Dip Your Toes in the Web App Pool


We have reached out to a colleague to share with our readers a subject that we know little about, but we know is relevant to you, your colleagues, or your clients. We hope you enjoy this content from our guest writer from https://www.blueatlas.com/.

There are currently 200 million active websites on the Internet1. No wonder: for credibility, a corporate website is mandatory.

However, the web can provide much more than just a pretty face for your business.  It can also support identified business goals, such as creating access to real-time data, streamlining processes, or provided needed staff training.  This is accomplished using a web app - dynamic, internet-enabled software that allows users to perform a specific set of actions.  Three examples of web applications that can improve the performance of your business - without a huge development effort - are described below.

I.  Data Dashboards

Have you ever waited weeks for data that you needed at your fingertips?  Web-accessible dashboards help tell your data's story within seconds.  There are numerout free and paid-subscription tools available to create engaging and understandable reports.  Many of these come with a learning curve but do not require programming skills, including Google Data Studio and Tableau.

For example, we created a data dashboard for a pharmaceutical client to replace complex Excel performance report spreadsheets its sales reps submitted from dispersed locations. Our interactive web app enabled the sales reps to access and share data showing how appropriate use of a targeted pharmaceutical reduced the length of patient hospital stays. Developed with standard web technologies and optimized for the iPad, our client experienced a 27%+ increase in annual sales.

II.  Online Learning

According to eLearning Industry, “Today’s learners are an impatient lot! Multi-tasking and pressed for time, they do not want to log onto an LMS to locate a course that may have the answer to their need or their challenge. They want learning resources to be within their workflow (e.g., read on their smartphone) and packaged specifically to help them or address their needs.”2.

Small dose, easily accessible learning tools are key to providing your workforce with performance support opportunities. In 2017, a whopping 77% of U.S. companies employed online learning to support their staff.2.  Companies are using tools such as RISE (an Articulate product) and Adapt Builder, an open source tool, to create contemporary, engaging courses. With the Covid-19 pandemic, even more companies are turning to online training in lieu of traditional training approaches; this trend will likely not slow as the pandemic recedes.

As an example, one of our large retail clients launched a ten-minute interactive course to help sales associates prepare for the company’s largest annual sales event. The course employs video, hotspot infographics, show/hide content, interactive maps, and case studies to engage and train. Associates receiving 100% on the five-question quiz following the course are automatically entered into a gift draw. The interactive course, accessible via desktops and mobile devices, is consistently the most-visited section of the client’s intranet.

III.  Compliance Tracking & Reporting

There are no signs that financial, HR, environmental, or safety compliance burdens that companies face will abate. Regardless of the complexity of your organization’s compliance requirements, it is important that a stable and secure process be in place for tracking compliance and generating the necessary reports to improve performance and prepare for audits.

For enterprise-level compliance needs, there are numerous SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions available, such as LogicGate, AuditBoard, and Spirion. Smaller-scale compliance needs can be met with simple web applications written to fit your organization’s specific requirements.

For example, tracking summer camp CPR certifications may include recording staff name, date of birth, type of certification, date of certification, and the date certification will expire. These data can then be extracted for ad-hoc queries, such as upcoming certification expirations. Just like the enterprise solutions, a customized compliance web app will need to be secure and have a strong user management policy.

Many types of web applications may be useful to improve your company’s overall performance. Start by identifying your organization’s pain points. Then your internal team, with an expert in web apps, can assess if the time is right to add one or more web apps to your company’s toolkit.

Guest blogging content is provided by LuAnne Bell of https://www.blueatlas.com/. She can be reached directly for questions or comments at lbell@blueatlas.com.

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