • Design key reports to replace complex Excel report tables used to manage and grow their retail advisor business
  • Push the visual configuration capabilities of Tableau to its limits

The client’s internal team was charged with creating a system for consolidating Excel reports. Executives, managers and financial advisors use the reports to analyze numerous KPIs and incremental metrics to evaluate the health of the business. The more challenging analysis is using this information to predict customer behavior and market trends to develop a business growth strategy. Making the Excel reports and gleaning actionable information from them is a time- and labor-intensive activity.

After carefully selecting Tableau as their visualization tool, the company sought the help of projekt202 to create new report designs.

With more than $2 trillion in assets, the financial giant saw this project as a key business investment. Expectations were high for developing a system of reports that combined metrics into actionable KPIs. This would take the legwork out of the analysis process and reduce the amount of training for managers. Because this initiative would be a significant shift for many employees, the design also needed to be sensitive to the real needs of the reports’ most active users, not just what the executive leadership wanted them to use.

Recommendations

  • Design dashboards for each KPI that interpret data into actionable information
  • Establish a template that dynamically adjusts to the level of user authority viewing the report

With executive pressure on the client’s team to quickly make progress, the project began with several research activities compressed into a 3-4 week window. projekt202 conducted stakeholder interviews, reviewed existing reports, and interviewed several users at various levels of responsibility. Using this information, we created multiple dashboard concepts that were taken into a validation study with actual users. The study validated broader concepts and new approaches to presenting multiple KPIs to help users see a relationship between the data. While the validation study indicated that we were on the right path, the client wanted to push the data analysis capabilities of Tableau even further.

The projekt202 team conducted a two-day client workshop at our Austin offices. The workshop focused on moving through each KPI dashboard, rapidly sketching concepts and refining the details with SMEs in the room. This collaborative activity successfully provided our team with clear design tasks and a better understanding of the proprietary business mechanics that needed design solutions.

“Gathering insights from actual users in context, our team created multiple dashboard concepts that were taken into a validation study with actual users.”
- Michael Blakesley, VP of User Experience

Results

The resulting designs much more closely represented the business goals and innovative leap forward desired by the client. As we collaborated further with their Tableau partner, some design compromises were made to find the right balance between configuration and customization. It was the financial company’s desire to avoid significant customization of Tableau, which would be difficult to self-support and maintain over time.

The culmination of this phase internally was the revelation of a prototype of the new
report design to the client’s network of branch managers – their most critical audience. projekt202 produced a video to introduce the company’s team and to tell the story of the ways that user needs were carefully considered in designing the new reporting platform.