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Allowing the data to speak for itself

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About

Indicia is a data solutions driven customer engagement company. Working across many disciplines, Indicia uses data to deliver impactful campaigns, intelligent segmentation, and deep analytical modelling enabling their customers to tell their brand stories! One Indicia customer, a UK-based leader in its industry, has benefited from Indicia’s creativity, strategy and passion for leading technology solutions, which have enabled unrestricted access to and granularity of their data like never before.

Challenge

Indicia’s client recognized the need to take ownership of their data to put it to work for them. They had a great deal of extensively rich first party and behavioural data they weren’t making the most of. Individual projects yielding the data were held up by siloed solutions without join ups. In order to derive any value from the dispersed data, time consuming manual analytical processes were required. Indicia was commissioned to build a marketing analytics platform to synchronize solutions and handle billions of rows of data. The new environment also needed to integrate with already adopted technologies, including Alteryx, Tableau, and Adobe Campaign.

Indicia’s client wanted a cloud based solution as a number of their existing projects were already in the cloud running on Amazon Redshift. An options assessment based on data needs determined that the most suitable solution for this particular synchronization initiative was widening the usage of Amazon Redshift, in line with their existing strategy. Amazon Redshift gave them both the granularity and control over their data they were looking for and had yet been able to achieve. With Amazon Redshift, a fully managed service, they were able to run their own marketing environment minus the tedious overheads and high total cost of ownership as experienced with on-premise databases.

Solution

The client was already using Alteryx for data blending and modelling, but Matillion was new to Indicia. They evaluated Matillion and Alteryx alongside other industry leading ETL solutions. After a thorough review of potential solutions, Matillion was the “clear choice” as it was easy to use, affordable but most importantly powerful. Through onboarding “Matillion was on hand and helpful in getting everything done.” Matillion ETL for Amazon Redshift is available exclusively through the AWS Marketplace and only takes a few minutes to configure. Graham Lannigan, Solution Architect at Indicia has been able to build out orchestration and transformation jobs faster than expected since Matillion is “so incredibly quick to develop.” The S3 components have placed “Matillion ETL at the heart” of their data lake strategy.

Results

Previously, multi-billion row data was stored on a web analytics platform. The client would have to go back and explore the multi-terabyte data accumulated in order to develop the query. Next they would have to hand code the query, run it and wait to see results or failure error. The query output could be delayed if the code didn’t work necessitating time to fix and re-run. With Matillion ETL, conversely, they are using the Task History features “especially the visual breakdown with the execution time summaries” to identify time consuming jobs to optimize queries saving both time (in the regions of days) and money. The granularity of the data has also improved.

Granularity is being achieved by Amazon Redshift and Matillion ETL for Amazon Redshift. Since the development team can tweak things on the fly they are better able to follow what the data is trying to tell them, allowing the data to speak for itself and yield its greatest value. The development team has established their own in-house standards using the Notes component to define each step in a job explaining how granularity is being derived. All of this is allowing the client to “look at the data in different ways and inform decisions in ways they could never do before”.

What's next?

The project team is already looking to the future and how other Matillion ETL for Amazon Redshift pre-built components and features, such as the RDS Input and Output components, will aid their future data needs. Graham explained that he and the team have worked with Pentaho, hand-written SQL and proprietary as well as SSIS before, which was “brilliant but has a lot of drawbacks”. In Matillion, on the other hand, everything is SQL based making it really easy to interpret as SQL operations. Furthermore, the “immediacy of it is incredibly helpful for development”, Indicia is able to “quickly sample, filter data, see how the data has been transformed instantly.

Benefits

  • Built specifically for AWS and Amazon Redshift
  • Intuitive browser-based user experience – easy on-boarding and powerful
  • Push-down ELT architecture – simplified infrastructure, fast performance
  • Powerful feature set Retail-like acquisition through AWS Marketplace
  • Affordable pricing for everyone, from small startups to Fortune 500 companies
  • Wide range of data source connectors, all included
  • A fully-integrated, data-integration tool that requires no additional development or maintenance staff
The immediacy of it is incredibly helpful for development - quickly sample, filter data, see how the data has been transformed instantly. Graham Lannigan Solution Architect| Indicia