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Published: February 02, 2022 • 2383 Views • Subtitles: EN
When building analytics applications, most people forget the most important first step— brainstorming, so as to meaningfully tell the story behind the data. In this session from MicroStrategy World 2022, the product and UX teams showcased the art of data storytelling and how to design no-code analytics applications using DossiersTM.
Deliver a modern analytics experience for everyone. Transform your analysts into developers with the power of Dossiers.
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Hello, welcome back to the modern analytics track, where our experts discuss the latest exciting solutions to help drive actions with data. My name is uliano Rosetta, product marketing manager at microstrategy, and I have a pleasure to moderate our next session entitled data storytelling with tosya. In this session, we will learn how to make your data beautiful with modern, know both applications, experiences and drive data driven decisions. And with that, it's my pleasure to introduce the speakers for this session. So please welcome Amy. Amy is a product manager at MicroStrategy and focuses on a dossier authoring and visualization. And with us today we have Jeff castle. Jeff is vice president and UX designer. Next, we have canceled two principles you act designer and with us today we have Julia Chu, senior UX designer. So welcome everyone. And before we start, I would like to encourage you to continue. You stay so active and engaged via chat and the Questions tab. Once again, we set aside some time for Q&A discussion towards the end of this presentation. And with that, it's my pleasure to turn it over to Amy. Amy, over to you.
Thank you so much, Julie. All right. So for our agenda for today, so first, I'm going to cover why you use dossiers for your data story. Then Jeff will talk about how to approach designing a dossier, and then we'll talk about actually building that compelling and responsive design. So let's kick it off with a fun video. So I hope that will up a little bit if you've been in other sessions. If your coffee and you see it. Ready to go. OK, so why use a dossier for a data story telling? So for reasons why I love using dossiers to share data, so one, all your data is in one place, you can connect data from multiple sources and link it on common attributes. So in your day, you might be looking at Salesforce work day, your point of sales data. And instead of going to each of those places, you just get to go to one landing page one dossier to its dynamic data. You aren't looking at last month's static report. It updates as the cube refreshes and everyone is looking at the same data at the same time. Three you can actually interact with the data. You can use filters, you can use attribute metrics, selectors linking, and you can just really dive more into the data how you are interested in and for. You can discover patterns with visualizations. So with visualizations, you can uncover trends that sometimes are lost in just tabular or written form.
So we're going to kick it off with a poll question, so what is your number one challenge with moving your users towards modern analytics with dossier? So just take about 30 seconds to get your answers in. Thank you, Amy. So please navigate to live discussion box and you should see a poll in just a second. OK let's take a 30 seconds to answer. So for those who just joined us, please select your response and navigate a live discussion, click on a poll step and you should see a live poll. We select your response. OK, and we have responses coming in. OK, so. Great, all the responses are in, thank you again. So we have 36% on said lack of executive support, so it is and as a 36% and a lack of training 14 percent, no single version of truth data is silent and another 14% And as a type in the chat. I'll actually I see if we're still getting new responses, and so now in the lead, we have lack of training, so 40% That's good. That's actually a good lead in to one of my slides will seem a little bit. But yeah, it could also mean comfortability with older tools or maybe not knowing how to learn about those new tools. And yeah, I'll definitely take a look at what people have typed in the chat right after this, because I'm definitely curious to see what you all said. All right, so we want you to imagine more with dossier.
Here we have some beautiful dossiers built by our team. You can see most of these have built in navigation. Bar is simply built with images, text boxes and contextual linking. And they really feel like true applications and not the traditional like flat dashboard. So let's go through a quick highlight reel of some of these creative dossier examples before all handed over to Jeff to talk about how you should approach dossier design thinking before you even put pen to paper and start designing your dossier. So here that pop up navigation menu using an information window doesn't always have to be on the Canvas.
Here we have a vertical scrolling enabled dossier. It's a dark mode, very chic theme here with a light mode again, with those built in really intuitive button bars. Here we have this nice, clean corporate look. Vertical scrolling sanki new visualizations and an information window. Really dynamic pop up right from that map. And of course, it looks amazing on mobile, and all these are built to be responsive out of the box. But we'll talk about getting people actually talk about how to implement those strategies to make sure it looks exactly how you want it to look. And we have two more quick slides, so kind of back to that training question, actually. You want to see what is your preferred way to stay on top of the latest features or releases? So, you know, is it a newsletter email? Is it documentation taking education? What's new course or talking to your account team?
