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Stewart Duncan
Director of Data Science, Simply
Business
Revamping Your Data
Approach
Introduction to Simply Business
● Amongst the largest business insurance providers in the
UK
● Almost 300,000 customers (a...
The Simply Business Product
● Tailored quotes from a panel of 20 insurance providers
● 4 verticals and over 1000 trades
● ...
Our analytics team a year ago…
Alberto
Daniele
Anthony
Imtiaz
Natalie &
Emma
How had we got there?
Core OLTP platform
migration
Single tool approach to our
data warehouse..
Siloed web analytics
Resul...
You can’t have it all
Volume Accuracy
Speed
Revamping Data Capabilities
MechanismOpportunity
Use data to optimise
existing processes
Run The
Business
Use data to opti...
Make data visible to users as early as possible
Zendesk
Using Event Data to Inform Product Decisions
Zendesk
Chopin
App
RabbitFeed
Ruby
TrackerServer
events
Snowplow Enri...
Keeping tabs on our event system
A/B Testing
Empowering Teams
• Not just the data team
• Gold, Silver, Bronze events
• Events or it didn’t happen
• Easy to send into i...
Adding a new Silver Event in LookML
Leveraging derived tables
Redshift window functions to
easily traverse event stream
Ba...
Incorporated into more complex models
New Silver Event
Empowering Teams
New events added to simple Explores, with
more complicated funnel events incorporated
using derived table...
Roadmap
• Incorporating more events from different systems
• Developing a customer identity service
• Moving to real-time ...
Zach Taylor
Product Marketing, Looker
Revamping Your Data
Approach
1
1 “Custom” Metrics
2 Centralize Data
3 Decentralize Access
3 Thoughts on
Data Strategy
“Custom” Metrics
Too broad Too Much
Noise
Not
Actionable
The Problem with Vanity Metrics
Individuals are not
empowered
Hard to isolate spec...
What to
Measure
Quantify
with Data
Rally
Around
Better
Metrics
“Custom” Analytics Instead
Identify what exactly
you want t...
Venmo’s Product Redesign
Before: After:
Whoops…
Using Custom Analytics
“It was clear some
users were
accidentally paying
instead of charging,
but it wasn't clear
how wide...
Centralize Data
Merge Disparate Sources
Marketing Data
Attribution channel
Adwords
Transactional Data
User details
Size of purchase
Event ...
“Our internal system
showing adoptions and
upgrades from Twitter
ads. This wouldn’t be
possible without tying
attribution ...
Decentralize Access
—TODD LEHR
SVP Engineering,
Dollar Shave Club
“We have a developer
name Juan and any
reports we needed
would flow through
...
—TODD LEHR
SVP Engineering,
Dollar Shave Club
“When he got
backlogged, our team
didn’t have access to
the data
immediately...
Domain
expertise
Allow
them to
explore
Create a
unified
model
Give Everyone Access
People with questions
are running the
b...
Model-Based Workflow
Unified
LookML
model
Data Team
Product
Marketing
Support
Unified model of the data Interface to the d...
Find metrics
that drive
decisions
Centralize
disparate
data
sources
Provide
data access
to your full
organization
Key Take...
Look & Tell London
What: Hear how our other
innovative customers are
leveraging their data
When: May 13, 6:30 pm
Where: Ac...
More Questions?
@lookerdata
@zachtaylor25
zach@looker.com
www.looker.com
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From Architecture to Analytics: A look at Simply Business’s data strategy

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Revamping Your Data Approach to Enable the Pace & Flexibility Needed to Make Timely Business Decisions

This slide deck is from Stewart Duncan of Simply Business and Zach Taylor of Looker. They discussed how Simply Business revamped their data approach to enable the pace and flexibility they needed to make timely decisions based on their data.

Simply Business offers a B2B web product that simplifies the experience of selecting and purchasing business insurance. With over 300,000 policyholders, Simply Business is the largest SME insurer in the UK. Removing friction for users as they complete the insurance quote process is critical to providing a hassle-free user experience and driving continuous improvements in conversion rates. Learn how data analytics helps them strive for these improvements.

Get ideas on the following:
- Using data for rapid A/B testing and to analyze user journeys to inform product development.
Transitioning from a traditional data architecture to a modern cloud-based stack integrating MongoDB, AWS Redshift, Hadoop and Looker.
- Designing a data platform and organizational process that drives data-driven behavior across an organization.
- Empowering product and marketing teams to get into granular online engagement and attribution data which has removed the bottleneck to making informed decisions.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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From Architecture to Analytics: A look at Simply Business’s data strategy

