Driving Information Discovery and Enhancing Context with Atlan
The Lively Metadata Pioneers collection options Atlan clients who’ve lately accomplished a radical analysis of the Lively Metadata Administration market. Paying ahead what you’ve discovered to the following information chief is the true spirit of the Atlan group! In order that they’re right here to share their hard-earned perspective on an evolving market, what makes up their trendy information stack, progressive use circumstances for metadata, and extra.
On this installment of the collection, we meet Ted Andersson, Director of Enterprise Intelligence at CouponFollow, who shares how CouponFollow’s important enterprise development has pushed comparable development of their information, how he and his workforce evaluated the Lively Metadata Administration market, and the way Atlan can function the “glue” between their information practitioners and customers.
This interview has been edited for brevity and readability.
Might you inform us a bit about your self, your background, and what drew you to Information & Analytics?
I’ve an instructional background in arithmetic and statistics, graduating with a Grasp’s in Statistics. I’ve been all for information for so long as I can bear in mind, so it was a pure factor for me to go from working within the statistics realm to working within the information realm.
My profession in information began at a small influencer advertising and marketing firm, the place I used to be first launched to affiliate marketing online and the tech world. From there, my journey has taken me by way of numerous industries and roles. I’ve labored on initiatives starting from name quantity projections and optimum staffing ranges at a tax and accounting agency, to growing a chatbot for buyer assist questions. I additionally had a stint at an EMS companies firm, serving to them transition their software program from on-premise to the cloud.
I returned to Affiliate by becoming a member of Rakuten Rewards, and right here I’m at CouponFollow, the place I’m the Director of Enterprise Intelligence, liable for something Information. Wherever there’s any information that’s created, modified, remodeled, or visualized at CouponFollow, my workforce is liable for it. That workforce encompasses Information Engineering, conventional evaluation, and even the early phases of pushing into Machine Studying and Information Science initiatives.
Would you thoughts describing CouponFollow?
CouponFollow has historically been a coupon and deal website. Our founder is an professional in search engine optimisation and he’d been rising CouponFollow.com for greater than 10 years, however with the pandemic there was an enormous surge in curiosity in coupons and on-line buying.
As the corporate continued to mature, CouponFollow began to usher in a a lot bigger workforce, together with me, who was introduced in to start out the information workforce. On the time, they had been working with a consultancy that had gotten all of the “plumbing” in place, however they wanted somebody to assist set the imaginative and prescient and technique for information at CouponFollow.
Crucial a part of our enterprise is natural search. When somebody goes to Google and kinds in one thing like “Macy’s Coupon,” we wish to be as excessive as potential in that rating. We use Affiliate to monetize the press and that’s a very powerful a part of our enterprise.
That being stated, we’re at a spot now the place we’re beginning to diversify, shifting into the whitelabeling area with an providing for CouponFollow to construct branded buying experiences for choose companions. Prospects for this providing may be information or content material websites, the place you see coupons and buying as a part of their providing.
Now we have a couple of completely different methods, attempting to scale a enterprise away from simply being targeted completely on natural search, towards extra alternatives.
What does your information stack seem like?
Now we have Snowflake, dbt, and we use Sigma for visualization. CouponFollow was acquired a few yr in the past by a bigger firm referred to as System1, they usually’re a Tableau store, so we use a bit Tableau to accommodate their wants, and use Sigma for our personal reporting. Past that, we use Snowplow for real-time occasions, and a software referred to as Indicative for visualizing how our visitors is doing in actual time.
Why seek for an Lively Metadata Administration resolution? What was lacking?
This began off once I requested my workforce to doc dashboards and information fashions, and they might create one thing in Confluence. Primary, no one checked out it, and quantity two, by the point it was written, it appeared prefer it was already out-of-date. So the method was simply not scalable. We might construct a dashboard, then doc it, however as quickly as somebody modified that dashboard, the documentation could be out-of-date. When any individual would go to get a solution, the documentation was not giving them what they wanted.
Moreover, definitions themselves may be all over. One individual would possibly consider Click on-through Fee (CTR) to imply one factor, and a distinct workforce thinks of it as one thing else, they usually every have their very own dashboards which have CTR, however they aren’t aligned.
