Unified Data

A case study in research

Case Study: Unified Data Research

  • image03
    Data Object Use Cases
  • image01
    Data Object Intersections
  • image02
    Persona & Use Case Identification
  • image03
    Persona & Use Case Heirarchy
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

*Images have been obfuscated intentionally to protect intellectual property.

Problem Statement

Users accessing a shared platform would experience data loss when comparing any of the seven isolated products that recently converged onto one platform using a single authentication.

Research Performed

Personas & Use Cases

A fellow Senior UX Designer and I collaborated and conducted several interviews to identify all of the personas and use cases accessing the platform across all of the seven product lines that were actively converging. We identified 32 unique personas and 112 use cases. Multiple personas shared several use cases, and we were able to create a persona hierarchy where some personas were identified as supersets of other personas, encompassing all of their use cases and adding to it.

Shared Data Objects

Across the use cases, we identified eight shared data objects that all personas needed access to perform their use cases. We also identified interconnectivity requirements between the shared data objects themselves as required to accommodate use cases.

Shared Module Functions

Across the nine products, we identified 62 shared product functions that were either already replicated in multiple products or which products would benefit from having a shared piece of functionality rather than rebuilding themselves. The summary raised awareness as to how much duplicate development multiple teams were performing.

Shared Data Impact

We next created a summary of each of the eight shared data objects and performed an impact analysis based on the number of personas, functions, modules (products), and use cases impacted by shared data objects. This summary helps Product Owners decide which shared data objects had the most business value to most users across the most number of products.

Persona Impact Summary

We then identified which user personas would be affected the most by shared data objects based on the number of use cases (including hierarchical use cases of sub-personas), data object touches, and across the number of products those personas interacted. This summary raised awareness to Product Owners as to who their most impacted and important personas were on the platform.


  • Executives and the entire Product Organization were given a formal presentation with all of the research findings, a summary of the discoveries made, and recommended next steps to unify the data models across the platform.
  • Over the course of 1 year, 4 of the 8 data models are now entirely unified under platform APIs. The other four are actively being tackled in order of impact and business value by Product.
  • 95K Monthly active users who migrated to the platform did so without noticing any data discrepancies between products because the data is unified. The transition was smooth and without event.
  • User trust was not breached by having unreliable data in the platform.