Dentsu: How Data Services’ Norway unit has improved their performance with Supermetrics and increased its dashboard output 50x

Key Takeaways:

  • Dentsu Norway started looking for a solution to automate their marketing reporting after they realized they were spending around 50 to 60 hours on getting the production-ready data from one data source API
  • The team did not continue with Funnel.io because their product lacked the needed metrics and dimensions
  • During the first year of using Supermetrics the team was able to go from creating a few complex dashboard per year to creating 30-50 complex and data-rich dashboards per year
  • Supermetrics has helped Dentsu Norway increase revenues and now the Norway team is seen as one of the leaders in terms of marketing reporting across the whole Dentsu network

Quick facts: Dentsu Data Services

Industry: Marketing agency
Year founded: 1989
Size: 35,000 employees
Markets served: Global, with offices in 145 countries

Dentsu is a global marketing services group on a mission to drive sustainable business growth for brands and companies. Dentsu’s network consists of several marketing agencies across the globe such as Dentsu X, iProspect, Merkle and Isobar just to name a few. 

Håkon Onsager, Rikard Donnelly and Jarle Alvheim work at the technical data department of Dentsu Norway. The Norway team is responsible for creating marketing reports, developing data storage solutions, conducting data analysis, and building attribution models. The Norway team tries to help the whole organisation by automating manual processes, including marketing reporting. 

Håkon Onsager is Head of Data Technology at Dentsu Norway. He is responsible for Dentsu Norway’s data analytics platform and infrastructure services. 

Rikard Donnelly is a developer who primarily works on ETL processes, software development and rudimentary data analysis.

Jarle Alvheim is Data Platform Manager who works on cross-platform analytics and reporting. He primarily focuses on building marketing dashboards for Dentsu’s clients.

Håkon Onsager

Head of Data Technology, Dentsu Norway

“Unfortunately, there were many lost business cases for us because we were not able to deliever high quality reports on time. We saw that we needed to improve on that.”

The marketing reporting challenge

Dentsu consists of multiple subsidiaries, each of which is working on large-scale client marketing projects. As the projects are large-scale the marketing reporting dashboards are challenging to build, and the amount of data that has to be analyzed is significant. As the business grew, Dentsu Norway was struggling to continue building high-quality reports for the agencies’ clients.  

Before the team started using Supermetrics it took them a lot of time to build even one dashboard for a client. The report usually had data from 7-8 data sources. The team originally subscribed to a solution maintained by another Dentsu unit, however, they discovered that it was not maintainable due to high costs, understaffed support, and insufficient data processing scalability.

In addition, the product lacked certain connectors and was not meeting the specific requirements. The Norway team had to develop custom solutions on their own.

“I saw a trend that we were spending around 50 to 60 hours on getting the production-ready data from one data source API. Considering the size of our team it was a very labor-intensive process. Our clients want to have a very good picture of all their marketing activities. In practice that means they are not happy with having the data from only 2-3 data sources, they want to have data from at least 10 sources. That’s how we decided that we needed to speed up our development and get more support for different API connectors. It was the moment we started looking into different alternatives,” shared Håkon.

He added, “We provide dashboards to our agencies’ clients as a part of the offering, which means that the clients expect our marketing reporting to be of high quality. Unfortunately, there were many lost business cases for us because we were not able to deliver high quality reports on time. We saw that we needed to improve on that.”

The team understood that in order for them to improve both the speed and the quality of their reporting they needed to outsource the development and ongoing maintenance of their data connectors.

“We understood that the quality of the Supermetrics’ product was very good, we found all the metrics and dimensions. We were even a bit surprised that it was that good”

Håkon Onsager

Head of Data Technology, Dentsu Norway

Evaluating the alternatives: why Dentsu decided to go with Supermetrics instead of Funnel.io

The Norway team started testing Funnel.io connectors, however that solution did not come up to their expectations.

Håkon explained, “At first we tested Funnel.io. Everything about their solution looked good on paper, however when we started using different connectors we realized that they had big limitations in terms of metrics one could choose.”

Rikard continued, “Another thing we noticed about Funnel.io during the trial was that they would adjust the raw data “under the hood”. It was very difficult to see what was happening, which quickly became a problem for us.”