When these groups aren’t aligned, they ask “What’s the BI Workforce doing?” or “Why are they saying that” and you find yourself with numerous questions and confusion. CouponFollow ingests an amazing quantity of information from all types of various locations, and it’s very difficult to maintain monitor of all of it.
Due to all of this, a software like Atlan actually grew to become top-of-mind.
Why was Atlan a superb match? Did something stand out throughout your analysis course of?
We started once I talked to any individual who was working with Atlan and really helpful it. Due to that, Atlan was the place to begin in our search, however we at all times love to do our due diligence.
So I did some buying round to have a look at the opposite choices, like Alation, Castor, and Collibra, and had conversations with all these firms. A few of them definitely look like they’ve good instruments, however they may be targeted simply on very giant organizations. That’s not us, and that’s not what we had been in search of. So, it got here right down to Atlan and Castor.
Castor provided a reduced charge under what Atlan was charging. However I feel what pushed me and my workforce over the sting for Atlan was it simply looks as if Atlan is the extra complete, state-of-the-art software, and that Castor is enjoying catch-up. They only look like they’re a bit bit behind Atlan.
And I appreciated the gross sales method of Atlan. Typically talking, I didn’t discover the workforce to be pushy or “salesy”. It was extra like “That is our software. We all know what we’re about, we stand behind what we have now, and we wish to work with you as a companion.”
Typically we’ll get these bizarre gross sales pitches speaking about options which might be coming within the pipeline, possibly in six months, possibly by no means, saying, “Nicely in case you go along with us we’ll be good in two years.” Or there’s throwing shade on the competitors.
The Atlan pitch wasn’t about that. I discovered Atlan to be very direct, easy, and that you’re what you might be and also you’re assured in your product. I like working with firms like that.
What do you plan on creating with Atlan? Do you’ve an thought of what use circumstances you’ll construct, and the worth you’ll drive?
My workforce is within the planning phases of a reasonably large reorganization. The position of information at CouponFollow has grown tremendously from what was initially referred to as the Enterprise Intelligence workforce, however we’re actually a Information Engineering workforce.
We began with pulling information into the warehouse, and constructing some restricted visualization and reporting. Now we’re in a spot the place we’ve gotten traction, and there’s a variety of completely different instructions to go in, a variety of information, and a variety of scale. So the primary precedence is getting this reorganization performed so we will account for all these new, completely different processes we’re following with our information.
I would like Atlan to be the glue that pulls all of this collectively, and supply a single, shared place the place everyone can go to know the information, the way it flows, and the place it comes from. Our first three months contain rolling Atlan out to my very own workforce, and never an excessive amount of finish consumer or enterprise stakeholder involvement but. We’ll use it daily, perceive what’s in Atlan, after which we’ll do restricted rollouts to particular stakeholders who’re a bit extra data-savvy to get them engaged.
Down the highway, I’d prefer to see our enterprise customers empowered to make use of Atlan as a kind of “social place” the place they will are available and make a remark if one thing appears bizarre. If they’ve questions like “What’s the supply?” or “Who’s the proprietor?” they will do their very own exploration, they usually’ll know the place information is coming from, and which individual to speak to.
Proper now, if we don’t give enterprise customers a hyperlink to the dashboard they’re in search of, it’s very onerous for them to seek out one thing on their very own. Atlan shall be an ideal place for them to seek for one thing like the most well-liked dashboards to allow them to perceive how they may use them. That’s the form of conduct I’d prefer to see extra of.
Did we miss something?
For the needs of anybody studying that’s looking for the suitable software, I’d say the differentiating issue with Atlan is its place available in the market. It’s this “candy spot” the place I feel Atlan can work with any firm, whether or not it’s an organization that’s our measurement or an early stage startup, so long as they’ve considerably of an information stack. And I can see it rising to assist somebody like Procter & Gamble, as properly.
I feel Atlan can develop with our firm because it grows, too. The product is properly built-out, and any options I want to have seen in my wishlist had been already there. There wasn’t something missing the place we felt we must purchase early, then sit and watch for options to return on-line.
So I feel there’s a novel worth proposition that the competitors can’t fairly match. Even with their reductions, it was kind of a no brainer to go along with Atlan.