We interviewed Gareth Tilley, Head of Data Analytics at 99designs, to hear what he had to say about FlyData.
FlyData: “Could you introduce yourself to the audience?”
Gareth: “I’m Gareth Tilley. I am the Head of Data Analytics at 99designs, and I am responsible for all of 99designs data needs, in terms of data requirements, to run the business and make business decisions.”
FlyData: “What is 99designs’ business and its size?”
Gareth: “99designs is the world's largest online marketplace for Graphic Design. We started out from Melbourne in 2008. We’ve now grown to over 100 people in 4 different offices: San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin and Melbourne.“
FlyData: “How do you utilize data in your day to day business operations?”
Gareth: “99designs is a very quantitatively driven organization. All of our teams need data to make decisions on spending resources and want to measure what is working and what isn’t working. All teams, such as Marketing, Executive, Community, and Customer Support, use data in order to make their lives easier and make them sell more efficiently at their jobs. Marketing is one of the biggest teams. They need to know how much they are spending on various campaigns and promotions, how much of the spend is effective, and if it needs to be decreased or increased, with data analytics.”
Example of design at 99designs (Image Credit: Bathi https://99designs.com/profiles/489015)
FlyData: “So please tell us about your BI analytics with Amazon Redshift?”
Gareth: “Amazon Redshift can run queries so much faster than any other database. Now that we are with Amazon Redshift, the same queries that would run for about half hour to 45 mins and not complete, now runs in a couple of minutes. What that means for us is that we actually gain access to the data that we previously had, but had no way of extracting due to its size.”
FlyData: “Can you describe what technical challenges triggered the search for a data migration tool?"
Gareth: “The problems we had at 99designs was one of 'plenty of data in plenty of places'. We needed to get all of our data from our various apps into one place in order to analyze it. Before we had all of our data in a single Redshift instance, any data request was very driven around manual work to get them done. We had to pull the data together from various databases, manually match the data outside of the database, and then present those results to whoever need it. Generally, it was causing a lot of inefficiency with that process because, apart from being a lot of man-hours, not a lot of people have the skills necessary to do that work by themselves. So data analytics was becoming the bottleneck of the rest of the company’s growth in terms of access to data.”
FlyData: “So FlyData was able to solve your problem?”
Gareth: “Yes, FlyData really helped us on that front! With FlyData Sync, now that everything is in one place, we can easily get access to answers . So even non-tech savvy people can get their results because it is less effort on my side and anybody else can get their results with the available cluster. We needed to move data from MySQL to Redshift and we needed to move it around as fast as possible. FlyData does that and it does that well."
FlyData: “Can you share in a percentage or dollar amount what savings you estimated?”
Gareth: ”When we compare the cost of FlyData to other solutions, we saw that we can get FlyData at a quarter of the cost compared to other traditional solutions.”
FlyData: “What were the most important elements that you considered from a business perspective?”
Gareth: “The executive team at 99design relies heavily on data. On a daily basis, we are monitoring our sales, our designers, and our customers in various regions across the world. Everything we do is based on decisions we make using data. And that’s really important to 99designs.”