Thank you, Amy. So we just launched the second poll, and once again, I encourage everyone to participate. Please navigate to your live discussion box and on the pulse tab, you should see our poll live, so please select an answer. And we will give about 30 seconds. So thank you for staying so active in chat. Our experts would love to see all your comments and thoughts, so thank you again and please continue doing so. OK, so you have some boats kicking in. Oh, we probably will wait just another second or so just to make sure since I see a few of you still selecting answers. OK, so now it looks like result the final, and we have 12% CTO newsletter email, 18% documentation. 42% education what new courses? 27% get a demo from my account team.
So in the lead we have 42% education. What new courses? That's awesome. And in case any of you weren't familiar with those options, here's a quick summary. So we want you to stay in the know. The first option is the CTO newsletter, and if you don't get that with our releases, just reach out to your account team. They can help get you added to that list, but you can also scan a QR code, and we also post all those releases on our medium blog. We also have our read me documentation, which is kind of like a CliffsNotes version of what's new in every release. And then from there we link out the documentation pages so you can learn more about the future in detail. Education courses. That's really awesome that was a really popular choice.
So again, if you aren't familiar with that, go ahead. Scan that QR code. You can take a look after this at our education even does an amazing job with every release creating new content. And of course, this is not necessarily your account person. So don't go all spam him, but you can talk to your account team and ask to get a demo from them and ask hands on questions. And of course, you can ask to get product roadmaps as well. So with that, I will hand it over to Jeff. Thanks, Amy. So over the past couple of years, MicroStrategy has partnered directly with numerous customers and specifically not just our consulting and our professional services organizations, but also the technology to help them sort of envision and design these applications that they're going to be building with library and dossier. So members of my user experience and design organization, as well as product managers and engineers and architects from technology working hand in hand with customers to try to imagine and design these incredible solutions.
So you've got to keep in mind, we're not trying to design a dashboard, right? A dashboard is a very simplistic sort of monolithic vehicle that can be used to solve a problem for an individual analysts or maybe a handful of people on a team. But we're trying to design applications. Enterprises need applications, and that's what we're trying to design. So our approach that we use and the design methodology that we bring into engagements with customers, it's the same one we'd recommend that all customers use. And that's to approach designing your dossier as you would any piece of software, any app, right? So use design, thinking, use a design methodology and process. Don't just sort of dive in and start putting analytics and things on the screen and dragging data to it, like step back and start to think about what am I building? Who's going to use it? What are the jobs to be done that it needs to solve for them? Why would they use this and how is it going to be successful? Design it and test it, right?
So let's just talk a little bit about what that process looks like. So we start with defining jobs to be done right. So jobs to be done is a theory that really just creates a framework for defining, categorizing, capturing and organizing customer's needs, right? So, you know, you might be building something simple for your finance team and your finance team says they need to be able to see and analyze sales by product category over time. That's a requirement, but it's not a job to be done right. The job to be done is the answer to the question why do you need to analyze that data? What purpose is it going to solve? What problem is it solving for you and what are you going to do with the answer to that question? So when you're starting to think about how you're going to design these applications, it's really important to know your users, right? Who are they like? Map the personas, define them.
Who's going to be using it? What are they going to be using it for? What are the jobs to be done that it must solve in order for the application to be a successful solution, right? And then start to think about things like what form factors are they going to consume it on? Is this going to be used in mobile? Is this going to be used in web? Or like what types of laptops are they using versus they have giant screens? Is it all of the above, right? Then you really want to take the time to interview these users, right? So understand who they are. Use a technique we use called contextual inquiry, where you can actually sit and just watch them do their job function. It's incredible what you'll learn from watching people use existing systems or app or what they're using today to try to solve those job functions is not working for them. And it's also important to always know as well that human beings generally are very bad reporters of our own behavior, so you could ask someone what they need to do.
