Why SaaS platform Common Surface decided to buy instead of build analytics dashboards

During the pandemic, hybrid work became the new norm. For many companies, this new way of working was new and challenging. Common Surface came into being to make this process hassle-free, with a SaaS platform to manage your hybrid workforce. Successful SaaS companies like Multiverse, Beauhurst and Beamery use Common Surface to schedule smart meetings, monitor office capacity, and more.

Their HR software captures a ton of data about the hybrid workforce, which is highly valuable for their customers:

“We capture real information about the hybrid workforce: how they behave, how they actually use the office space, etc. But we needed a way to give back that data to HR policy makers & business owners using our software. In that way, we can help them make smarter remote work policies decisions based on real behavior.”

Anna Wittrup, Data & RevOps Lead at Common Surface

The challenge: a shortage of engineering resources

In order to share these valuable insights with their clients, Common Surface wanted to add interactive, customer-facing dashboards inside their product. Instead of building analytics in-house, they are currently using Cumul.io‘s off-the-shelf component.

In fact, there were multiple reasons why they decided not to build it themselves:

  1. Dashboards are a must-have for their end-users, but they didn’t have any engineering resources to build them;
  2. As an early-stage product, all engineering resources need to focus on building out their core platform functionality: the data capturing;
  3. The dashboards need to be easily adaptable without too much coding work;

The requirements: a fast go-to-market

Since building it themselves was off the table, they started looking for an embedded analytics partner. During their search, a couple of requirements were essential:

  • The dashboards needed to blend seamlessly with the styling of their own application;
  • With limited engineering capacity, they needed an intuitive interface to create & adapt dashboards, without constantly needing a developer;
  • With rising demand from customers, they needed a solution they could deploy fast;

Finally, Cumul.io ticked all of the boxes. The main advantage is the agility to speed up the development process and react faster to what their users need.

“From creating the dashboards to embedding them in our platform: it was all very straight-forward. The entire process took us only a few days.”

Anna Wittrup, Data & RevOps Lead at Common Surface

The ability to take control over the client-facing dashboards without having to involve a developer was a game-changer for Anna:

“Cumul.io allows us to be more agile and let the data person actually have full control of the statistics, rather than having it go through engineering.”

Anna Wittrup, Data & RevOps Lead at Common Surface

The solution: hybrid work insights at your fingertips

Let’s take a step back: why did Common Surface decide to build these analytics in the first place? Which problem do these custom dashboards solve for their customers?

Before re-opening their offices, most businesses surveyed employees about their work preferences. But can your employees really know what they like before they’ve tried out hybrid work?

Today, Cumul.io dashboards give HR managers insights into the real work habits of their workforce. Companies can now uncover what their employees actually need, and adapt fast to it:

“With the Cumul.io dashboards in our platform, HR professionals can gain a better understanding of how their employees behave. They can spot any trends, for example the office being most popular on Thursdays when there are events or drinks. But most importantly, they can now better understand whether they need to make any hybrid policy changes or whether things are going smoothly.”

Anna Wittrup, Data & RevOps Lead at Common Surface

To begin with, the Common Surface platform has 2 dashboards available for all customers. In addition, they are planning to add more insights as their platform evolves.

Example dashboard showing insights into office capacity

Metrics to organize hybrid work

With these reporting dashboards, Common Surface answers essential questions their customers deal with on a daily basis, such as:

  • How often do our employees come into the office?
  • How much of our office capacity are we actually using?
  • What are the most popular days in the office?
  • When do our employees have meetings?

Analytics as part of their business model

These statistics are currently available for all Common Surface customers. It’s a vital part of their offering, meaning all customers need it to get maximum value out of the platform. In the future, they are considering further monetizing their analytics offering:

“Given the ease of releasing new dashboards with Cumul.io, we’ve thought of monetizing more advanced statistics in the future. At the moment, we focus on delivering maximum value to all our customers, and are constantly thinking about how we can provide them with even more useful data.”

Anna Wittrup, Data & RevOps Lead at Common Surface

Are you considering expanding your offering with customer-facing analytics? Get in touch with our product experts, and speed up your time-to-market to just a couple of days.

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