Digital Detours: Whatfix Paves the Way

Whatfix's data-driven approach, coupled with its commitment to agility and innovation, positions it as a frontrunner in revolutionizing digital workspaces and driving organizational success through enhanced user experiences and productivity.

Minu Sirsalewala
New Update

Vara Kumar

Picture a digital workspace that not only functions efficiently but adapts intuitively to the needs of its users—this is the vision that Whatfix brings to life. Known for its impactful presence in the digital adoption platform arena, Whatfix is recognized by Forrester and Gartner not just for its market presence but for its innovative approach to user engagement. With its recent advances in Product Analytics, Whatfix goes beyond mere functionality, offering tools that aim to smooth out the digital bumps that frustrate employees and hinder productivity. As we unpack the layers of Whatfix’s strategy, we'll examine how their data-driven approach attempts to refine and redefine the interaction between digital tools and their users. Can Whatfix deliver on the promise of making digital platforms more user-friendly while enhancing operational efficiency? Let’s explore the evidence and see how it stacks up. Minu Sirsalewala, Executive Editor, Dataquest in conversation with Vara Kumar, Head of R&D and PreSales & Cofounder, Whatfix. 



In your experience, how has Whatfix's approach to digital adoption solutions uniquely utilized analytics to drive a more personalized and effective employee experience? Can you share a specific case where analytics played a crucial role in tailoring solutions for a client's workforce?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital adoption platforms (DAP), there's been remarkable progress over the past decade, with pioneering companies like Whatfix leading the charge. Whatfix has been named a leader in several analyst reports, including Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Everest Groups and others. It has been the highest-ranking DAP on Deloitte Technology Fast 500™ North America for three consecutive years, underscoring its industry prominence and customer appreciation.


In 2023, Whatfix expanded its product portfolio by launching Product Analytics, acknowledging the crucial role of identifying users’ friction points at scale in achieving digital transformation success. This provides organizations with comprehensive insights into how employees interact with digital tools and platforms, enabling them to optimize user experiences, streamline workflows, and enhance productivity. Armed with this data, organizations can identify drop-off or friction points, create user cohorts, gauge feature adoption rates, map user journeys, track conversion events, and more.

Utilizing the economies of such insights, Whatfix worked with a Fortune 500 enterprise to facilitate data-driven change management. During the transition from legacy systems, the enterprise aimed to gauge user interaction with new application modules, pinpoint and phase out legacy modules with significant adoption, and concentrate efforts on modules with low adoption rates. Leveraging Whatfix Product Analytics, they were able to chart user paths via trends and dashboards to enhance usability. With smart tips or nudges, DAP efforts were added to the applications based on data insights and expedited changes in business processes. This data-driven approach empowers enterprises to enhance productivity, streamline operations, and ensure optimal utilization of software resources by employees.

As organizations increasingly prioritize data-driven decision-making, how can HR leaders leverage analytics to not only address current talent challenges but also anticipate future needs? Are there specific metrics or analytics tools you find particularly valuable in this context?


Organizations are increasingly prioritizing data-driven decision-making as employees have a direct impact on customer experience and business outcomes such as revenue and profits. Gartner's recent survey highlights challenges faced by employees, such as difficulty accessing crucial work-related information in the complex digital work environment. The proliferation of multiple software applications adds to the complexity, with employees using upwards of eleven applications daily compared to just six in 2019.

HR leaders can leverage analytics to gain insights into user behavior and feedback, guiding innovation through better analysis of user data.

Whatfix's AI-powered Product Analytics empowers software owners with a comprehensive suite of functions, including application utilization tracking, key insights into software performance, user drop-off analysis, content engagement through guidance analytics, and enterprise insights for visibility into licensing utilization and adoption, enabling a broad spectrum of analytical capabilities. Customers, especially Fortune 500 companies focused on talent acquisition and recruitment, find substantial benefits in Whatfix Analytics for their recruitment-related needs. This includes improving agent efficiency, optimizing the registration-to-call ratio, and reducing the time required to fill job openings. Utilizing DAP to track behavior and take appropriate actions has proven successful for these specific use cases.


