It has been two years since the last major Analyst update. Now, we’re about to begin providing a new version of Analyst that incorporates many big changes. We’ve put the customer first every step of the way to ensure that the changes are beneficial to our clients. Still, we understand that changes to our software can be disruptive, and we’d like to explain a little about our thinking behind this new version.
Why Did We Do This?
1. People want additional data to address new challenges. To do that, Analyst needs to be rearranged a bit.
EMSI is developing more data all the time and expanding into new markets. This new version allows us to develop additional reports and tools and include them in Analyst without bloating the product.
- Three new sections – Reports, Tables, and Maps – replace modules and can accommodate almost any kind of data.
- New reports and data can be added without disrupting the rest of the product.
- Analyst can be tailored to display only the reports relevant to your work.
2. People love both Analyst 3 and the reports from earlier versions. This new version gives you both in one place.
Analyst 3.0 was received very well by our user base, but the older versions contained very helpful reports that we’d like to preserve for our clients. After some thought, it was clear to us that we’d have to reorganize Analyst to make room for both approaches to the tool.
- Legacy Reports have returned with an updated look.
- Analyst’s core reports — the Industry Report, Occupation Report, Program Report, and Economy Overview — have been rearranged for clarity.
- Sliders have been replaced with links to full tables or other reports, making in-depth analysis easier.
- More tables in Analyst are now “smart tables” and multi-report workflows are easier to execute.
3. This software is easier to use. A shorter learning curve means less time learning software and more time using data.
Here at EMSI we put a lot of effort into training and working with our clients. Along the way we’ve noticed changes we can make to the software that will speed up the learning curve for many users. This allows us to spend less time training you on our interface and spend more time teaching your organization how to use data. And with more people in your organization using Analyst more often, we expect you to get more value out of your purchase.
- The tool is organized more intuitively so beginners can find what they need.
- Big improvements to search make it easier to dive in without specialized knowledge.
- Report options have been streamlined and now appear where you need them, when you need them.
- Starred reports help new and infrequent users get started right away or pick up where they left off.
- GIS has a new look that is more approachable and better integrated with the rest of Analyst.
4. We want to keep our technologies current so they remain easy to use and maintain.
Software conventions change over time. Keeping our software up to date with the current standards makes our software easier to use, helps keep future improvements incremental, and allows us to use the best new web technologies so our software stays snappy and innovative.
- The new look is more consistent with current design trends and will be more familiar to most clients.
- Under the hood, we’re using refactored code to deliver clean, fast software.
- Combining past versions into one product frees up developer time to streamline release cycles.
Selected Feature List:
- The homepage is much cleaner and is easier for beginners to navigate.
- A new navigational system makes everything easier to find.
- Search now understands job titles, skills and more and directs users intelligently to the best fit.
- You no longer have to make a region first, but only make a region when a report or table requires one.
- A new notifications system allows us to inform users of significant changes and store them for reference later.
- A new Options system ensures that all of the settings users need (and only the settings users need) are right at the top of any report, table or map.
- Options include many improvements to streamline region selection, group saving and loading, and other expert features.
- Options are identical across the product, so the user only has to learn one interface.
- Some options, like timeframe selection, are more visual and easier to understand.
- Users no longer have to create and save regions, which saves time for many intermediate and advanced users.
- (Future) Users can select and save regions interactively from a map.
- Reports pages can be organized flexibly and even searched for instant access to reports.
- Legacy reports have been reintroduced, updated, and streamlined.
- Reports have a new, modern look that improves readability and the attractiveness of exports.
- Some report sections and metrics have been renamed and are easier to understand.
- Many lightboxes have been eliminated in favor of expanded tables and accompanying graphics.
- More columns are available in many tables and a new Options interface makes selection easier.
- Filters can be combined and applied more flexibly.
- Table code has been refactored for faster load times.
- Some lesser-used but powerful tables (like Staffing Patterns) have been updated and have more features.
- Table styles have been updated for increased readability and usability.
- Maps have been completely redesigned to look like the rest of the product to increase usability.
- Maps now work similarly to tables, so more data points are mappable.
- Vastly streamlined code means more stability and ensures Maps will mature with the rest of the product.
- (Future) Fast-loading All MSAs by default, just like Industry and Occupation tables load everything by default.
- (Future) A new mapping engine will update the look and feel of the map portion.
- New group management system makes it easier to edit, share, and mass-delete groups.
- Saved Regions are really just groups, so a new Region Manager will benefit from these improvements as well.
- Program Review Groups (formerly Profiles) are managed just like other groups, making program review easier to find and accomplish.
- Any group can be saved from within an Options pane, connecting the Groups section to everywhere else in the product .
We’ve already begun introducing existing users to Analyst’s new interface, and demonstrating the specifics of generating reports, tables, and maps (don’t worry, it’s simple.). If you haven’t seen it yet, keep an eye on the blog. And, of course, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact your client services representative.