They can only really just tell you a what they're aware of and B to the limitations of their own imagination. So being able to sit with them and see how they work and what they're doing is really vital, right? And then finally, you know, if there's multiple personas, are there jobs to be done fundamentally different? These are the types of questions that will let you know whether one single dossier is going to be able to build the application that you need for all your personas. Or if you're going to want to be doing something, maybe where you have a couple of dossiers and you're using the same sort of look and feel and navigation between them using contextual linking so that they can move fluently between one dossier and another, and it just sort of gives that beautiful application experience. So once we have this research completed and we know the jobs to be done, we want to start moving into the design, right? So we want to be able to start with wireframes right again like we really recommend.
Don't just jump in and start throwing visualizations on the canvas like actually wireframe it. You could do this in pen and paper if you want to or use your favorite tools like Adobe XD or sketch or figma, but actually design it first, right? And as you're designing this, you can start to think about things as you're going through the design. So, for example, are you going to use the out of the box library navigation and features like collaboration? Or do you want to be able to customize that experience, right? Do all of your users have access to the same data to solve these jobs to be done? Or do they have different jobs to be done or different access to data raises important questions to keep in mind up front so they can really impact your design decisions? Is the application again form factors? How am I consuming this? Where am I consuming this? Are you going to use the out of the box library sort of experience giving the home page and the navigation and all the functionality? Or do you want to customize that?
Do you want to build like we saw earlier today, these new library applications, or maybe the solution for you is embedding inside of an existing application or an existing portal, and you want to do that instead. There's a lot of options, endless possibilities. So these are all really important things to take into consideration as you're beginning to design that, that dossier. So once you have some of your initial design done, the next thing you want to talk is how do we test it, right? So you're not going to want to deploy this? One of my favorite favorite sayings, right, is you're going to do usability testing one way or the other. You either do it up front or you do it when it goes live, right? It's better to do it up front because you have an idea of what's working and what's not working. So you can take your design before you've even designed it inside of dossier, or you can do it in dossier first. That's entirely up to you, but you want to test this on your users, right? So so a couple of things that you want to be able to do when you're testing, right? Test it where they live, right? So if on the devices they're going to use to consume it at the part of the day when they would be using that application, so you can see how it, how it actually is going to be effective, right? You want to measure and create tasks for them that will put them in a situation where they're trying to do those jobs to be done. So you can actually watch them trying to do exactly why you design this dossier. And there's metrics you can measure against us when you're doing that testing time to task completion. Very important. A number of clicks, like how many times do they have to switch context right? Or how many times did they have to navigate to complete that job, to be done?
And there's something we really like to test for. We call data center data set is basically the idea that if the user is about to click on something or they're about to interact with something before they see the result, ask them what they think is going to happen. And you can measure really based on your design, how close is their expectation to your reality? And if a lot of people are expecting when I do something, it's going to do something else, that's a good sign that maybe you need to adapt your design to do that. And then the last is just discoverability. How easy is it for them to find the data they need to find the filters that they want to use to navigate to understand that some things you have in there, like you might be using panel stacks or info windows, can they find that functionality themselves or you have to point it out to them, right? And then we really recommend as much as possible to record these sessions so that you can use that information in the future and then iteratively test, right?
So as you fix things, test again, test again, it's really important to do that. Don't just design this solution and throw it out into the wild. So then when it actually comes time to build your dossier, it's really about leveraging the right design with the right features and pieces of functionality provided inside of dossier to sort of create that ultimate application experience. So a couple of our favorite things that we use in a lot of these customer engagements, right? Things like responsive grouping, right? Because you can use this to control the responsive behavior of your application. You saw some of the examples that Amy showed where we have these great static navigations, but immediately in your head, you're like, well, How's that going to work on mobile? You know, in the design, you have the ability to create these responsive groups, but also hide them on certain form factors.