On the other hand, Whatfix Enterprise Insights empowers organizations to monitor, visualize, and analyze data related to applications, processes (across various apps), and enterprise-level adoption and engagement with software. Enterprise Insights offers a centralized dashboard displaying various metrics, such as software adoption, process completion rates, net promoter score, etc., across the entire software stack within an organization. This dashboard can be tailored to prioritize metrics that are most significant to the organization. This information holds utmost importance for IT and business leaders as it offers insights into license utilization, adoption rates, and engagement metrics for all essential enterprise applications and processes. Also, Whatfix in-app surveys gather user feedback within the application interface itself, enabling users to respond to questions and offer insights without the need for redirection to external websites or third-party platforms. Leveraging this data, enterprises can eliminate productivity obstacles and enhance organizational efficiency.

What do you foresee as emerging digital trends in HR technology and how will analytics play a role in maximizing the impact of these trends? What strategies do you recommend for organizations building a data-driven culture within their HR departments?

In the dynamic landscape of HR technology, several emerging trends have gained prominence, such as artificial intelligence (AI), people analytics, employee well-being, enhanced data security, continuous learning, and more. However, 2024 is expected to witness a notable increase in the adoption of AI by HR leaders, not just as a tool but as a dynamic catalyst for empowering the workforce. Forrester predicts the emergence of Chief AI Officers (CAIOs) in one out of eight executive leadership teams and that 12% of companies with a robust AI strategy will have a CAIO directing the overall strategy. With the rise of Gen AI, HR professionals can streamline their daily operations, spanning workforce planning to recruitment and administrative tasks.


As Forrester predicts, the analytics market in India is on a rapid growth trajectory, with a doubling of unstructured data managed by enterprises anticipated by 2024. By harnessing analytics, HR leaders can leverage insights derived from employee usage patterns and interaction behaviors to identify challenges and enhance the user experience swiftly. This data-driven approach ensures a higher return on investment for HR technology and cultivates a culture of continual improvement and innovation within the organization.

To capitalize on the potential of analytics in HR technology, organizations should prioritize building a data-driven culture within their HR departments. One effective strategy involves leveraging product analytics to measure and optimize key HR processes. For example, by employing product analytics on benefits enrollment processes, HR can gain insights into enrollment times and identify bottlenecks, enabling them to streamline the process and enhance efficiency. In fact, at Whatfix, we used the Whatfix AutoComplete feature, which we used during our performance assessment to streamline mundane inputs to save valuable time during the crunch period of performance assessment

Whatfix Ask Insights empowers HR professionals to uncover valuable insights from data without requiring extensive knowledge of analytics. With this capability, individuals can ask questions in natural language and derive actionable insights, thereby democratizing access to data-driven decision-making throughout the organization.


The integration of analytics into HR technology presents a transformative opportunity for organizations to optimize their human resources management practices. Leveraging the potential of analytics and userization (making technology savvy to the unique needs of a user) is essential for enterprises to showcase their leadership in transformative shifts in how they attract, nurture, and retain their most invaluable asset: their workforce.

What role does data security play in the development and implementation of Whatfix's solutions, and how do you ensure that your technology infrastructure meets the highest standards of security and compliance?

At Whatfix, data security is ingrained into the very fabric of our solutions. Today where threats lurk around every corner, we understand that safeguarding sensitive information is paramount. We continuously assess and fortify our platform and its associated infrastructure against potential vulnerabilities. Our commitment to data security begins with a proactive approach, where customers have the choice to determine the sensitive information they want us to collect/process. We further limit the collection of sensitive information to what is necessary.


To ensure the highest standards of security and compliance, we conduct and also engage reputed third parties to conduct periodic security assessments and tests to enable us to identify and address any potential weaknesses. Our focus extends beyond detection to proactive measures to provide additional assurance to customers. These measures not only enhance performance but also bolster security and enable Whatfix to be transparent to customers.

Our comprehensive security approach guarantees steadfast protection for critical data, underscoring our dedication to excellence in data security across every aspect of our solutions.

With the increasing emphasis on AI and machine learning, how do you envision these technologies shaping the future of digital adoption solutions, and what role do they play in Whatfix's roadmap?

AI and ML are changing how we envision the future.  According to the latest PwC study on AI's potential, it holds immense promise for bolstering the global economy. By 2030, it's projected to contribute more to the world economy than the combined output of India and China. With the need for digitalization and as AI and machine learning continue to evolve, the advancement of these technologies will enable more personalized and proactive user guidance, allowing platforms to adapt to individual needs and preferences in real-time.

