Uptime keeps elevators moving with Metabase.

The Challenge: Uptime had two goals - start monitoring product and business metrics, and extract the data they needed to manage the deployment of their connected devices.

The Solution: They heard about Metabase from the local startup community and deployed the Open Source version. It allowed them to visualize their customers’ data and follow their most important KPIs.

The Results: Metabase has increased the productivity of all their teams. Sales, Customer Support, and Operations teams can now make better and faster decisions based on data. And their R&D team can prototype some of uptime’s features using Metabase, with faster iteration and less work.

"Metabase helped us build our predictive product stack by allowing us to exploit, compile, and refine hundreds of metrics provided by our monitoring tool. "
Axel Colin de Verdière
CTO at uptime

“With Metabase, we’ve saved around one month worth of development time on prototyping tools. And it’s just one example!” - David Baussart, Data Analyst at Uptime

Uptime is building the future of elevator maintenance using IoT, AI, and data technologies. Their goal is to empower independent maintenance companies across the globe with the best monitoring and predictive maintenance tool. Uptime was founded in 2016 and raised over $11m, deploying its technology on the elevators for more than 200 customers in France and Europe, from property management firms to elevator maintenance companies. They have 60 employees, of whom 25 are engineers.

Why Metabase?

Uptime’s team was struggling to get all the information they needed in one central location. Their customers’ operational teams (maintenance managers and technicians) needed lots of information to test new approaches and get visibility on data that was not yet available on their field app.

Apart from that, uptime didn’t have a way to follow important KPIs and share them with the team. It required a lot of manual work to collect all these metrics from different sources and put them all in one place.

For the uptime team, Metabase was the first BI tool they’ve ever used. They learned about it from the local startup community.

“A lot of startups are using the Open Source version of Metabase, as it is very cost-effective (only hosting to pay). It’s a great tool to use to kick-start a more data-driven approach at a smaller company.” - David Baussart, Data Analyst at uptime.

“We chose Metabase because it is great at making everyone involved in the process of creating new insights and answering questions – which is crucial for smaller companies scaling up like ours.” - David Baussart, Data Analyst at uptime.

The data

Uptime keeps its data in AWS where they store data from their mobile and web applications, as well as third-party data such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Google Analytics. They use Stitch as an ETL and Segment inside their apps to get more insights on the user activity.

How uptime team uses Metabase

The first dashboard uptime made showed their elevator fleet size and its decomposition. Most maintenance companies have a hard time tracking the electronic components of their elevator fleet.

Uptime has four main use cases for MetaBase:

  • Data analytics for uptimers – from product analysis (e.g., daily/weekly/monthly active users of their products) to more “business-related” topics such as non-recurring revenue monitoring, or maintenance-related topics such as analyses to help prioritize which elevators need service to lower their downtime.

  • Self-service analytics for uptimers. They need to extract precise information to manage the deployment of their connected devices on a fleet of elevators. For example, the use of a map to spot addresses that need to be equipped has emerged. Metabase made it easy to cross-reference operational data with business data.

  • Prototyping for internal stakeholders, to figure out which key actions to perform.

  • Prototyping for external stakeholders. For example, in a pilot phase, they can provide their customers with a simplified dashboard to give them access to data from their device.

Uptime team uses dashboards to help their board of directors follow up closely with their most important KPIs.

Their data team uses the SQL-based questions, simply because they’re efficient with SQL. Other team members use the query builder to play with the data and to create their own queries. They’ve found that Metabase seems to encourage people to learn more; some of their team members have even taken SQL courses to improve their queries.

The uptime data team is actively working on upskilling all the uptimers who wish to start writing SQL. They produce tutorials with use cases tailored to uptime that deliver value right away, and are always encouraging their team to use Metabase to answer their own questions.

The results

Metabase has increased the productivity of all their teams:

  • The R&D team can now prototype some of uptime’s features using Metabase, with faster iteration and less work.

  • The Sales, Customer Support, and Operations teams are more productive thanks to the custom-made tools and reports their data team built for them. They now can make better and faster decisions. Metabase has also increased the responsiveness of their Customer Support and Operations teams. They use Dashboard Subscriptions to get notified when “sensitive” elevators have a problem (eg. high-rise building elevators or car lifts, very problematic if there’s a breakdown). Metabase has helped some of their colleagues to level up their SQL skills, thanks to Metabase’s intuitive “Simple Questions” and “Custom Questions”. The fact that the entire uptime team has access in a read-only environment to the data makes it very easy and approachable for new users to try out SQL. The predictive engineering team is now able to answer questions from operational staff in real-time and take on automated exploration topics (for example, to model each action and assess its impact on the overall availability rate of any given elevator park).

Advice for others

  • Keep Collections tidy and organized. Because Metabase is a collaborative tool, things can get confusing very quickly.

  • Keep dashboards simple, use custom click behavior to redirect to sub-questions so you can deliver the information bit by bit, best bits first.

  • You can import the results of a Metabase question into a Google Sheet so you can build automated slide presentations.

Uptime’s data team provides queries containing questions created by other users, which means that each uptimer is involved in the evolution of their dashboards and the quality of the data. In addition to this, they organize “Data happy hour” internally to support their team in understanding and learning the tool.

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