ASICS Focuses on Digital Innovation, Not ELT

With Fivetran handling ELT, the company's engineers can focus on data science and machine learning projects.

By Ciara Rafferty, 8 Sep, 2020

Key Takeaway

When ASICS Digital migrated from SAP to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, it needed a more reliable and less resource-intensive data pipeline solution. With Fivetran and Snowflake, what would have taken six months to build internally was created within six days. The modern architecture has enabled the business to enhance marketing technology (MarTech) capabilities, centralize NetSuite data, implement machine learning and build a 360-degree view of the customer without growing the engineering team. 

Data stack

In 2016, ASICS acquired Runkeeper to form ASICS Digital. The intention, outside of acquiring the product and audience, was to acquire the startup engineering team to help jumpstart the digital transformation for the entire ASICS brand. 

At the time that Runkeeper was acquired, ASICS Digital had around 40 employees. It now has over 150 and includes an engineering team that is responsible for supporting Runkeeper, ASICS Studio and the ASICS ecommerce platform. The data engineering team helps access the data and ensures it is of the highest quality and integrity before presenting it to the various stakeholders for BI and data science. 

Migrating to Salesforce Marketing Cloud 

ASICS decided to move from an SAP stack to Salesforce Marketing Cloud, but integrating the data from Salesforce into Snowflake was complicated. Atul Parasnis, Senior Manager of Data Engineering, was responsible for the migration from the older systems to the newer systems and shares the big question the team had to answer: How do we get all of our data centralized with fewer resources? 

The business had an existing ETL solution in place, but it required engineers to maintain the transformations and pipeline. Additionally, the transformations lived within the tool, which would make future migration away from the tool, if necessary, complicated. Instead of investing further, or building it internally, Parasnis knew moving to Fivetran was a more scalable decision for the future: 

We were a team of two developers. There was no way we could build it on our own. We started to look at various vendors, and none of them could match Fivetran on ease of use and cost. Fivetran was a no-brainer.

Peter Nealon, Senior Director, Platforms Engineering & Head of Security, is also a firm believer over buying versus building, when appropriate. Utilizing a tool like Fivetran enabled the business to focus on more mission-critical projects, such as quickly building out a 360-degree view of the customer: 

As an engineering org, we have to be strategic around where we invest our resources. With Fivetran handling our data loading, we can focus on the areas that we’re great at. For example, we’re able to combine terabytes of Runkeeper data with online purchase information, signups for loyalty programs and more. With Fivetran we’re able to do that reliably and with high quality — without having to go from a team of 5 to 35.

Increased Bandwidth for Mission-Critical Business Projects

Parasnis and team have been able to work on a number of projects that are helping push the business forward: “Our engineers are wearing analyst hats and working side-by-side with the product team. By not worrying about how we get data from A to B we can focus on solving highly nuanced business problems.” He shares some team projects and successes with its modern data stack below:

MarTech. The data engineering team supports MarTech by gathering high-quality, accurate data to understand the customer, including properly segmenting the customer base and delivering personalized communications by translating purchase history to product interest. 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Campaign measurement is essential and the business views reports that show email attribution, revenue attribution and campaign success daily. “While some apps, like Salesforce, have reports right out of the box, they tend to be difficult to maintain and deploy and not very user-friendly. With the data centralized, we can do more with it and combine it with product data for product development.”

Beyond measuring campaign performance, the business can start implementing machine learning, including how certain words in subject lines impact click rates. “If we were to build this ourselves we are looking at maybe 20+ transformations and six months of effort. With Fivetran and Snowflake, it was six days of effort.”

NetSuite. As a smaller region, the North Pacific doesn’t get as much attention as North America, Europe or Japan. ASICS had NetSuite as its ERP, but didn’t have much insight into the data. With the Fivetran NetSuite connector, the business was able to easily integrate the NetSuite data into Snowflake and build reports for the region. “That team now has access to data and reports that include store traffic, financial transactions related to point of sale (POS) and ecommerce, customer lists and more. They never had that insight before. It also gives us a better understanding of global performance.”

Let Fivetran handle your ELT so your engineers can focus on mission-critical projects. Sign up for a personalized demo or start your 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 Snowflake: Snowflake shatters barriers that prevent organizations from unleashing the true value from their data. Thousands of customers around the world mobilize their data in ways previously unimaginable with Snowflake’s cloud data platform — a solution for data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data science, data application development, and data exchange. Snowflake provides the near-unlimited scale, concurrency, and performance our customers in a variety of industries want, while delivering a single data experience that spans multiple clouds and geographies. Our cloud data platform is also the engine that drives the Data Cloud — the global ecosystem where thousands of organizations have seamless and governed access to explore, share, and unlock the potential of data. Learn how you can mobilize your data at Snowflake.com.

About Tableau: Tableau helps people see and understand their data. The Tableau platform provides the breadth and depth of capabilities that enterprises need, and adapts to your environment with unmatched flexibility and choice, while meeting the toughest governance and security requirements. People love using Tableau because it is both powerful and intuitive. Tableau leads the industry with the most passionate user community, over 86,000 customer accounts, and a commitment to customer-focused innovation. 

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