Case The Finnish Publishers Association

The Finnish Publishers Association updates the UI and back-end tech of their statistical reporting system with Timehouse

The Finnish Publishers Association worked with Timehouse to refresh their Statistics web app. UI changes and a technical upgrade conserve vital publishing data for the future. 

Customer & collaboration

The Finnish Publishers Association is a non-profit cooperation body. At the heart of its mission lies the promotion of the common interests of its members as well as supporting publishing, the distribution of literature, reading, and freedom to publish in Finland. The association provides essential data and statistics on Finnish publishers that are collected via its Statistics web app.  

How was Timehouse selected as a partner?

Timehouse had worked with the Finnish Publishers Association for several years, proving to them that Timehouse had the necessary technical and user experience understanding. 

Challenge

The statistics collected, collated, and published by the Finnish Publishers Association are an important source of data on literature and publishing in Finland. Published on an annual, bi-annual, and quarterly basis, they provide a detailed and extensive overview of the market. The same system has been used to collect this industry data since 2008. 

Member publishers and book distributers fill in the surveys and the data is collected and organised into tables that are translated into detailed reports and pie, bar and line charts on key issues such as book sales stats, translations, and accessibility (Timehouse has helped with grading digital publications for accessibility).  

The Statistics system itself needed an overhaul to keep it running smoothly. As well as an overhaul of the UI of the browser-based tool itself, there was also a need for some back-end changes to the system to future proof it properly and ensure its security. 

Solution

Technically, this was a about transforming Excel sheets into enriched rata in a light-weight web application. Everything was to be agile and data-informed, with weekly sprints and meetings setting the tone for a close and efficient collaboration.  

Working together with the Timehouse team, the association mapped out the way they needed the renewed Statistics system to work. Valuable input from a member survey amongst those who used the system was also factored in, with the most active users being brought into a workshop to go over needs. 

Refreshing the UI and UX of the statistical system not only helped it run smoother, but it also helped members provide accurate data. As well as the UI work, there was a need to upgrade the technical side of the system’s back-end to ensure it would remain running smoothly for many years to come.  

Having a better and smoother running system for collecting data was key to better member engagement. Creating a better customer experience for association members was achieved through improving the forms used to collect data, including the use of summation, autosave, and pre-fill functions. 

Timehouse also made changes that gave the association the ability to customise HTML email templates and even edit the headings on the Statistics web app itself. It was very important to give the association the ability to customise the system themselves, without having to call Timehouse for every little change to the application, given them ownership over the data and story it tells. 

The changes made by Timehouse made data collection and data requests easier. They also helped communicate the value of data, increasing its value. The new forms and system meant less errors were made and ensured the internal UI matched the glossy stats published online. 

The Statistics system is well integrated with the association’s processes and functions, at times functioning almost as a light-weight CRM: the association can easily add notes to records when sending out data requests. User management is a lot easier than before. 

In a nutshell

  • Microsoft SQL Server

  • ASP.NET Web API

  • ASP.NET Razor

  • Custom Web-based application:

    HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap

  1. Completely custom data collection and enrichment browser-based web application 

  2. UX and UI design 

  3. Technical upgrade to lengthen application lifespan  

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