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Datahub - CRM for international Trade

For many years UK government trade bodies have relied on close co-operation with the EU to record and analyse international imports, exports and investment data. Due to the UK leaving the EU in 2019, the UK will now have to rely on their own systems to do this. I was tasked with investigating how to build a system that could track, record and analyse all investment and export projects that the Department of International Trade engaged in.

When we scrutinised the current process, we realised that there were no connected data systems, very poor communication and no single source of the truth. Added to this, everyone worked in silos and worked to different KPI’s with no overall vision. We disseminated existing complicated trade concepts that were little understood by the teams working on investment projects.

We attempted to map the current process across the department, starting with investments and to identify common problems. Using design principles we developed prototypes which we user-tested for dashboards, search functions and all common aspects of investment and export projects, such as contacts, companies, leads and teams. We mapped all user journeys and functionality from the start of a project to completion.

Tasks included:

  • Identifying and interviewing key user groups.

  • Carrying out qualitative research.

  • Process mapping existing way of doing things, identifying pain-points through user research.

  • Mapping activities, needs, goals and barriers of key users of the the service.

  • Leading stakeholder workshops and producing insights documentation.

  • Writing scope and proposal documents.

  • Designing UX, journey interactions and UI for a new digital service.

  • User evaluation with paper & digital prototypes using HTML, Axure and InVision.


  • Streamlined working practices and workflow processes for a variety of users working to secure international export and investment deals for the UK.

  • Improved contact relationship management, providing department-wide single-source-of-truth and enabling the production of quality.

  • Production of transparent data allowing for accurate strategic analysis


Mapping the organisation’s job titles, hierarchy and the roles they played.


Part of the process map of the original journey for investments projects, how the data was recorded and communicated across the organisation.


Some interaction ideas of how to create an investment project, the key aspect to start recording the correct data of all investment data coming into the UK.


Part of an investment project process flow.


After a numerous user testing and a number of iterations we simplified the investment project user journey to 4 distinct gated stages. A underlining principle was to make the process transparent for all the users.


One of the least understood concepts, even by international trade consultants was what is and what is not an FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) project. I mapped out this process to allow the front-end developers to create the necessary variables.


I mapped out the validation gates for how the investment project moves from one stage to the next until the end of the project. I also showed how that related to the front-end.

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