BI and analytics vendor Yellowfin recently launched its DashXML framework for custom analytical applications. The framework was originally developed for the unique requirements of US-based client, LocalEdge, a multi-media organisation and a Heart Media Services Company, which needed to update its outdated customer dashboard quickly.
LocalEdge wanted to develop a “state of the art” Customer Dashboard to deliver proof-of-performance reporting to each of its customers across its 15 core marketing products and services.
“Our previous customer dashboard was custom developed and was therefore resource intensive and inflexible,” said Scott Strozyk, LocalEdge vice president of information technology. “Over 10 years old, it had an outdated user interface that was hard to navigate, and it was difficult to enhance or create new dashboards due to the cost, time and complexity of working with the custom-built applications behind the dashboard.”
To address this situation, LocalEdge undertook a BI procurement process to find an “out-of-the-box” solution capable of providing the features and flexibility of a custom-developed solution – minus the delays and costs associated with IT programming.
“We had a very complex set of new customer dashboard requirements and an extremely aggressive timeline to deliver the new solution,” said LocalEdge president of affiliate relations and technology, Jeff Folckemer. “Our customers were unhappy with our outdated, custom-built dashboard. Our sales teams were apprehensive to show it due to the poor look, feel and unpredictable performance. Our old customer dashboard was no longer an asset and was becoming a significant liability for our business.”
LocalEdge’s goal was to revamp both the look and feel as well as the operations of its dashboard solution as quickly as possible.
“We were short on time to implement and it was important for us to get the new business intelligence solution right the first time,” said Folckemer. “We needed a capable partner who could understand our needs, guide us through the process, and provide a solution that would meet the complex dashboard reporting requirements within an extremely tight timeline. To do this, we needed a core product that could provide most, or all, of the features out-of-the-box. We found that partner in Yellowfin.”
Strozyk explained that Yellowfin’s DashXML solution enabled LocalEdge to create and update dashboards by simply modifying an XML configuration file on the front-end application server and building or updating the reports in Yellowfin on the back-end.
“The portal solution created with DashXML and Yellowfin allows us to dynamically and easily modify the look and feel of the customer dashboard,” said Strozyk. “It ties the Yellowfin reports and layout together for each of the product dashboards.
“The Yellowfin portal solution allowed us to seamlessly tie-in the new Yellowfin dashboards with our existing product management and legacy reporting applications via a consistent and seamless dashboard navigation menu. The portal is also extensible in that we can add our own features to it as desired over time.”
Using Yellowfin and DashXML, the portal solution delivers metrics from over 15 core products to LocalEdge customers. Specific dashboards focus on areas such as Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Website Statistics, Social Media Management and Performance Overview, which display aggregated metrics across all products used by each customer.
Folckemer said that the results of the BI initiative exceeded the expectations of LocalEdge and its customers.
“We implemented much faster using Yellowfin than we could have with any custom-built solution,” said Folckemer. “The finished product is far better than we could have achieved with any other ‘out-of-the-box’ Business Intelligence tool. Both customers and business partners love the new dashboard.”
Strozyk echoed Folckemer’s sentiments.
“The bottom line is, by partnering with Yellowfin, we achieved the goals of a highly-customised, feature-rich dashboard reporting solution our customers love, while ensuring minimum IT staffing requirements for ongoing dashboard enhancements and support,” said Strozyk. “LocalEdge and its customers are extremely satisfied with the solution.”