01 Oct 2019 | Case Study

Football Index Bets on Fivetran, Saves 10-20% of Developer Time

Ciara Rafferty
Ciara Rafferty
Football Index Bets on Fivetran, Saves 10-20% of Developer Time
Betting platform Football Index centralizes data from its operational database, builds out multiple dashboards and saves engineering time.

Key Takeaways

  • Fivetran saves about 10-20% of development time while ensuring data reliability.
  • Engineers used to spend 10-20 working days a month generating ad hoc reports that are now up-to-date Looker dashboards.
  • The business has created multiple dashboards, including those for compliance, customer support, KPIs, marketing data, market monitoring and finance.
  • Insight into individual users enables the business to identify problem gamblers, which helps it remain socially responsible.
  • Football Index hired two data analysts to build out new dashboards and reports.

Data Stack

  • Pipeline: Fivetran
  • Connectors: Aurora RDS MySQL, Appsflyer
  • Destination: BigQuery
  • BI tool: Looker

UK-based Football Index, launched by BetIndex Limited, is the world's first football stock market where people can buy and sell shares in professional footballers. In this alternative to traditional sports betting, customers can bet on the future success of football players, rather than gambling on the short-lived outcome of football matches. Its five-star review on Trustpilot shows that users are fans of the platform.

From Querying an Operational Database to Centralizing Data Into BigQuery

When Christophe Popov, CTO of Football Index, joined Football Index to help scale and grow the technology, it had been using a non-relational database. Producing even simple CSV files to import into Excel was a complicated process that required programmatic code. Operating in financial markets where data consistency is critical, Football Index needed a scalable solution and switched to a relational database, with the data load spread across multiple databases. While this move enabled the business to query the data, it was querying a transactional database which has negative impacts on performance. 

Realizing that the company needed to move away from querying its database, Popov brought on BigQuery as a data warehouse for its scalability and flexibility: “You can just write standard SQL and you don’t need to think about any optimizations of the data model. It is very scalable and you only pay for what you use. Any data analyst can use it.”  

With BigQuery in place, the business considered building its own scripts internally, but knew that data reliability would be an issue. “I knew building internally could cause issues with data safety and there are so many moving parts that would be impacted if there were any issues or bugs,” Popov explains. “We Implemented Fivetran and it was very straightforward – it just took a few clicks. Fivetran saves about 10-20% of development time and gives us data reliability.”

Business-Wide BI

Football Index uses Looker for its business intelligence. Having the data centralized into Looker has increased productivity and made reporting easy. Engineers used to waste 10-20 working days a month generating ad hoc reports. Now, reports are represented in up-to-date Looker dashboards that non-technical business users can access. “Having the data in Looker has opened up BI for business users, it has freed engineering resources so we can focus on building software rather than doing ad hoc queries for the business,” Popov explains. 

Users across the entire organization login daily to view one of the many standard dashboards that Football Index has, including those for compliance, customer support, KPIs (active users, active traders, churn), marketing data from the operational database, market monitoring and finance. Popov notes that dashboards are also critical for understanding user patterns: “Insight into customer support and risk management on the individual user level enables us to identify problem gamblers, which helps us remain socially responsible.” 

With centralized data to work with, Football Index has hired two additional data analysts. “The analysts can amend reports and create new reports for business users. Having the data has opened the door to new possibilities.”

About Fivetran: Shaped by the real-world needs of data analysts, Fivetran technology is the smartest, fastest way to replicate your applications, databases, events and files into a high-performance cloud warehouse. Fivetran connectors deploy in minutes, require zero maintenance, and automatically adjust to source changes — so your data team can stop worrying about engineering and focus on driving insights.

About BigQuery: BigQuery is Google’s serverless, highly scalable, enterprise data warehouse designed to make all your data analysts productive at an unmatched price performance.

About Looker: Looker is a modern platform for data that offers data analytics and business insights to every department at scale, and easily integrates into applications to deliver data directly into the decision-making process.  

 

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