After the unsuccessful trial the team got a recommendation from another department of Dentsu to try Supermetrics.

“Our colleague from the team who suggested Supermetrics to us mentioned that he never missed any metrics or dimensions. That’s when we went for a test period with Supermetrics API. We confirmed that the APIs had all the metrics and dimensions we needed, which was really important for us,” shared Håkon.

In addition to the variety of metrics Supermetrics could transfer the data wherever Dentsu’s team needed it.

“We are a technically advanced department, therefore having data in the destination of our choice is more useful instead of just having the data in the service provider’s own UI. Many clients want to keep the data in their own system,” mentioned Rikard. 

The team shared that it was relatively easy to get started with Supermetrics API. They were happy with the fact that they could build a dashboard from day one. 

“We understood that the quality of the Supermetrics’ product was very good, we found all the metrics and dimensions. We were even a bit surprised that it was that good,” concluded Håkon.

Håkon Onsager

Head of Data Technology, Dentsu Norway

“Supermetrics connectors allow us to have flexibility and scale at the same time. In the future, we expect our data volumes to increase and we are confident that Supermetrics can handle all the transfers.

How Dentsu Norway increased their dashboard output 50x with Supermerics

After the team started using Supermetrics in their day-to-day marketing reporting, they have noticed a significant increase in their operational efficiency.

Dentsu Norway’s original data flow before the team started using Supermetrics

Håkon explained, “It is very important for us to be able to get all the needed data from the APIs fast. In order to be able to deliver really fast, you have to have reliable connectors. With Supermetrics, we can fetch data quickly which makes our reporting more relevant. As a result, we are able to proceed with more client projects fast and deliver everything on time. We are not losing cases anymore and have become more successful in terms of revenue.”

Supermetrics has helped the team significantly increase the output in terms of dashboards and shortened the time it took to create each report.

“During the first year of using Supermetrics we were able to go from creating a few complex dashboard per year to creating 30-50 complex and data-rich dashboards per year, which was quite a steep increase,” mentioned Håkon.

However Dentsu Norway achieved success with marketing reporting not only in terms of the output. The team increased revenue, gained clients’ trust and are now seen as the marketing reporting leaders across Dentsu’s network.

 

The shared success: how the Norway team has become one of the leading offices in terms of marketing reporting across Dentsu network

After Dentsu Norway started using Supermetrics they have become the marketing reporting experts across the whole Dentsu network. 

“We have been to several meetings where all other Dentsu departments are looking up to our solutions on marketing reporting. That’s a huge achievement for us. Also, we see a very positive trend on our baseline revenue because our reporting has become faster and more valuable to the clients. Therefore, overall it’s a huge business impact and also it’s a step for us in the right direction when it comes to our goal of being leaders in marketing automation,” shared Håkon. 

Dentsu Norway’s data flow after the team started using Supermetrics

Marketing reports is not the team’s end goal, as it is more important to provide insightful analytics to the agencies’ clients. The Norway team wants to focus more on data science activities and Supermetrics allows to do that by taking the data transfer task off their shoulders. 

“We want to focus more on data correlations and predictions. Our vision is to have the whole reporting fully automated, where one person is able to manage the whole process. As we do that, the rest of the team can focus on these more advanced products and dashboard requested by our clients. Supermetrics is helping us move closer to this vision,” shared Håkon. 

Dentsu Norway is planning to use Supermetrics API in the future

“We really happy with the API the way it is and we are definitely planning to use API going forward. Supermetrics connectors allow us to have flexibility and scale at the same time. In the future, we expect our data volumes to increase and we are confident that Supermetrics can handle all the transfers,” said Håkon. 

In addition, the team is planning to use the upcoming Supermetrics connectors instead of coding their own custom solutions. It’s not only the Norway team that is planning to use Supermetrics – the whole company intends to have more teams so that they could provide automatic reporting to other agencies within Dentsu.

Want to become an expert in marketing reporting just like Håkon, Rikard and Jarle from Dentsu? Start your Supermetrics free trial here!

About Dentsu

Dentsu is a multinational media and digital marketing communications company focusing on crafting communication strategies, media planning and buying, brand tracking and marketing analytics.

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