Web App for configurable annual financial reporting

Willis Towers Watson is a leading global professional services company. With over 45,000 employees, serving more than 140 countries and markets, there is a huge amount of data to store and report on. The company approached Brightec with the challenge of designing an executive web app that could present complex and extensive annual pension data concisely. The resulting web app allowed users to filter the displays and configure the data to suit their needs.

Willis Towers Watson Executive App screenshots on iPhone

The Executive Data Explorer

Unlike the OneDB project in which data visualisation played a very heavy role, this project required a presenter mode with more static graphs, summarising a data set concisely across potentially complex company structures.

The Executive Web App is a web version of a Willis Towers Watson annual accounting report. The company required it to be flexible and configurable in the presentation of data, a challenge Brightec were keen to take on. The project was split into three distinct phases:

Jotham reviews feedback from the session on post it notes

Stage One: The Requirements Gathering

At the beginning of the project, the Brightec team travelled to Germany to meet with the Willis Towers Watson project team. Over two days, and with plenty of coffee, the company presented their ideas to the Brightec team and shared their expectations regarding the web app. We discussed their requirements and guided them to outline exactly what they hoped to achieved from the web app.

Jotham and Jonny working together to review design and development progress

Stage Two: The Prototyping

Next, came the prototyping stage. Prototyping is important at Brightec as it helps clients to visualise if the apps will look and work how they want them to. This stage took several months and involved weekly video calls with the team in Germany, during which we presented our ideas and discussed their feedback. The process was very collaborative and having regular discussions across both teams really helped to perfect the final product.

Developers reviewing the code and mobile display

Stage Three: The Production Build

During the production phase, we sent the relevant coding to Willis Towers Watson so they could host and run the web app independently. Due to the security around the data they manage, the company had their developer build the back-end of the web app and input the data while we built the front end, ensuring data configurability. This made sure that all Willis Towers Watson’s data was kept secure throughout the project.

Delving into Project Challenges

One of the main challenges we faced while working on this project was making the web app data driven and configurable. As there were vast amounts of data the web app needed to display, each section had to be broken down to ensure the data could be easily filtered per company. Working closely with the WTW team, we were able to approach this challenge with confidence.

As Willis Towers Watson is a financial company, they hold a lot of data they could not disclose to Brightec. Without access to live data we instead had to pass over code we had written for the Willis Towers Watson team to input on their end. This did extend the project timeline, however having worked with pension data before, it was a challenge our team was equipped to overcome.

Another challenge we overcame was the requirement to replicate the data to suit different countries, currencies, and company structures. This meant that users had to be able to filter their search results by type, region, country, and currency. Brightec built the ability for the user to filter the displays to refine their selection via the web app settings. All the filters are data driven and the contents of the screen are configurable. Again, we had to work closely with the Willis Towers Watson back end development team to pass code we had written over to them to replicate it into different languages and frameworks so that it could be hosted in each environment.

Willis Towers Watson Executive App screenshot of a balance sheet on iPad

Delivering the Executive Web App

At the end of this project, we delivered a web app to Willis Towers Watson that could filter and present data configured to the individual requirements of each company. Our web app has helped Willis Towers Watson to advance their digital offering around financial reporting processes by enabling their clients to access specific data easily.

Web Apps to Transform Business

At Brightec, we think technology should aid the growth and success of your business. That’s why we work hard to create intelligent web apps for the everyday user. Whether you are looking for a web app or a mobile app, we develop applications for desktops, tablets and mobile that help you get business done. Call us on (+44) 1273 625959 or email us at hello@brightec.co.uk to find out how we can help you.

To discover more about the apps we have developed, check out our projects page.