So I can have a static navigation for web and tablet. But when it switches to mobile, it hides the static navigation and puts a brand new horizontal navigation for my phone, right? And makes it very easy for me to navigate and changes even the entire layout. So really important to consider vertical scrolling. We saw an example of that. So, you know, you don't really have to smash everything and do a really small space, give all of your visualizations and everything the room that they need right to make it very easy to see them and view all that great, fantastic data info. Windows are fantastic tool for bringing context and next level detail to users in a single click. So if there's a common question someone's going to ask just from analyzing a piece of data, bring them the answer, right? You can even use hyper intelligence on top of your dossier to do that as well. You know, panel stacks. These are really great. Are a great way to allow users to switch visualization types or potentially to do different analysis without losing the context of the current screen there. So no context switch required and then leverage things like attribute and metrics selectors in combination with. Stacks and combination with grids, even other visualizations to give users that experience of personalization right, that in combination with bookmarks will allow them to create custom views that they can save inside of a bookmark access and a single click. So taking all this time to filter and organize and sort.
And now I can just give it a name and I can get to it in a single click. It also gives them that ability to take a grid and just swap out attributes and metrics. I don't want to see these, but there's like nine other columns I do want to see. You can do that with attribute a metric selectors and really give them that personalized experience. And then finally, dossier linking number dossier linking will allow you to pass contacts from one dossier to another, even inside of a single dossier. Just by clicking on a link could be a piece of data visualization or an infographic window or panel stack, however you want to do it, but it allow you to create these seamless experiences and really support those organic navigation experiences for your users moving from one thing to another. So these are all just techniques and things that we've used directly with our customers that have just led to absolutely fantastic experiences. So thank you for listening. We really look forward and hope we get the opportunity to partner with everyone who's watching today at some point in the future to help you design some applications. And with that, I want to turn it over to one of our principal UXer designers, Kung Fu Chiu, and he can talk about design strategies. Thanks, Jeff. Hello, everyone. When it came to I'm leaving a useful for does the author experience. I'm very excited to tell you to be able to share some of the best practices and some cool examples to show how you can get most of the MicroStrategy dossier, as well as how to use these new features on your application. Mm-hmm if I start, I want to first take anyone to quickly go to the evolution of the dossier.
Over the past couple of years, we have been working very hard with our teams to bring a bunch of cool features to our users. We have the free phone data, we have the vertical spawning. We have the panels that and this year, the information window and all those symbols we want to measure. Every analyst can create a lot easier to tell a story with your data. And let me go to the next slide. So in a couple in the following sessions, I would like to take everyone go through. Some of the best part is to create a best summary page for your dossier and to create a cross-platform application, and also to create a visual telling in Australia with the features. So it's just like a book. The summary page is like the first chapter of the book. You want to frame your story, you want to give you the contacts you want to navigate and do your analysis well. So it's like every principle storytelling map.
You want to have a more systematic way to answer these questions. Who, what, where, when and you can pretty much find these elements into in any data, analyze scenarios and you can easily fill up this phone with the atom and you find. And I'll go to the next slide. OK, so who in the data world. It doesn't have to be a personal character. It it can be your main object. It can be a category or product. So it is a restaurant, a list of restaurant or store. Usually there's the drinking involved in this kind of data. And so I prefer to use the grid over a bar chart to show this kind of insight. And here I attach a QR code. You can go there and go to our knowledge based article to take a look how you can add arrows and purchase or colored pictures to your really to enhance that experience. And so what are the things that I think drive the decision making poem? It's the driver is the key element is it is the good or bad question that you want to ask and result to a different outcome. So you want to explore all the ideas. We have provide a bunch of cool visualizations, the visualization galleries, the place you want to go there and take a look and play around with all the different ideas to explore the potential of MicroStrategy. We encourage everyone to use a different lens to see how to tell you a story with this kind of visualization.
And where it went up to elements that I think people that you can make your viewers feel more related to your data in supply. So because everyone can easily says where you are and what a turns around you, you can use this. You can use the line charts to show the trend of when and use the map box to show the position of a certain point of certain locations. And again, here is the QR code. I have specified every detail of this new technique on the article so that you can determine what else you can do with this technique. And next, I want to talk about the cross-platform solution. So does the is built with responsiveness in mind. We with one design. If you design the design correctly, you can see that design perfectly on the web, on the mobile, on the iPad, in different orientation or with that response to be on your phone. You can even expose this design to a PDF. Um, I've been writing articles online to show how you can optimize your dossier for different screen size. I also share some of the best part is to create a more responsive design. And here are the top three features that I think are really helpful for you to use your multi screen design. We have the form factor shorthand. This feature allows you to define what are the components you want to see on certain device. In this example, you can see this a side navigation on the web and there's navigation on the top. You can define that is mobile only you just want to see that kind of layout on the mobile.
