How German children’s TV network Super RTL built their reporting system with Supermetrics API

How German children’s TV network Super RTL built their reporting system with Supermetrics API

Key takeaways

  • Super RTL originally tried to get marketing data using an in-house solution but the team wasn’t happy with the quality of the data
  • They started looking for a solution that could extract data and scale to the organization’s needs
  • Super RTL chose Supermetrics API as it offers a direct connection to Power BI and their custom reporting tools
  • Super RTL can now reduce weeks of analytics into a few hours
  • The team has built automated dashboards to help the organization act quicker on insights

Quick facts

Industry: Specialty broadcasting

Founded: 1995

Size: 140+ employees

Markets: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

Products: Supermetrics API

Super RTL is the largest children’s media company in the DACH region, covering Austria, Germany and Switzerland. As a joint venture of the broadcasting company RTL and Walt Disney Company, Super RTL delivers content across a variety of different linear media and online channels. They operate apps, websites, and on-demand video content that together produce a huge amount of data.

The key players in making data available at Super RTL are Frederik Werner and Nico Schneider. Frederik leads the digital analytics team and works with everything related to web analytics and tracking. Nico works in Frederik’s team as the main architect of Super RTL’s Power BI dashboard. “Our team makes sure all the data is distributed to the teams that need it. We are in charge of developing Super RTL’s data culture,” Frederik says.

The starting point

The Super RTL team was looking to put the insights from their digital platforms into better use. One of their key data sources is Adobe Analytics. “It is the key tool. Our goal was to get different Adobe Analytics instances into dashboards,” Frederik says. Initially, Super RTL’s marketing team tried to extract data by themselves and had enlisted an agency to help them. They soon realized they needed to create a regular data extraction solution and turned to Frederik to help them solve this problem.

Looking for a solution

Frederik started to evaluate different options and initially compared two options. The first option was to hire pipeline engineers to manage data transfers. The other option was to find a solution that would help them automatically extract data. “We evaluated both options and started to research a solution,” Fredrik says.

Frederik wanted to see if he could find a managed data pipeline that would fit his criteria. His main goal was to find a solution that integrates with Power BI. “We wanted to get the data flowing as easily as possible. A key requirement was for the data to be directly parsed. We also wanted to avoid extra scripting work,” Frederik says.

“The overall goal was to get data democratized to the whole company. We wanted to get everyone informed about our business performance with fast loading dashboards,” Nico adds.

Why Supermetrics

Frederik ended up selecting Supermetrics API as their data pipeline. “We really liked how Supermetrics covered our sources. It wasn’t just the coverage but also the quality of the data that impressed us. What the source API offers, Supermetrics does too,” Frederik says.

Ease of use also factored into Frederik’s decision. “We wanted to automate as much of the process as possible. As mentioned earlier, we wanted to avoid extra scripting work. With the Supermetrics API, we could configure everything and simply copy the URL,” Frederik continues. “If any of the source APIs were to change, Supermetrics would instantly adapt to that without us even noticing.”

The scalability of the solution was important. “Supermetrics API scales up easily. The features it offers help us create more transfers as our need for data arises. As we roll in more sources and new departments, Supermetrics API handles that with no issues,” Frederik says.

“Supermetrics API feels natural to use for a data engineer. It’s a tool built by engineers for engineers, in my opinion,” Frederik adds.

Rolling out the solution

Frederik’s team collaborated with Super RTL’s marketing team throughout the project. “We involved them from the very beginning. We had marketing participate in our design session as they provided us with feedback and validation. They also delivered us their ideal dashboards that we then took as guidelines for our development,” Nico says.

“We worked on a scrum based model with follow ups every 2 weeks. We first started with a small amount of data, gathered feedback, and scaled up from there. We then built upon our small dataset by introducing more sources and a longer time frame. Supermetrics helps us move from a simple approach to a complex data model.”

The results started to surface as the project rolled on. “There was some initial skepticism as marketing had hired an agency and that didn’t turn out as expected. As they started to see our progress, they became more engaged. They ended up loving the end result and the quality of data they now get. They’re always asking for new additions, which is a good thing,” Frederik says.

Saving time with up-to-date data

With the dashboards powered by Supermetrics API in place, Super RTL can analyze their data more efficiently. “Our time from insight to action has drastically improved. We used to measure that in weeks and now we’re talking about days. We can easily compare our campaigns and respond to changes. Weeks of work has been reduced to a few hours. For example, when our social media team wants to do sentiment analysis across multiple channels, we can just set everything up within a week, from transfers to dashboard,” Frederik says.

“Our data transfers are running and we don’t have to rethink the process again. We can make small changes and our systems still work. Even larger integration projects are a non-issue. Connect the source to Supermetrics, run a query, and get results. The fact that Supermetrics takes care of pipeline maintenance saves us from a lot of headache,” Frederik continues.

Going forward

Super RTL is committed to scaling Supermetrics API to cover the whole company. “We want to build very sophisticated marketing dashboards and connect different campaigns together. Our goal is to get many departments on board and get more use cases for our reporting. We have internal champions popping up and many departments want their own dashboards. We are currently scaling our top-level dashboard to serve different departments,” Nico adds.

“The idea is to get a broader view of all our data and use that data. We want to dive deeper into sentiment analysis or YouTube analytics, for example. We plan to add more sources over time to further our dataset. Supermetrics API is a cool tool that helps us reach our goal,” Frederik says.

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