Over the weekend, gap intelligence launched our latest online Data Center, DCv3 (Data Center version 3). The weekend’s launch culminates over a year’s worth of planning, outlining, debating, programming, devils advocating, hole punching, code crunching, and ego stomping. We hope that the new Data Center gives our customers a better user experience, quicker and easier access to our market intelligence services, and enables our clients to control what information they receive and when they receive it.
With a product launch that includes thousands of user accounts that manipulate hundreds of millions of data points, even the best of us will let some bugs go unnoticed.
We need your help with the bugs, but first, let me talk about some new features.
Unique User Accounts!
The old Data Center (DCv2) allotted just one account name for each client. Therefore, a company such as Flyers Hockey, Inc had every employee tied to a single username and password. This proved to be both a nuisance for our clients as every new hire had to ask “What’s the password?” and the system was a security threat to us because any employee who left Flyers Hockey, Inc could still log-in (anywhere in the world).
With that, our new Data Center allows for individual accounts. Therefore, every Flyers Hockey, Inc employee can log in with a unique email address and create and maintain a unique password. No more “What is my password?”, because “You know your password!”
Creating an account is simple, here is a quick to-do list:
- Visit http://www.gapdatacenter.com/sign-up
- Enter your
a) Company-affiliated email address
b) First name
c) Last name
d) Specify the region of the world you are located in
- You will receive a confirmation email & a temporary password in your inbox
- Click confirmation link in email
- Enter in your username (email address) and password
and a video!
and a slide presentation!
“My Settings” and “Information Carts”
Allowing our clients to create individual accounts also opened the doors for us to rethink how our information is gathered and distributed.
In the “old days”, and by “old days” I mean last week, gap intelligence manually maintained and updated distribution lists for our categories. If a person at Flyers Hockey, Inc wanted to receive Laser Printer information they would have to contact that analyst directly. If the same person wanted digital camera information, they would be forced to contact a different analyst. Naturally, this was a tiresome process for our clients, who were forced to go through a manual process of adding themselves to each category. The process also proved to be tedious for our analysts, who not only had to manually add email addresses to a large distribution list, but also had no idea when an employee left a company.
With the new Data Center, we have created a “My Settings” page. This allows our clients to select the market intelligence categories they would like to receive and how frequently they receive that information (immediately or daily).
Here is a video tutorial on “My Settings” & “Notifications”
One of our goals in creating the new Data Center was to make market intelligence “fun”. “Fun” is not quickly associated with marketing research or the analysis of thirteen million data points, but we tried our best with the new Data Center. In the spirit of “Fun” we have created a shopping cart system that allows our clients to select multiple files and download them collectively with just one click. Just like any other online shopping cart (we don’t charge), our “Information Carts” allow you to download market intelligence reports (which convert into printable PDFs) and an infinite amount of spread sheet databases in just a single download.
However, we have taken the concept one step further and allow our clients to “share” information carts with each other.
Imagine you work at “Flyers Hockey, Inc” and you just downloaded a bunch of reports that you found interesting. The reports are SO interesting that you want to share them with your team.
In the old days (last week), you would have been forced to download each report individually, attach them to another email, and then send them to your friends. Now with the new Data Center, you can create a new Information Cart that is automatically given a unique URL address. All you have to do is copy and paste that URL and give it to your friends who will be able to download your exact information cart with just one click.
Behold! The power of the Information Cart!
Another “fun” aspect that we brought to the new Data Center is the ability to leave comments on individual market intelligence reports. Granted there may not be a massive amount of applications for the feature just yet, but “commenting” on products, reports, and new items will be a major feature of future versions of the Data Center (DCv4) – think Facebook.
For the time being, you can write a comment on any market intelligence report. However, your comments are reserved ONLY for YOUR COMPANY. No other company can read your comments – not even gap intelligence employees (me too) can read your comments. Therefore, we hope that our clients consider using the Data Center as an internal communications system.
Video on Comments:
We have added a new tab that displays weekend circular flyers. We added this for free. Just because……
Search within a specific category field!!
Searching for “Walmart”, but only interested in Digital Video Cameras during 2009? Yes you can!
These are just a few of the improvements of our new Data Center and we hope that you enjoy them all. As mentioned way up above, we need your help in finding the hundreds of bugs that we couldn’t find. It is in the cracks of the code, way deep and in the corners, where these bugs live and it will be our clients (unfortunately) who may find them first.
If you do stumble across a bug (or two), please feel free to report those breaks in the code directly to me:
Gary Peterson, President
You can call me too: 619-574-1100
We also have a blog / tech support page called www.dcv3.com, where you will find guides on many of the new features. There is also contact page here.
There is no bug too small or too large for you to report and for us to address right away.
We also would LOVE your feedback on the new Data Center and let us know your thoughts on how to improve the system. Same contact information as above, or you can email us at:
DCv3 Support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your patience through this change. We promise to continue to innovate and make our powerful market intelligence information easier to use and more valuable to you in the future.