And we also have this total size text. This is to help you to avoid the tax cut off issues on the smaller screen. And we also have this responsive tool. So the response will allow you to group the content directly to each other. And so that you can see that on the mobile device from up to down vertically. And so every time we design a new feature, we want to think outside the box because data is fun. We want to have a playground for this, especially for us design, and we want to see what else you can do to enhance the experience. So this is just an example to share that with the panels that you can put up panels on the back end, put another layer of Windows on the top and to achieve some kind of narrative feel is to tell the story about the inside for the airplane and the season. And this is just another example to show that you can create this kind of sticky menu effect on your applications. You can use the panels that change the navigation to none, so make a certain part of the content score above with the vertical scrolling.
You can mix all different kind of layouts together. One application? And with the information window information window doesn't have to be data related, we can use the information window to show drop down to show to or even use it to cover that entire UI and to give you the your introduction of where they can click. And or you can use the image and put the trigger point in the data point that they want to bring that inside for that specific position. And finally, I want to share that with the free. From there, you can add image to your visualizations. You can use the ship to show here. You can you sense that it is a comparison between touring charts, or you can put a layer of the transparent image on top of the bar chart to create a unique bar chart only from the music industry. Or you can put some GIF animation on the back of the API, while transparent KPIX to show the inside of the alcohol industry. So that's everything I wanted to share today with that, I will hand it back to Judy to. Great, thank you all, what an insightful presentation, and we have quite a few questions, so we will start answering in live and for those questions that we will not be able to get to live during this presentation. Our experts will follow up with you all in audience. So please stay engaged and thank you again. So we will start with the first question. OK and. OK, so do you offer or have suggestions on where to get items to add to your dossier? OK yeah, I mean, there's a lot of free icon and image repositories online, you know, generally speaking, if you're going to use free icons, you just want to check the licenses on them, right?
A lot of times if you're building an internal application, it's probably not a big deal. There's a lot of open source or free use licenses out there that you can use if you're building a customer facing application, something you're actually going to sell in the marketplace. Those licenses are a lot more restrictive, and a lot of those cases, we recommend building icons internally. But that's definitely something maybe that might be worth us following up, maybe on community and sort of posting a link to some, some good image repositories that people could use. If you're struggling to either don't have a graphics design team or UX team to help design those for you or you're just having a hard time finding them, we could probably put something on community for that. Quickly, thank you, Jeff. And hit us a question that came earlier in the presentation. How is this application different than the web dossier report? Does it cost more to get this application? So I'll start off with this and then, Jeff, you want to add anything, so we are calling. Dossiers applications here, and what we just mean by that is that we want you to think of and design and build your dossiers less like a flat dashboard where you're just throwing visualizations and hoping they kind of stick and more thinking of it as your favorite app on your phone, like if you think of Google Maps or any of your favorite applications. They're very intuitive. They have button bars, they're easy to navigate.
So that's what we want you to think of when you're designing dossiers. So no, it's just a dossier. It's essentially a collection of different dossiers that you're linking together. And then where you might also hear your applications in our keynote is our library applications. So that is where you can then curate the landing page for all of the collection of dossiers. And there's actually lots of sessions tomorrow. Holly will cover the all in her what's new session, so I highly recommend going to that as well. But yeah, Jeff, is there any final things you had there? Yeah, I mean, I think a great way to think about library applications, right, is today. If you're using library, the dossiers that are contained inside of an individual user's library or governed by a combination of ACL. So so basically what they have access to or what's been shared with them by other users or things you've they may have authored themselves if they're an analyst or self service, a type of persona. But the idea of a library application is that you can create content bundles that are groupings of different dossiers, right? And so by creating these applications, you can customize what functionality is on or off in library, right? For those individual users, you you assign access to an application to a user group and you can customize all kinds of things, not just the content that shows up, but the functionality. It's on off the look and feel of it so that you could create inside of a single library instance or a single library server completely different experiences based on who's accessing it so that my finance department only sees finance dossiers just by default.
