Come As You Are: Data Implementation Inspired by Our Customers
BY: MARK GORMAN
NOVEMBER 14, 2018
At Square Root, we are customer inspired. In fact, it’s one of our 4 values to “Be Customer Inspired” in everything we do. This can be macro inspirations—like the solutions we create inspired by customer pain points—all the way to the micro details, like how we set up data integrations into our solution.
The lifeblood of CoEFFICIENT® is data, simply because every business we work with—from automotive OEMs to retailers—depends on it to tell the stories of their stores. Dependably loading customer data into our application is the core of our value proposition. At the root of each platform feature, whether it’s planning and managing store visits, creating action plans and driving those to completion, tracking sales across the enterprise in real-time, or using data science to bring issues to a manager’s attention at the most opportune moment… all of these depend on loading hundreds or thousands of key metrics into CoEFFICIENT.
If you’ve ever integrated your data with a SaaS platform, you might be familiar with the dreaded “file spec.” Often, the onus falls on the customer to produce data in a form that can be readily loaded into the application so providers can keep implementation costs low and avoid writing and maintaining custom converters and validators. At Square Root, we handle things a little differently.
OUR DATA APPROACH: COME AS YOU ARE
We encourage customers to send data in whatever form is most readily available, reducing the reliance on already-overloaded IT departments. We’ll take any and all data in the form that it comes, whether that’s CSV files, Excel, existing scheduled reports, direct database queries, API endpoints, etc. The benefits of this approach speak for themselves.
All of this is geared toward realizing value faster while minimizing customer IT workload and cost.
First of all, speed. During the implementation of a new data source, customer data can appear in the application without delay. We have a team of data engineers dedicated to transforming varied data sources to load into our application, with the goal of making the data available in CoEFFICIENT quickly. That allows us to start iterating on the ideal implementation, whether it’s changing the formula for a metric, tapping a different data source, modifying the initial source, or changing the way data rolls up across time, location, or other dimensions. All of this is geared toward realizing value faster while minimizing customer IT workload and cost.
ITERATE WITH EASE
Our pricing model is structured to encourage quick iterations. We’ve found when customers are charged for each integration, it understandably encourages them to get everything perfect on the first try. They may be tempted to combine two existing data sources into a single feed to save on integration costs, when it’s quicker to implement the two existing feeds as they already exist. Our pricing structure for integrations encourages companies to start immediately with readily-available sources or reports. We’re happy to iterate on a completely new source, or to evolve an existing feed as needed. And we know feeds might change over time, especially when we’re leveraging existing feeds.
LEVERAGE EXISTING INVESTMENTS
Because we can integrate siloed data sources in any enterprise, CoEFFICIENT can unlock the benefits of a central Data Warehouse, even for companies that don’t already have one. If a brand already has a central Data Warehouse and associated BI tools, we leverage that investment to streamline integration with CoEFFICIENT to unlock its benefits: data science, workflow and collaboration around metrics, recommendations, data-driven notifications, and adaptive dashboards.
HANDLE CHANGE GRACEFULLY
Our systems are built to detect changes to file structures. If fields are renamed, reordered, removed, or edited, we detect it and reach out for clarification. When feasible, we’ll load the new file and work with clients to determine if new values need to also be loaded into the application. Our Data Pipeline is backed by a support staff of Data Engineers ready to respond to the unexpected.
Our customers’ toughest challenges inspire us to build innovative software. We know reliable data from all sources is the pivotal first step to drive performance across an enterprise. Data integration must be fast, reliable, flexible, and ready to learn; it’s the foundation necessary for a brand to tell their full data story and take fast, data-driven action on it.
Read more about our implementation process or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions on getting started with Square Root.
With over 20 years of experience in database architecture, Mark heads up our Data and Infrastructure team. He is inspired by working with people who also desire to do things bigger, faster, and better—and there is no shortage of those here at Square Root! Outside of work, Mark enjoys traveling, hiking, and skiing with his wife and two sons. He received a BS in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.