VCNC Case Study: Delivering great mobile user experiences with data
How VCNC creates a positive user experience for millions of mobile users everyday, by leveraging data with Holistics.
[With Holistics], all members of our company have easy access to data… Especially for people or organizations who do not have business intelligence [deployed] in their team yet, I will strongly recommend just jumping into Holistics as their starting point.
Value Developer, VCNC
Value Creators & Company (VCNC) is a mobile technology company that aims to create services that improve offline social relationships. It currently has two apps—TADA, a van-based ride-hailing app, and Between, an app that lets couples chat, track anniversaries, share photos, videos, and plan their schedules together all in one private space.
As of July 2018, Between had over 26 million downloads globally and more than 1 million daily active users, with users exchanging over 2.4 billion photos and 92 billion messages in total. TADA had an open beta launch in October 2018, which has seen over 100,000 downloads in one month.
How to know and respond to user problems in real time
As the creator of Between, a mobile app for couples, and TADA, an on-demand ride-hailing app, it’s crucial for VCNC to learn about its users’ problem in real time, and fix them at once. VCNC also hopes to improve offline relationships by getting couples to send each other sweet notes and gifts via its Between app. To succeed in its mission, it has to get users and couples to enjoy using the app, first of all.
These two needs boil down to one thing—creating a positive user experience on its apps. To understand user experience, VCNC needed to analyze data of its app usage.
The framework lost efficiency as Between’s user base grew (it had 27 million downloads as of November 2018). Plus, it would sometimes get broken, placing VCNC at risk of losing the analytics models it had painstakingly built.
So in 2017, VCNC began searching for an efficient business intelligence system that would help it to better understand user experience on Between, as well as improve conversion and retention. “We looked for analytics [software] to view and analyze data more, and to make data-driven decisions,” says Max Lee, Value Developer and data engineer at VCNC. “My role is to create a system that manages the entire data pipeline and allows team members to look up the appropriate data, to make decisions based on the data,” Max explains.
After evaluating a few systems, the company chose Holistics. Max explains, “Holistics had features [suitable] for our needs, and its price; transparent and reasonable.”
[Holistics] offers very good and quick visualizations, data fetch and channeling of data.
– Max Lee, Value Developer, VCNC
Leveraging data to create a positive user experience
In preparation for using Holistics, VCNC improved its data warehouse and database management system. It then rolled the platform out to the rest of the company—even to non-IT staff.
Today, all departments in the company are users of Holistics, and can access reports on key metrics directly from the platform. For instance, marketers can analyze the results of campaigns based on data like budget spent and conversion rates. Product teams can gauge how much app users use new features.
VCNC can also measure the impact of user actions in the app, such as the number of messages that users send, and trends over time. “These kinds of data help us plan our infrastructure because if users upload more photos and videos [like during Christmas season], we have to prepare more so we can manage, with the appropriate size of infrastructure,” says Max.
In October 2018, VCNC launched TADA, an app that lets you hail van rides. With the company already using Holistics at that time, it hit the ground running when it came to analytics. The operations team, for instance, used Holistics to understand how many users require a ride and how many failed to get one. They compare ride completion against failure rates, and also analyze at which part of the sign-up process that potential users tend to drop off and leave the app.
How VCNC uses Holistics
VCNC’s product team often rolls out a new feature on Between to improve user engagement and app ‘stickiness’, and evaluation of the feature’s adoption is done via Holistics. For instance, they might introduce a new set of stickers, and test whether users like it and remain active for the next 14 or 30 days. This helps them understand user preferences and informs the design and development of more features.
One very useful feature, says Max, is the geo heatmap visualization. By plotting the longitude and latitude of driver activity to pinpoint where a surge of demand is taking place, TADA can send drivers to the location to answer riders’ requests. This reduces the instances of failure to book a ride, and reduces the number of disappointed users.
VCNC also integrates its Slack customer service channel with Holistics. Whenever Holistics detects certain words related to customer requests and complaints, it pushes notifications to customer service and operations teams via Slack. The team can track how many requests are solved, and how much time it took to do so.
Future Of Data At VCNC
Making better data-driven decisions
In VCNC, more teams in the company have improved access to data for their operations and analysis, and they continue to develop their data systems to improve the quality of future decisions.
Some of their future goals include developing data systems that are better able to work with raw data directly and at scale, and giving business users access to better insights for business intelligence. With SoCar’s acquisition of VCNC in 2018, there are also plans to apply VCNC’s large scale data and technology systems to SoCar.
For VCNC, being data-driven means making better decisions using data, instead of guesswork. Accessibility of data at large scales, while keeping access simple, allows VCNC to continue its impressive growth to deliver user experiences that delight millions.
Tips & tricks from the VCNC team
- Make plans for a data warehouse and management system to get the most from your analytics platform investment.
- Save time and money by testing out a new app feature on a percentage of users before rolling it out to the entire platform. Use Holistics to measure user responses to the new features.
- “Pushing is better than pulling,” says Max. He schedules daily emails of metrics to be sent to different teams, such as marketing, product, operations, and customer service, for quick updates without having to go into the platform.
- Integrate Holistics with your customer feedback channels, like Slack.
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