So when someone new joins finance, they instantly already have all that. I don't have to go and edit the ACLs of the individual objects. And then on top of that, they get a custom look and feel in a custom experience based on who is accessing it. So it's a different level of control, but it's a way that you can create individual experiences for different groups. Maybe I want some groups to land on that normal library landing page where they can go and access all their content, see other dossiers. But for other users, maybe they only have access to one dossier or a set of dossiers using common navigation experiences and contextual linking. So for them, I just want them to land on page one of dossier and they never see the library landing screen or these things. So it gives you a lot of control, a lot of creative possibilities on how to design these experiences. So thank you, Jeff. And then we have a next question from our dossier user. How to get info panel to land at a specific spot in the dossier. And I can repeat this how to get info panel to land at a specific spot in The dossier. I can take that one. So I guess this is about the information window, so we can select the information window on this panel and go to the full panels and there is a settings for the position. You can set the position to fix positions. And so that you can adjust your position of the information window on certain part of the design. Great, thank you. So our next question. Our biggest challenge is training and education for non analyst teams. Is their education geared towards non IT people? Yes, great question, we actually have a lot of persona based education offerings. So, yeah, an analyst, maybe, maybe that's not the right track for them, right? If they're one of your executives or even just a user who is not the main part of their job and then just want to consume content. We call that the business advisor or executive. And yet we have a lot of content that is, it's not about building, it's just about consuming how to filter a dossier, how to export, how to create bookmarks. So if you go to our education website, you can definitely see content around that or actually even easier. Reach out to your account team and they can just guide you directly to those courses. OK, thank you, Amy. And next question, a filter still chapter specific.
And so last world, we introduced the ability to create a dossier of a filter so you can yes, you can create something that goes across chapters. You just go to the filter context menu and you choose which filters it applies to. Or which chapters it applies to? OK, thank you. And the next one is their ability to export the dossier and not just an individual visualization to Excel. Coming is the ability to export the dossier, not just an individual visualization to Excel if that's coming. So if I forget which release it was this year, but the ability to export the entire page to grid. Yes, that Jeff, I saw you nodding. Do you remember more details on that? Well, the functionality is there, but it's the other way around. Right so so you're thinking about exporting an entire dossier with every viz on every page to a single Excel file, which would basically be a giant workbook, a better way I would offer to do that is to install the MicroStrategy plug-in for Excel and import the data from the dossier. Go to that direction, right? Because the amount of control that you have in the import experience through Excel is considerably stronger than it is going the other direction. And it's also repeatable, right? So it's something you can save. And then if you want to run it again, you can just refresh your sheets by doing the import that way. Great, thank you. And the next one. Will it be possible to use the right elements in dossier in the moment that are just groups possible? You let me know.
I don't think I quite follow. Yeah, you can. You can create derived attributes and drive metrics and groups in dossier. OK, thank you. And one more, can you add and this will be our last question on that we will answer live since we are running out of time, but we definitely will follow up with all questions and comments in the chat after this session. So the last question can you add an action in the Hypershade to be redirected to a dossier? So we have yes, we've had a feature where you could link a dossier and then we actually enhanced it further. That section was actually right before this with hnida, who's a product manager for Hyper intelligence, where you can pass through that hyper data point to filter a dossier. So yes, you can do that with our latest release. Yeah, so that way, the card is passing its context, right? So it's not just a static link before you could use a static link and the card would just link to a generic just to the dossier. But the action of linking it didn't tell the dossier anything about itself. So the dossier at that point didn't know what you were looking at, right? So now it has the ability that it will actually pass the card context to the dossier and that will allow the dossier to be filtered. Great, once again, thank you all who attended the session and to our speakers for such an insightful and such a visual presentation.
The recording of the session will be available on our website for viewing on demand and also our experts will share those links in the chat links to the QR codes and additional information. And I hope to see you in our next session. In this thread, entitled The power of architecture and administration was workstation. And again, you can stay here to attend or explore our sessions. We also encourage you to explore our networking lounges and connect with our experts directly. Thank you all and see you in the next session.