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How a User Feedback Company Benefits from BI

6 min read

About the BI Blog series:
This is the second installment of our BI Series: An exploration of BI at Usabilla with our Software Engineer. In this blog, we dive deeper into how Usabilla uses BI and how the team was set up, including the challenges and benefits.

This is part 2 of the of the series on the BI Blog Series (read part 1 and 3).

Currently, 63% of Usabilla employees use our BI platform regularly. We use Metabase, an open-source data platform helping companies do more with their data, to compile and structure data and find quick and easy answers to our business questions.

Not only does Metabase act as a guiding hand in making decisions and optimizing strategy, but it also empowers every team in our organization to view, analyze and compare data tailored to their specific business needs.

Setting up BI at Usabilla

We began using Metabase in November 2018. Previously, data had been processed in-house and by-hand by our developers, which was simply not scalable.

Creating a BI platform was an effort to aggregate all of our existing internal and third-party software data. With Metabase, we are able to integrate various flows of data from different business units and extract patterns.

Data from every corner of the organization is brought together within Metabase which gives us cross-departmental insights. Marc van Agteren, CEO, Usabilla


After running a series of internal interviews to understand the stakeholders and their data needs, developers at Usabilla began assembling dashboards. Dashboards are divided into teams, for example, Marketing, Sales and Customer Success, but boards are often cross-functional.

Metabase, Getting Started Support Documentation

Who uses the Usabilla BI platform?

Although the initial dashboards were built by Software Engineers, stakeholders from various teams began to build their own dashboards and adjust them using filtering and multi-series charts.

The General Process:

  1. Stakeholders from each team using Metabase take various data requests from their team members.
  2. Once they find the answer in Metabase, they relay graphs, charts, insights, and patterns to those who submitted a query.
  3. More and more, Usabilla employees are beginning to use Metabase themselves, as the interface is flexible and user-friendly allowing non-technical people to create their own dashboards and questions.


Metabase, Getting Started Support Documentation

VoC and Business Intelligence

As a digital Voice of Customer (VoC) solution provider, BI helps us better understand our customers and how they use our product, as well as how their customers interact with Usabilla in their own live environments. These insights help us improve our product so that both the end users, as well as those employees using our solution, are as efficient and successful as possible.

Internally, BI helps us better understand our own efficiency, where we should make investments and what needs work. Segmenting our data by specific variables, we can hone in on exact locations of friction and areas of success. In turn, we identify with clarity where we need to focus our efforts and what steps to draw on the Product Roadmap.

Externally, BI helps us understand our customers so they can better understand theirs. In other words, BI helps us understand the actions and motivations of our customer’s customers. How do end users get the most out of Usabilla? What’s the best place to deliver a survey in the customer journey? Because we cater to a variety of industries and each company is unique, we’re looking for insights that allow us to customize our VoC solution in a way where our customers enjoy maximum efficiency. In our case, maximum efficiency means conversions.

Metabase, Getting Started Support Documentation


Fetching the Data

The technical term for our data pipeline procedure is ETL, which stands for Extract, Transform and Load. We fetch data from multiple sources: an API, a spreadsheet, or a database. Data is closely examined to ensure it’s clean. We then make it digestible. For example, NPS scores are transformed, and other data points are extracted for key qualities that fit business needs. The data is loaded into Metabase, which anyone can use to produce insights. Everyone has a specific preference of how they want to see their data, and Metabase allows them to customize with filtering.





Self-Service BI

The most important factor of our BI platform is that it’s meant to be self-service. In an effort to displace bottlenecks, customizable and visual dashboards allow our developers and our non-technical employees to access and understand analytical insights.

BI in Practice

Without BI, data at Usabilla was often scattered across departments and visualized ad hoc. It helps us from the top-down–with the discovery of hidden patterns in our data, we’re able to make stronger organizational decisions, from large-scale operation choices to smaller, yet equality important, projects.

For example, we are trying to refine and improve our Customer Support on a larger scale. Instead of guessing what our users want, we now have more insight into how they use our product and how they compare to other companies in the same industry.

For Customer Success, we can identify champion customers and identify why customers churn on a broader scale. With BI, we can tell our clients where they might be falling behind, such as the reason why they’re not getting the full benefits or conversion as expected based on clear, specific factors.

If a customer isn’t using their in-page functionality, they are likely to be less satisfied than customers who do. Our Customer Success Managers will then reach out to those customers and try to facilitate a solution. Not only has BI helped us find insights from multitudes of data, but it also helps us turn that data into action.

We can rapidly prototype new features, understand the effectiveness of development efforts, or break down the cost, value, time, and implementation of any decision, mitigating risk by creating a clear pathway to success.

In general, we see that companies who do this with their data are more successful.

The Challenges of a Small BI Team

At the moment, our biggest challenge is sourcing the time and resources to expand the BI project. Many companies have teams dedicated to BI, using advanced analytics and the strength of multiple minds to build models designed for their specific needs. As we grow and undergo our own business transformations, BI will be an inevitable part of that growth.

Our plan forward is not to have another team. Rather, we are forming a framework to enable every employee and their work to be more visible. What does that look like? Ultimately, we want everyone to join efforts within Metabase and combine all of our data sources to be concentrated in one place.

How does your company execute on BI? Let us know on Twitter!

Curious to learn more? Click below.

This is part 2 of the of the series on the BI Blog Series (read part 1 and 3).

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