Customer success

How Medidata Solutions uses Pendo to reduce dev dependencies and cut down time to build in-app guides from weeks to minutes


Drove 3,000+ new sign-ups for UX research sessions in three weeks

Reduced time needed to deploy in-app guides from weeks to minutes

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Medidata Solutions is a leading provider of SaaS and data analytics solutions for clinical research. They provide a complete end-to-end suite of solutions that supports the creation and implementation of clinical trials, all the way through go-to-market and manufacturing. By helping therapeutics researchers, manufacturers, and clinicians get drugs to market faster, they are powering smarter treatments and healthier people.

Medidata has always been committed to delivering exceptional experiences to their customers—and ultimately improving the lives of the patients who rely on therapeutics. This is also true for the experiences they deliver via their apps and digital products, and was one of the biggest drivers in their decision to partner with Pendo.

Today, Medidata is using the entire Pendo platform to understand user engagement, track and improve feature usage, collect feedback, and deliver tailored in-app resources to a broad array of user personas—including clinicians, research organizations, patients, and pharma companies. In the last two years, they’ve used Pendo to deliver in-app guidance and notifications to their diverse user base, as well as gather feedback and recruit participants for UX research initiatives. 

“Pendo allows us to dive into what’s going on, to really see that engagement [and] what’s happening on the page,” said Jonathon Wilson, senior R&D software systems analyst at Medidata. “I work with every department across the company . . . [to deliver] product analytics [that give our teams] an understanding of how users are actually interacting with our software, what they’re doing, when they’re in there, and where trouble spots may be.”

Improving UX research engagement and cost savings with Pendo

Wilson recently worked on a project with Medidata’s UX research team, leveraging targeted in-app guides built in Pendo to encourage users to share their feedback and meet with researchers. 

In the past, the Medidata team relied on traditional survey tools and recruitment forms to capture this type of input from users. But these communications were typically sent via email, and didn’t yield the results the team was looking for. “When we build these [recruitment forms and surveys] directly in the applications—which is what Pendo allows us to do—we know that we’re reaching our users directly,” Wilson explained.

After just three weeks of these in-app guides being live, the UX research team saw 3,000+ new sign-ups for live, in-person, or virtual UX research and interview sessions—a huge surge compared to previous results. “[The UX research team] was absolutely over the moon . . . [they] had never seen numbers like what we were getting in, thanks to the feedback forms that we [created using Pendo],” said Wilson.

“At the end of the day, it’s about creating a better user experience for our customers. And if we can do that, then we know they’re going to be satisfied with the products that we build, and that we’re doing a good job.”

Jonathon Wilson | Senior R&D Software Systems Analyst, Medidata Solutions

Reducing dev dependencies and delivering content to users, right when they need it

Medidata also uses Pendo to deliver in-app system notifications, like downtime notices or new feature alerts to their user base. And Medidata knew that being able to reach users directly—without asking them to hunt down resources for themselves—was critical in delivering an exceptional user and learning experience. 

“[With Pendo, we have] the ability to deliver content directly in the application, right where [users] need it—whether that’s through a guide with a badge, or an automatic guide like a walkthrough,” Wilson said. “[Pendo gives us] the ability to reach out directly to them and say, ‘We know this is a place that might be sticky. Here’s something that’ll help you get through that.’, and [also] to leverage other tools like the Resource Center and polls.”

Today, Wilson and his team own the creation and deployment of in-app guides across Medidata’s platform of products. But in the past, these in-app messages—notably notification guides like system updates between releases—would typically take the product, engineering, and service delivery teams up to two sprints to produce.

“When you consider everyone involved in just one UI initiative—tech comms, development, product, testing, service and delivery, validation—there’s a lot of paperwork and manual work that has to be done,” said Wilson. “When we’re building a guide with Pendo, we cut all of that down to about 15 or 20 minutes. We’re [giving all that time back to our team] so they can continue working on bugs, features, and new improvements to the software—instead of just having to focus on building text guides that are going to go into the UI.”

“Because of the ease with which we can put [in-app guides] together in Pendo, we’re able to get more information out to our users. We do more pre-announcements about feature releases that are coming out—because we’re no longer tied to the code. We’re no longer tied to development dependencies.” 

Jonathon Wilson | Senior R&D Software Systems Analyst, Medidata Solutions

Aligning Medidata’s digital and physical experiences with a clear vision

All of the work Medidata has done with Pendo ties into their broader mission to make clinical trials more efficient, cost effective, and impactful to the patient. “Here at Medidata, we’re advocates for the user. And I see my work in Pendo the same way,” Wilson explained. “So whether that’s on the guide delivery side or the analytics and engagement side, the whole end goal is to provide the best experience that we can for the user.”

The Medidata team leverages the entire Pendo platform to help bring this mission to life. From using Pendo Analytics to evaluate funnels and paths to see where users are succeeding or struggling, to deploying data-informed guides through Pendo In-app Guides to get users through any troublesome spots they’re facing, to gathering user feedback to inform the roadmap—Pendo is a key partner at every step of the lifecycle.

“Knowing that we have a tool [like Pendo] that allows us to approach the lofty goals we have as a company is really rewarding.”

Jonathon Wilson | Senior R&D Software Systems Analyst, Medidata Solutions


To learn more about how Medidata Solutions leveraged Pendo to build more efficiently and drive exceptional user experiences, check out the slides and recording from Jonathon Wilson’s breakout session at Pendomonium 2023.

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