19 Mar 2019 | Case Study

Taking the Sting Out of ParkBee's Transition to a Data-Centric Culture

With Fivetran and Looker, ParkBee reduces spending, increases sales and promotes a data-driven culture.
David Kravets
David Kravets
Taking the Sting Out of ParkBee's Transition to a Data-Centric Culture

Key Takeaways

  • With Fivetran, ParkBee effectively reduces resource constraints and spend.
  • With Looker Blocks for AdWords and Zendesk, ParkBee can easily organise and analyse data.
  • ParkBee gains deep insights into its marketing and sales performance, and easily tracks advertising spend and costs of user acquisitions.

Data Stack

Can't find a parking space? Well, there's a platform for that built by ParkBee. Based in Amsterdam and expanding throughout the Benelux region, ParkBee is building a business model to capitalise on how difficult and expensive it can be for drivers to find parking spaces in big cities. It uses smart technology to make unused spaces more accessible to the public, whether they be in private car parks, office buildings or shopping centres.

ParkBee must negotiate behind the scenes with many stakeholders to give its users the ability to park in these unused spaces. To stand out as a market leader, the company is embracing data to analyse traffic patterns, parking availability and the costs of acquiring users — and to understand if its advertising methods are working.

"Our objective is to use a lot of data and to be data-driven," says Euan Richard, a ParkBee data scientist. “Before adopting Fivetran and Looker, we were doing everything manually in Google Sheets or SQL queries, but we didn’t have the manpower to be doing it ourselves."

Accessing Real-Time Data With Fivetran

ParkBee wanted to replace its old, hand-built data infrastructure so its data scientists could spend their time analysing data instead of performing ETL and creating reports. Richard says he picked Fivetran over competitors for a host of reasons. Fivetran had all of the connectors the company needed and excellent customer service, sync speeds and scalability. "Fivetran was easy to onboard, and they answered all of our questions."

With Fivetran, ParkBee is on top of its parking space availability, a critical component to its business success. "We installed sensors in garages to count the cars coming in and out and we track them in our own databases in real-time with DynamoDB," Richard says. "Fivetran replicates our DynamoDB into PostgreSQL so that we can combine the data with other sources."

Marketing and advertising teams are also seeing the benefits of Fivetran and Looker. "It's now easy to track advertising spend and costs of user acquisitions, and to assess how the marketing and sales teams are doing," Richard says. "We didn't want to spend our time writing our own ETL scripts, and Fivetran solved that for us. With Fivetran, it's now just a couple of clicks away. And we can add new sources in minutes. It's no hassle. That's what turned me on to Fivetran. It's exactly what we needed."

Quick and Easy Data Analysis With Looker Blocks

ParkBee uses Looker to gain deep insights into the data replicated by Fivetran. "Looker is reliable and accurate and you don't have to worry about it," Richard says. "We can do inter-departmental analysis, look at KPIs and provide reports to management. Not only does it provide us with access to all our data, but it also saves us a lot of time. You click and the data is there.”

Richard took advantage of the pre-built Looker Blocks for AdWords and Zendesk that organise data and make it even quicker and easier to analyse. At their core, Looker Blocks are plug-and-play code modules that make sense of the data for you, so you can start exploring it immediately. Looker Blocks are LookML (Looker’s flexible SQL modelling language), so you can see exactly how the data is structured and customise it however you need.

Richard finds that the Fivetran-Looker combination brings newfound data transparency company-wide and that the two pair very well together. He notes that anyone in the company can be granted backend data access in real time and that the company is “making better decisions now without having to go to the Development team to create a report."

Investing in a Data-Driven Culture

Richard says the move to Fivetran and Looker has brought about a lot of positive change across the organisation and has proved to be an overall great investment. Previously, ParkBee was considering hiring a Data Engineer and a Business Analyst, but no longer needs to. The new modern data stack has not only reduced spending, but it has also helped ParkBee increase sales, according to Richard. “The sales team has been able to upsell contracts based on the historical data that is now available to them. It's a huge shift now that we're data-driven."

Interested in creating a data-driven culture within your own organisation? Our Fivetran product specialists are available to present a demo of our service or get started today, by signing up for a free trial.

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 PostgreSQL: PostgreSQL is one of the world's most popular open source relational databases.

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.

About ParkBee: ParkBee has developed smart technology that opens up private car parks to the public, making the parking experience seamless and more affordable. Learn more here.

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