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Case Study

After embracing Fivetran, a data-driven culture blossoms at applicant-tracking startup Fountain

Case study takeaway: Zero configuration. Minimized reliance on “gut” instinct. Sustainable. “You don’t have to be technical to manage this.”

After embracing Fivetran, a data-driven culture blossoms at applicant-tracking startup Fountain

Fountain is a startup in the growing SaaS employee applicant-tracking hiring space. The San Francisco business offers a software platform for companies — large and small — that manages, tracks, and performs much of the hiring backend process for businesses to secure hourly workers in retail, hospitality, restaurant, manufacturing, delivery and other sectors.

As with any company on the path to growing success, Fountain realized that, in today’s competitive and data-driven climate, it needed to conduct advanced analytics to gain deep and fresh insights into its customers and business model — all in a bid to keep growing and to secure new clients by offering a better product.

But Fountain did not want to waste precious resources dedicating staff to perform the burdensome ETL routine to cull the data from each of their business applications to create reports, which could often end up being stale. That’s why Fountain chose Fivetran, which made it painless to replicate Fountain’s data into a data warehouse— in near real time. After all, Fountain employs about 30 workers. So the more time they could spend on the core product, the better, says Mark Schindler, Fountain’s head of analytics and business intelligence.

“We’ve got plenty of other things to focus on, instead of using our resources to put our data into a warehouse,” Schindler says. “We have a guy who is a data scientist, who is building product-based features in the machine-learning area.”

As a relatively new company, the ability to perform advanced analytics, Schindler says, is eye opening. It’s a fundamental shift in the way the business is being maintained.

“What Fivetran is providing us, it’s something that didn’t exist for us before,” Schindler says. “We didn’t even have an easy way for our team to access how our customers are doing certain things. This is going to give us good insights into our own product.”

Analytics operating table

Schindler says he wanted his company’s business data replicated into a warehouse, on the operating table if you will, and ready for him to perform advanced-analytics surgery with fresh data. He didn’t want to concern himself or his staff about how the data reached his data warehouse, which is Google’s BigQuery.

Fivetran, he says, was an easy solution. Fivetran transformed the normally vexing and complicated process of replicating data into a warehouse, and turned the process into a “no brainer.”

“We could do the ETL ourselves, but it would be a lot of headaches,” Schindler says. “We investigated Stitch and Fivetran. Fivetran was so easy to trial and set up. It was a no-brainer. The Fivetran team did a great job, too. We easily and quickly got our data into BigQuery.”

Data management

Fivetran offers dozens of so-called “connectors.” These are everyday business applications that, with a press of a button, their data is replicated by Fivetran into a data warehouse of a company’s choice. Fountain is using the Fivetran-built connectors for Salesforce, Zendesk, Facebook Ad Insights, LinkedIn and Google Sheets. Fivetran can sync connectors every 5 minutes, giving analysts fresh, up-to-date data to query.

“This is a very sustainable product we can continue to use for the future,” Schindler says of Fivetran. “The setup process, I did on a quick telephone call. I heard that it was going to be easy. It was easier than I expected.”

What’s more, Schindler says he’s impressed with the web-based Fivetran user interface.

“The interface is really easy. You don’t have to be technical to manage this. I appreciate that. I have no gripes.”

Business intelligence

At the end of the Fivetran pipeline, companies may deploy any business intelligence (BI) tool of their choice to perform advanced analytics in a bid to gain deep insights into their customers and into their own product.

In Fountain’s case, Schindler has opted to decipher company data using Looker as his BI tool. Looker is a Fivetran business partner. Looker simplifies the data-crunching process and helps business easily create insightful dashboards.

Counter culture

Combining Fivetran and Looker, Schindler says, has revolutionized Fountain’s work culture. It has become a data-driven workforce, and has opened up the data spigot to Fountain staffers to access and manipulate, regardless of their technical capabilities.

“There’s a cultural aspect of using Looker and Fivetran. It’s inviting people to answer questions with data,” Schindler says. “This has brought in a cultural mindset for our team to develop, and to grow into a data-informed decision-making team at a company level.”

“Gut” instincts

As Fountain’s head of analytics and BI, Schindler says Looker and Fivetran have fundamentally altered the decision-making equation. Now, important issues, such as corporate direction, are being addressed more scientifically.

“We’ve gone a lot on gut. This new focus on data allows for more of a consistent, and a little bit more of a reliable and valid way of making decisions. And it is reducing the risk of the gut feeling process.” Schindler says. “If people are trusting their decisions, we won’t have too many missteps.”

Zero maintenance, zero configuration

Two of the many Fivetran core features are zero-maintenance and zero-configuration. Schindler says the Fountain team is capitalizing on those Fivetran values. He says without Fivetran, it might have taken months for Fountain to have built a data pipeline. And without Fivetran, the Fountain team would remain stuck wasting time supporting that pipeline.

“We didn’t have the team to build out the ETL. My concern was also that, we didn’t have the team to maintain it, even if we could build it initially,” Schindler says. “The easy setup with Fivetran was one thing. We set up BigQuery with just a few clicks. And the zero-maintenance piece moving forward is arguably even more valuable.”

About Fivetran: Our mission is to democratize data, to make companies data driven, and to give analysts easy access to disparate data sources to perform advanced analytics.

With as little as a 5-minute setup, Fivetran replicates all your applications, databases, events and file storage into a high-performance data warehouse. Our cloud data pipelines are zero-configuration, zero-maintenance and fully managed by Fivetran.

Using Fivetran, businesses big and small gain complete control and ownership of their data. It’s easy to join data sources, perform agile analytics, and ultimately discover valuable insights with the business intelligence tools of your choice.

For a Fivetran demo, reach out to our team at sales@fivetran.com.

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