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8 - Cloud Apps
8 - Cloud Apps

Leveling Up Analytics - Embedding Sisense Dashboards to Replace Home-grown Solution

Modus is a SaaS-based enterprise sales enablement solution built by a small team in Minneapolis.  Leveraging popular open-source graphing libraries, the Modus team originally rolled out an in-house developed data visualization solution.  While successful, this initial undertaking generated a large influx of customer requests - more dashboards, reports, automatic subscriptions, and filters.  Engineering was quickly overwhelmed by the requests - it seemed that no two customers were alike and they all needed something different to meet their needs.  Facing a never-ending roadmap of inbound feature requirements, the team evaluated their in-house solution against commercially available data visualization products.  

The team ran concurrent proofs of concept with Sisense and Amazon Quicksight; leveraging the deep knowledge of the Sisense team, Modus was able to quickly put in place the Sisense dashboards, get them in front of the executive team, and select customers who were invited to participate in the process.  Quicksight offered a lower-cost commercial solution, but the user experience was not significantly better than our in-house solution.  Modus was also left to implement Quicksight entirely on our own, without significant assistance from Amazon.  In contrast, Sisense provided direct access to engineering resources whenever a question or issue arose.  

Modus encountered several significant challenges during the proof of concept implementation of Sisense. Staying close to the existing functionality and the look and feel of the in-house solution was a priority to minimize change management for our customers.


During the proof of concept phase, we identified several areas of the user interface that did not have direct, out-of-the-box equivalents in Sisense.  By leveraging the success team at Sisense, we were able to identify several plugins that allowed us to get close enough to the user experience we needed.  

One plug-in that proved to be particularly useful was Sticky Filters ( Initial pilot feedback from users uncovered frustration at having to re-select the date range on every dashboard.  Customers wanted the date filter (and others) to persist across dashboards.  Working with the Sisense team, we walked through our initial feedback and they helped point us in the right direction for plugins (or workarounds) for all of our critical feedback points.  

Beyond plugins, we also discovered that customers expected the UI controls they were using to download detailed reports from widgets to be in the same place as they previously were.  Unfortunately, the built-in widgets did not support the layout we had used.  Our account team helped us to identify a technique to customize the layout of the specific widgets we needed, allowing us to retain the placement and style of the controls for downloading detailed reports.  

Overall, our implementation experience was significantly improved by having a team of experts at Sisense guiding us along the way.  While technically competent, the Modus engineering team was able to focus on their domain knowledge and expertise, while leveraging Sisense’s team to point us in the right direction.  Without their guidance and support, our implementation would not have been successful.



Scott Olson co-founded Modus in 2013 as CTO, growing the company to 45 employees before being acquired by Bigtincan in 2023.  He is currently an engineering director, leading development on Bigtincan’s core platform.