Our GenAI investments are divided into two core areas. Firstly, we focus on enhancing the authoring experience by integrating GenAI capabilities. This not only facilitates the efficient creation of DAP content but also enables insightful analysis of vast and intricate datasets. Some of the GenAI features we've introduced include the analysis of Survey results, which swiftly captures the pulse of data, and AskInsights, which identifies patterns using natural language processing within extensive analytics data.

The second area of focus is to assist users in writing content more efficiently and accessing answers to queries promptly. Among the GenAI features we've rolled out, AutoComplete stands out by prompting users with the next few words to expedite text completion. The unique selling proposition lies in the contextual prompts provided by Whatfix. Additionally, QuickRead summarizes answers from various knowledge repositories within an organization, enhancing accessibility and efficiency for users.

What were the initial challenges you faced in establishing Whatfix as a successful deep tech company, and how did you overcome them? Additionally, what key lessons have you learned from building and scaling a startup, and what advice would you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs?

When we started up with SearchEnabler, an on-demand (SaaS) platform for SEO requirements, our main focus was on completing the product for its launch so that we could enter the market with a feature-rich product. Once launched, we realized that many of the amazing features were unused by customers, and onboarding them was challenging. The customers needed more technical knowledge or support to utilize all the product features effectively.

After acquiring the first 30 or 40 customers for SearchEnabler, we recognized that customers using SearchEnabler primarily expected support and hands-on assistance, which we provided in the form of the “Fix It” button. With so much effort going into the handholding of the customers, they reassessed the product-market fit of SearchEnabler. The realization of the need for "Fix It” support from every customer laid the groundwork for Whatfix, a digital adoption platform, as it exists today.

This is when we pivoted to a new product aligned with the new problem statement: how can we enable the adoption of software for users? As it was a different domain and a new problem statement from our first enterprise, we focused on creating a compelling narrative, precise buyer personas, and a deeper understanding of the competition. This clarity strengthened the concept of Whatfix and enhanced the effectiveness of the go-to-market strategy. Whatfix has seen great traction and steady growth since its inception as it continually refined its target segments.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, my advice is to select a specific segment to target, even if it's initially small. Plan strategically so that transitioning to adjacent segments becomes feasible in the future. Keep in mind that success doesn't follow a set formula. Listen to recommendations, but ultimately, trust your instincts and do what you believe is best for your company's growth. Remember, the culture of your company begins with how the founders act. From day one, embody the values and behaviors you expect from all employees. Cultivating a strong company culture early on is crucial, as it's incredibly challenging to change later down the line.   

Startups often pivot and adapt based on market feedback. Can you share instances where Whatfix adjusted its approach or product offerings based on user feedback or changes in the competitive landscape? How important is agility to the success of a startup?

Before founding Whatfix, Khadim and I spent three years developing another product that failed to gain traction. Coming from engineering backgrounds, we were focused on creating a robust solution and not as much on customer engagement. We operated under the misconception that a product had to be complete before launch. As mentioned earlier, many features went unused, and onboarding was challenging. This led to a significant waste of time, effort, and resources; ultimately, we had to pivot.

Therefore, we established a protocol: we would only develop something with validation or feedback from potential customers. Honing this approach over the years, working collaboratively with our customers as co-innovators of our product lines, in 2022, we formally introduced the concept of 'Userization,' to the world. This secret sauce of our innovation emphasizes simplifying tasks in technology and facilitating better collaboration among users. Userization serves as the bridge that ensures technology aligns with the user, not the other way around. It empowers organizations to deliver user-friendly technology solutions that enhance user experiences, drive greater efficiency and productivity across the application stack, and encourage users to unlock their full potential, making technology more accessible, intuitive, and approachable. At Whatfix, we are strong proponents of the userization philosophy; our DAP, Product Analytics, and now Mirror product lines are built on this concept. Whatfix is committed to evolving alongside our users in a dynamic landscape.

Startup success depends on agility. Being agile and adaptive enables us to respond swiftly to market changes and evolving customer needs. It enables effective distribution of resources, risk mitigation by trial and error, and flexibility in response to evolving conditions. This flexibility allowed Whatfix to pivot quickly in response to shifting market conditions, ensuring that we remained ahead in meeting the dynamic demands of our users and the competitive landscape. Agility is a foundational principle that drives our business success.