BNOTIONS is an innovation agency working with clients in different fields including healthcare, telecom, retail, travel, and multiple verticals. They have also been successful at building their own products and games. Since January 2013, the multi-award winning agency has been using Geckoboard to provide real time reporting to their clients, build a data-driven culture within the agency, and minimise the time spent on reporting tasks. The speed of which BNOTIONS has adopted and leveraged data communication technologies to promote transparency and knowledge-sharing across different teams and accounts has been simply remarkable. Below you'll find a selection of excerpts from our interview with John Maden, Product & Research Analyst at BNOTIONS.


How many clients do you share Geckoboard with, and how do you go about defining the metrics that you will both monitor?

We have five clients currently on Geckoboard. And every new client that comes in now also gets signed up on Geckoboard. Usually, about halfway through development, we’ll come up with what we'd like to call our analytics strategy. This identifies the analytics we want to track during each phase of the project. We choose one metric that we want to track closely and the rest of the stats feed into that metric. So, if we notice something that’s wrong with the numbers, we can just quickly look around the boards and in two seconds figure out which area is presenting problems, and then focus on that area and find out what’s wrong with that experience.

Do clients proactively request specific access to data or metrics?

Absolutely. Some of our clients participate in our morning development stand-ups. They’ll bring up information they saw on Geckoboard that night. One client told us, 'So, I was looking at the Geckoboard and I noticed that this number is a little bit off. What’s going on there?' And then, we’ll explain what’s going on with that. Whether we’ve had a push, if there was a sort of shift or she’ll tell us 'I just noticed this is awesome.' And then we just pat ourselves on the back. We don’t approach projects and then move onto the next. We approach everything in phases. During those interim phases, we no longer have to spend the first 15 minutes of a meeting bringing the client up to date with what’s going on with the product, or what successes or failures we had. The clients know this before coming to the meeting. There’s no need to convince them or show them the information because they already understand it. And you’re not wasting all that time building up or revising the past because they already have the information.

Reporting on a project in real time increases transparency, but could create new challenges. How do you manage the relationship with your clients when things go wrong?

Our philosophy with clients is to be completely open. We have always had an open dialogue with them. We admit when we’re making mistakes. The sooner we tackle problems and communicate them, the better. We all want to avoid small problems becoming big problems. Geckoboard really helps us to save 15 minutes to a half an hour every single catch-up meeting with the client. Because they already know how the product is performing.

How did you keep clients updated before you started using Geckoboard? Which tools did you use?

Before, we would gather data and put it together in PowerPoint presentations. And the first five to ten slides on that presentation were about how we were doing before getting into recommendations. Now, those five to ten slides are reduced down to two and we go right to our recommendations because they already understand what’s going on. Now, it just becomes instantly transparent.

Apart from giving access to your clients, do you also display Geckoboard on the wall in the office?

The product team has Geckoboard set up on a 42-inch TV right outside our pod. And it rotates through all the projects that we’re working on. Also, each development team, also has a TV set up that’s dedicated with the project that they’re working on.

Do you think using Geckoboard has made a difference in terms of culture? Has it had any impact in terms of people having conversations around data or metrics?

Yeah. Absolutely. So, there’s actually two interesting ways that it’s sort of had an effect on culture. For one, it becomes the new water cooler - people from different teams will sit there and look at the board and they’ll ask questions. They’re like 'What does this number do? Why is there a difference between this? Why is this number a little bit off this week?' It creates those kinds of conversations. The second one is internal, and we actually have this game called the Geckoboard Pool. We pick a metric and we all just pick a number from where we think it’s going to be on Friday at 4:00, which is our social hour, and then we all throw in a couple of bucks to see who wins. 

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