  1. 1. Stewart Duncan Director of Data Science, Simply Business Revamping Your Data Approach
  2. 2. Introduction to Simply Business ● Amongst the largest business insurance providers in the UK ● Almost 300,000 customers (and growing fast) ● Using tech to make insurance simpler, easier and more personalised ● Customer service is our beating heart ● Building a data-driven culture
  3. 3. The Simply Business Product ● Tailored quotes from a panel of 20 insurance providers ● 4 verticals and over 1000 trades ● Online and offline channels ● White label partnerships with large UK aggregators ● Proprietary rating engine technology ● Dynamic online journey - highly specific to a customer ● Highly agile technology Unique in our market niche, but fast moving and therefore challenging to analyse
  4. 4. Our analytics team a year ago… Alberto Daniele Anthony Imtiaz Natalie & Emma
  5. 5. How had we got there? Core OLTP platform migration Single tool approach to our data warehouse.. Siloed web analytics Resulted in… Which meant we did a lot of this…
  6. 6. You can’t have it all Volume Accuracy Speed
  7. 7. Revamping Data Capabilities MechanismOpportunity Use data to optimise existing processes Run The Business Use data to optimise the creation of new business processes Change The Business Explore data to identify new opportunities Find New Business Best practice data warehouse Scalable data exploration platform Unified event processing framework Automated event enrichment and loading Twitch analytics for product owners Analyst toolkit for discovery Data syndication (in & out) External analytics applications Leverage Position Use data to leverage position in market
  8. 8. Make data visible to users as early as possible
  9. 9. Zendesk Using Event Data to Inform Product Decisions Zendesk Chopin App RabbitFeed Ruby TrackerServer events Snowplow EnrichmentClient Javascript Tracker Custom Channel Enrichment Page view events Redshift Google AdWords Clicks and cost reports Post-process sessionising Cross-channel ID stitching ExactTarget Email Platform Telephony Solution Email events Call / Service events LookML Looker UI API Excel KPIs Aggregated Visitor Metrics SQL Server Mongo DB Budgets Financial Transactions
  10. 10. Keeping tabs on our event system
  11. 11. A/B Testing
  12. 12. Empowering Teams • Not just the data team • Gold, Silver, Bronze events • Events or it didn’t happen • Easy to send into infrastructure • LookML easily extended
  13. 13. Adding a new Silver Event in LookML Leveraging derived tables Redshift window functions to easily traverse event stream Basic counts for simple engagement metrics Logic can be promoted back into ETL when embedded
  14. 14. Incorporated into more complex models New Silver Event
  15. 15. Empowering Teams New events added to simple Explores, with more complicated funnel events incorporated using derived tables.
  16. 16. Roadmap • Incorporating more events from different systems • Developing a customer identity service • Moving to real-time data enrichment for feeding back into core application • Experimenting with Looker API for data syndication to other systems
  17. 17. Zach Taylor Product Marketing, Looker Revamping Your Data Approach
  18. 18. 1 1 “Custom” Metrics 2 Centralize Data 3 Decentralize Access 3 Thoughts on Data Strategy
  19. 19. “Custom” Metrics
  20. 20. Too broad Too Much Noise Not Actionable The Problem with Vanity Metrics Individuals are not empowered Hard to isolate specific outcomes/behaviors Don’t inform better decisions
  21. 21. What to Measure Quantify with Data Rally Around Better Metrics “Custom” Analytics Instead Identify what exactly you want to know Use data to quantify and measure specific behavior Empower individuals by tracking their impact
  22. 22. Venmo’s Product Redesign Before: After:
  23. 23. Whoops…
  24. 24. Using Custom Analytics “It was clear some users were accidentally paying instead of charging, but it wasn't clear how widespread the problem was and whether it was worth prioritizing a fix”
  25. 25. Centralize Data
  26. 26. Merge Disparate Sources Marketing Data Attribution channel Adwords Transactional Data User details Size of purchase Event Data Duration on the site Flow through app Redshift Unified model Integrated Model: • How much should we pay for a landlord insurance click vs business user click? • Are our marketing campaigns delivering quality users?
  27. 27. “Our internal system showing adoptions and upgrades from Twitter ads. This wouldn’t be possible without tying attribution data to our engagement data in a central database.” Funnels at Asana Source: https://eng.asana.com/2014/11/great-data- delivery/
  28. 28. Decentralize Access
  29. 29. —TODD LEHR SVP Engineering, Dollar Shave Club “We have a developer name Juan and any reports we needed would flow through him.”
  30. 30. —TODD LEHR SVP Engineering, Dollar Shave Club “When he got backlogged, our team didn’t have access to the data immediately.”
  31. 31. Domain expertise Allow them to explore Create a unified model Give Everyone Access People with questions are running the business As much data from as many vectors as possible So that people can rally around agreed- upon data
  32. 32. Model-Based Workflow Unified LookML model Data Team Product Marketing Support Unified model of the data Interface to the data
  33. 33. Find metrics that drive decisions Centralize disparate data sources Provide data access to your full organization Key Takeaways
  34. 34. Look & Tell London What: Hear how our other innovative customers are leveraging their data When: May 13, 6:30 pm Where: Ace Hotel Shoreditch
  35. 35. More Questions? @lookerdata @zachtaylor25 zach@looker.com www.looker.com

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