How Aiven manages the ever-growing reporting needs and creates a single source of truth with Supermetrics and BigQuery
- Like many fast-growing SaaS companies, Aiven struggled with managing siloed marketing data and creating a single source of truth.
- Initially, the team started using Supermetrics for Looker Studio to feed data directly from sources to their reports.
- As the team grew, they used Supermetrics to feed data into BigQuery, where they organized and transformed their data before reporting and analytics.
- With Supermetrics, Aiven can focus on finding insights and solving real marketing problems instead of worrying about collecting scattered data.
Industry: B2B SaaS
Size: 500+ employees
Products: Supermetrics for BigQuery, Supermetrics for Looker Studio
Aiven is a SaaS company that provides a fully-managed cloud data platform for companies. With Aiven, developers don't have to worry about setting up and maintaining their cloud databases. They can spend time on what they do best—creating applications. The company's based in Helsinki, Finland, with offices across the globe, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. In 2021, Aiven secured its series C funding and became Finland's latest unicorn.
Laura Tiensuu is Marketing Data and Analytics Manager at Aiven. She's the voice of data in the marketing team, helping them with reporting and finding insights.
Stijn Zanders is Data Engineering Manager at Aiven. He leads the analytics team. His main responsibilities include maintaining the centralized data platform and integrating and modeling all the data. When the data is ready, Laura's team comes in and uses it for marketing analytics purposes.
Managing the ever-growing marketing reporting needs
At the beginning of their data journey, the Aiven team brought data straight from sources to their BI tools. For marketing data, they use Supermetrics to get data into Looker Studio, where they build dashboards. For internal data, like product data, they fed data directly from their backend in PostgreSQL to Sisense, where they did some simple data modeling before visualizing the data.
Laura says, “Supermetrics has a wide range of available connectors. We don't really run into a situation where we're planning to, for example, try a new ad platform, and there wouldn't be a connector for that.”
Aiven has grown rapidly over the past two years. In 2022, the company doubled in size. The marketing department has also grown quickly, and the analytics team needs to keep up with that.
Stijn says, “The company has grown really fast, and we need to keep up with that—getting things done quickly. Supermetrics helps us a lot with that. It's much easier than coding something like that ourselves.”
As a result, the Aiven team started using a data warehouse to store all their data.
Creating a single source of truth in BigQuery
As the team evolved, the Aiven team added a centralized data team. Instead of pushing data directly from sources to BI tools, they added a data warehouse. This helped them create a single source of truth and gave them more room to do data modeling.
Stijn says, "There're many reasons why you would want to use a data warehouse. But the most important outcome for us is that we can all look at the same truth. Compared to when you have a report in Looker Studio or an Excel sheet, people will have different versions of what's actually happening.”
At this point, Aiven's data stack includes the following:
- Supermetrics for moving marketing data into Aiven's data warehouse
- Google BigQuery as Aiven's data warehouse
- dbt for data transformation
- Airflow for orchestration
- Sisense for data visualization
Since Aiven already used Supermetrics for Looker Studio, it was easy for the team to switch to BigQuery. Additionally, using Supermetrics, the Marketing Analytics and Data Engineer teams can collaborate better on managing data and building reports. Stijn shares, "What's nice about Supermetrics is that I just need to ask Laura to authorize the marketing data sources I want to pull data from, then I set up the sync, and it basically works—it's plug and play.”
He adds, "Another good thing is even though we have data across all these different ad platforms, it's very easy for us to combine them all into one table. So we have, for example, a table called Marketing Ads, which is the data about all the different ad platforms, and that's super easy to create with Supermetrics."
The ongoing plan: Mapping the holistic customer journey
Fast forward to today, the Aiven team's working on mapping the entire customer journey. For example, the users receive an email about Terraform. They click the link and visit the documentation page. Then they try the product, and the Aiven's backend will record this activity. Aiven’s trying to determine the percentage of users from that email campaign using Terraform within a week.
So far, the Aiven team's been reporting on the individual channel but not necessarily connecting all the dots. Stijn says, "We want to connect all the different touchpoints and look at them as a complete journey. Currently, the marketing team depends on the analytics team to get the needed data. But we want to make the data available to everyone."
Laura says, "From my perspective, the biggest challenge is definitely mapping the full, holistic journey that the users go through before converting into customers. So from different marketing touchpoints to the trials on our platforms. We want to combine all those steps into one complete journey and figure out the most impactful steps."
She adds, "Understanding the full journey and making that insight available for everyone in the marketing team so that they can also do their own exploration and look into these different journeys in a very easy way, and that's where we want to get to."
Focusing on finding insights and improving marketing performance
With Supermetrics and BigQuery, Laura can easily build reports for her marketing team. Laura shares, "We build different kinds of reports. From high-level paid channel overview to detailed performance for channels. And the same goes with many different areas from the web to measuring content and going quite granular."
Since getting data isn't a problem, the Aiven team can focus on solving the real problem and improving their performance.
Stijn says, "Supermetrics helps us find a lot of insights into where and what we can improve. Getting data is never a problem. We can focus on solving the real problems."
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