Designing an MVP to change minds about analytics

A research & development project for a global oil and gas company
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In 2014 I started an analytics and measurement program for ConocoPhillips, a global oil and gas company in Houston, Texas. At the time oil and gas prices were at a record highs, and the company had just undergone a major split off from the downstream side of the business, the new company was looking for innovative ways to set itself apart from the old company and go in its own direction.

Digital measurement and analytics  was not present in the digital communications program. Dedicated digital communications resources were a very new function at ConocoPhillips. Functional leadership was skeptical about how leadership would use it and there were no resources to support it. I taught the company about analytics and what this new function could bring to the business. 


Change the mind of leadership about analytics.


Analytics Reporting MVP
2014 - 2016
ConocoPhillips; Digital Communications Team
Oil & Gas
Role: UX Designer

I designed a web analytics report as a proof of concept to demonstrate the value of analytics to leadership. The shift in mindset which I initiated eventually led to adding full time analytics resources to the team.


Analytics had never been done for a few reasons

Inheriting a mess

Analytics didn't start from scratch, a Google analytics account was in place with incomplete and incorrect setup. Account maintenance was neglected, and the previous resources had moved on to different areas of the company and left no breadcrumbs.

No precedent

There had never been a successful reporting program. Some data had been collected, but it had never been analyzed, curated or synthesized.

Missing governance

In the web redesign initiative, analytics was not included as a deliverable. After vendor handoff the redesigned site had no resources allocated for maintenance and roadmap development. There was a gap in the SLA. I saw this opportunity, but I also learned there was unclear ownership.

Dinosaur mentality

My client felt that leadership would struggle with reporting. Who could provide analysis and make it suitable for proper audiences at the company?

Skill gaps everywhere

The digital platform was run by IT, but the content was owned by communications. There was a gap as to who owned performance, and a team would need to come from borrowed resources.

My Role

A split role on a new team during organizational change

Digital communications was a very new function at ConocoPhillips. Leadership and roles were only emerging, and my official job title was Digital Communications Specialist, but I leveraged the position to perform my roe as the UX Designer on the team.

UX Designer


The Four D's (MVP) approach

I decided that designing an Analytics Report template was the MVP that would have the most impact. This project would involve designing a tracking and reporting service blueprint, mapping roles and identifying governance needs, and designing the data and measurement layer.

Hypothesis: Analytics can accelerate innovation in our Digital Communications function by improving decision making.


Heuristic analysis and interviews

After discovering we had a Google Analytics account on the current site, I found previous team members and their contact information in the user management menu of the Google account. Through 1-on-1 interviews I learned about previous performance benchmarks. I gathered reporting template inspiration by doing some search engine research, and i presented heuristic examples to my client (Digital Communication Manager) to align on the sections and format for the the report.


Setting the scope

A key question for the MVP was, 'where should we start first?'. I learned from a company audit that the company had more than 25 external properties in their portfolio. I chose to limit the scope of the first report to the external corporate website.

Ethnographic research to understanding report needs

Since I was the team's Digital Specialist, I had a frontline role with the external corporate website It took 2 full days of manual work to complete the entire report process and that included a steep learning curve for training and resource procurement.


A delightful user experience

My client, the Strategic Communications Manager and product owner, was a business specialist with high level technical background and very open to modern innovation. The audience for the report was her boss, the Executive Vice President of Communications. Her goal was to explain the KPIs for our website and show strategic impacts of our recent corporate website redesign. My client was skeptical about how her audience (the executive leadership team) would receive technical and operational level data.

I applied Jakob's Law to build the report template.


MVP - Quarterly Analytics Report and report workflow

I built data from our corporate websites Google Analytics account and processed our reporting using NextAnalytics. I designed the report template in Powerpoint and produced a 16-page quarterly report. While delivering the report I built a roadmap and backlog and as a result I also solidified my credibility as analytics subject matter expert. This project inspired my interest in pursuing my UX certification with Nielsen Norman group.


Scaling the impact of analytics

After 8 deliveries  of the analytics report, we were aligned on vision and I earned buy-in to extend the program. I

User Personas

I wrote personas for the different collaborators and audiences for analytics reporting.

Competitive Analysis

I did competitive analysis to create business requirements and performance benchmarks for our properties.

Technical Audit

I did an audit of Google Analytics tracking setup and I collaborated with IT to land on technical requirments.

Data Audit

I reviewed past reporting results in order to design metrics, KPIs and goals.

Digital Analytics dashboard

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My work on the dashboard UI/UX


Extended budget

I worked with sweat equity, borrowed resources, on the job training and ethnographic discovery to build an MVP. As a result, I built a business case, identified and brought in easy to use tools to improve the workflow, and I completed a FEL project to identify vendors and strategic process to guide an analytics dashboard project.  The internal team was awarded a $60,000 budget and 2 years to build a dashboard. 

Analytics Roadmap

I successfully proved the value of analytics for the company’s corporate website. Next I was pulled in to build a measurement framework for the other 2 channels as well, I built a dashboard, I led many cleanup and improvement projects based on reporting takeaways, and I led a knowledge management with the rest of the company

Change in mindset

Going forward analytics was included as a key deliverable in our digital communication projects. This trend continued through our digital transformation projects and was also a valuable lesson learned for our 2nd redesign in 2018 and 2019.

Subject Matter Expertise

I gained status as an SME in digital initiatives going forward. I played a key role as an employee experience advisor on the work teams for 2018 redesign of the corporate website, and 2021 redesign of the intranet. I designed the analytic dashboard templates and reporting workflows for digital communications.