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Making Product Data Accessible, Fast

Enabling Self-Service Analytics

Our team was launching a brand new, integrated hardware & software product. With so many different components of the system, contributors from our Product, Engineering, Operations, Finance/Strategy, and other teams were all looking for specific slices of data. Rapid POC’s for Product, health checks for Engineering, install monitoring for Operations → everyone had something they needed. Plus, info needed to be dynamic and shared across teams.

We used Metabase to make this all work.

Our Best Practices:

Create example SQL queries. Show contributors in the organization, who may not be proficient at writing SQL, the value and efficiency of the language. The upfront time to get acquainted may seem daunting to some.

Stay organized. We quickly found the number of useful queries ballooning - building out folder structures from the start enabled us to efficiently find the info we needed. Start small. With so many disparate asks, it would have been easy to get bogged down. We started by building out queries for Product usage metrics, then dashboards, then alerts. We then scaled it across teams and product lines.

Get buy-in across teams. Becoming a BI-centric org requires time and many small wins. Show value with simple questions with potentially unexpected answers. Then, continue to scale.

Share frequently. The power of a BI tool such as Metabase relies on the data actually being consumed. Sharing queries and dashboards wisely helps foster a data-centric organization!

Contributed by
Will Sanderson
MachineQ, a Comcast Company

Will is a Senior Product Manager at MachineQ. Backed by the power of Comcast, MachineQ makes it simple to build, connect and deploy IoT solutions at scale. You can find Will on Linkedin.

photo of Will Sanderson