Putting your Data to Work – an interview with Amelia Myers, Data Enablement Specialist

Data is such a hot topic today. Whether it’s around access to data, types of data, data visualization, or data to drive decision making, it seems like everyone wants data, and more importantly, wants to know how to use data. Effective digital tools provide access to data, inform decisions and help you reach pre-defined goals. At LumApps, we work with Internal Comms and HR teams to define analytics strategies and set communication goals for their content and information.

Source: “Gallagher: State of the Sector 2022”

 

I had the opportunity to sit down with Amelia Myers, Data Enablement Specialist at LumApps, to get a better understanding of how our customers can put their data to work and help drive informed decisions using LumApps, and other digital employee experience tools.

MK: Amelia, thanks so much for doing this! I’d love to start out by getting to know your background a little better and how you found yourself in your current role.

AM: Absolutely! I’ve worked in the digital field throughout my career on projects and implementations across many sectors, from financial institutions to technology companies. I have a Masters in Information, specializing in User Experience, and have always been fascinated by information design, analytics, and data visualization. Especially the intersection of data, analytics, and user experience. Together, these disciplines provide amazing insights that can help businesses create and evolve intuitive user and employee experiences. Prior to LumApps, I was working as a consultant with a LumApps customer. That’s where I got familiar with the product, and with some of the LumApps team members, and eventually made my way over to LumApps!

MK: That’s great! So you’ve always worked with data throughout your career?

AM: Yes, I’ve always been drawn to analytics, and working with data to help inform and drive business strategy, design and user research. For example, in a prior role working at a large financial institution, I had the opportunity to work on a project where we were looking to redesign an online application process. It started off as a long and very cumbersome online form, taking upwards of 45 minutes to complete. Using data, we were able to identify key drop off points in the application process. By investigating these pain points further through user interviews, we were able to identify the root problems, create a more intuitive design, and reduce that 45 minutes process down to 10 minutes.

When I was previously employed with a customer who uses LumApps, their HR team wanted to know how their LumApps site was performing, and the HR section in particular. Using a range of analytics tools, as well as custom dashboards and reports, we were able to analyze site usage to understand how employees were using the site, and where there were opportunities for improvement. The HR team used these insights to help drive strategic planning for the following year.

Currently, at LumApps, I typically work with analytics at different stages of our projects:

  • During the initial phase of a project, we can review site usage behavior on a customer’s current site (prior to rebuilding in LumApps). These insights help inform discussions during discovery sessions.
  • During the subsequent phases of projects, we work collaboratively with customers to develop a measurement strategy and plan. This includes identifying goals of the site, which key performance indicators (KPIs) will help them measure the success of those goals, which data sources can be used for each KPIs, and the configuration / setup requirements required to track these KPIs.
  • Post-launch, depending on the data sources available, we can help customers review their site’s overall performance & usage against their goals by looking at key adoption and engagement metrics, as well as overall user behavior (e.g. search and key user journeys).

At the end of the day, my main goal is to simplify complex information so that people can use data to tell stories, uncover insights about their users, and drive decision-making and actions.

“Use data to tell stories. Uncover insights about their users. And drive decision-making and actions.”

MK: That’s really fascinating, and I love to know more about your passion. So, I work on the Product Marketing team and one of the big projects I’ve been working on is our analytics roadmap, which includes opening up LumApps’ Data lake to our customers.

A Data lake is a repository where all actions are stored. In our case, the Data lake houses all of the actions taken inside LumApps. The Data lake puts customer’s data in their hands, and allows them to create their own customized dashboards. And throughout the year we will be releasing some enhanced in-platform dashboards.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the roadmap and what you think might be most impactful and interesting for our customers.

 

AM: We frequently hear 2 common questions from customers regarding data:

  1. Which data should we be monitoring to better understand how we’re performing and to derive insights?
  2. How can we get access to LumApps data so that we can build our own dashboards?

The LumApps roadmap will help address both of these questions, which is great. Having enhanced in-platform dashboards in the future will help Site Admins and Content Creators monitor employee engagement with the site overall and with specific content. Dashboards can also play a key role in helping customers understand what is important to measure (and why), which can help content creators shift to a more data-driven model when managing their content.

Our recent Data lake release is particularly exciting as it allows customers to connect their LumApps data to 3rd party tools (e.g. Tableau, Google Data Studio, Qlik, Power BI, etc.). This will not only give them the ability to build custom dashboards for their internal stakeholders, but also to aggregate LumApps’ data with other relevant data sources, which can provide a more holistic view of the digital employee experience at their company.

Data lake graphic

MK: I agree, I’m really excited for these improvements. Clearly you spend a lot of time with customers in your role, do you work with one department in particular during projects?

AM: At LumApps, I typically work most closely with Corporate Communications, IT, and other department stakeholders, like Human Resources. When available, we also work collaboratively with customer User Experience (UX) teams (for user research to augment analytics findings and to get feedback on new designs), as well as analytics teams (e.g. for Google Analytics account setup and management, dashboard creation, etc).

In general, Corporate Communications provides input regarding site goals and KPIs, with input from other departments and stakeholders. Teams tend to have a wide range of experience and knowledge regarding analytics (from novice to experienced), and all have unique requirements based on the particular goals of their site, and on the availability of internal resources to support their analytics requirements.

What I have noticed is that most customers are extremely interested in learning more about how to leverage analytics to gain insights and to communicate key stories to their internal stakeholders. They want to understand what the metrics mean, why they are important, and how to interpret them in context (e.g. is 5,000 pageviews good?). Many also ask about available benchmarks for comparisons with other organizations (e.g. by size or industry). Over time, a Data lake could provide the foundation to develop high-level benchmarks.

MK: That’s really interesting! It’s clear you work with a large group of stakeholders when rolling out analytics recommendations for digital tools. I wanted to end on some key takeaways. What three suggestions do you have for companies when it comes to their data strategy?

AM: First, we ask customers to identify their site goals, and how these align to strategic business objectives. For example, if a strategic objective is to improve employee productivity, then a site goal could be to guide employees to important support pages. Any KPIs selected should be traceable back to those goals, and to the business objectives overall.

So, in terms of suggestions, I would say:

  1. Spend time capturing the primary goals of your site, and how these align to your business objectives. Share these with your internal stakeholders to ensure that everyone is aligned and focused on the same purpose.
  2. Select KPIs to monitor the outcome of these goals, and ensure that the way that these KPIs are shared meets the needs of your stakeholders. For example, a content creator will want a dashboard that provides detailed metrics related to their pages, but an executive audience may prefer just the main story.
  3. Set up a framework to support data-driven decision making on your team. Everyone on the team should know your KPIs and why they’re important to the business. They should also be in the habit of reviewing the ones they are responsible for frequently, taking action when needed, and contributing collaboratively to the overall roadmap for your site.

Overall, diving into analytics can feel overwhelming given the sheer number of data sources and metrics available. I always encourage teams to plan big, but start small: focus on their critical metrics first (their true KPIs). These are the ones that should drive immediate action if they change drastically (e.g. total active users). And, if they have limited resources or expertise to build custom reports, they can leverage pre-built dashboards in LumApps analytics or Google Analytics so that the team can begin monitoring these KPIs with minimal dependencies or training. Customers can then continue to grow their data strategy over time to meet their unique needs.

MK: Thank you so much! It’s been such a pleasure speaking with you, learning more about you, and I really appreciate it!

Author

Mary Kaplan
Product Marketing Manager

Category

Employee Engagement Employee Experience Technology & Innovation

Published on

February 28, 2022