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Cars24 Drives Analysis Forward With Fivetran
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Cars24 Drives Analysis Forward With Fivetran

Cars24 Drives Analysis Forward With Fivetran

Pre-owned vehicle ecommerce business replicates MySQL data, saves six engineers over four months of manual work & improves data reliability for analytics teams.

By Ciara Rafferty, January 12, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • In-house MySQL database went down frequently, requiring a more scalable solution

  • Internal pipeline project would have taken an estimated five or six people over four months to complete, with ongoing maintenance thereafter

  • Fivetran flawlessly replicates MySQL data into Snowflake and the analytics team is free to run queries on the warehouse

  • Easily joins marketing with transactional data to determine where to allocate budget

Data Stack

If you’re looking to quickly sell or buy a vehicle in India, Cars24—an ecommerce company in the pre-owned vehicle market with 2,000+ employees—makes the process as painless as possible. To sell a vehicle, customers simply fill out an online evaluation to get an instant price, visit one of 167 branches across 136 cities to get a free inspection and receive payment for their vehicle within an hour. For car buyers, simply filter through the service’s massive online catalogue.

Adopting a True Data Warehouse

Marut Singh, CTO of Cars24, is responsible for all software development, data security, IT and more. Singh, who believes technology is the driver of growth, tries to automate as many processes for the business as possible: “To be successful as a startup or growing business, you need to use as much technology as possible to change traditional processes, solve problems at scale and remain competitive.”

Cars24 used custom pipelines to bring data from its MySQL stores into a larger MySQL database, which functioned as the warehouse. The analytics team had to run its queries on top of MySQL, which Singh recognized wasn’t a scalable solution:

Our MySQL ‘warehouse’ used to go down very frequently. Once we would get it back up, it had to catch up – it was a bit chaotic. As our data—and people’s hunger for more and better analytics kept—continued to grow, we knew we had to find a stable solution.

The business had to make two big decisions: “Where should we store the data?” and “How do we move it?” Singh quickly answered the first question with Snowflake. As for the second, the business had to decide if it wanted to build custom pipelines internally or find a solution:

We estimated that it would take a team of five or six over four months to build the initial pipeline. After that, they’d have to maintain the schema evolves. The most important consideration here is the opportunity cost – if I wait five months to solve this problem, I’m giving competitors a chance to get ahead.

Reliable Data Integration for MySQL

As a CTO, Singh is responsible for making teams efficient and providing quick solutions. To make sure he is on top of the latest trends and solutions, he conducts plenty of research and takes part in ongoing discussions with tech communities and networks. Through his research, he found Fivetran, which was a new solution at the time.

Within two days, Singh had set up a test database, created the connections and had the data synced. The team monitored the solution to ensure data was accurately replicated and experimented with different schedules, selected different columns and tables and more. “Once I saw Fivetran working, I was very confident in the solution,” explains Singh. “It was exciting because I could then go back to my network and share this finding.”

With Fivetran, Cars24 has seen significant cost-savings, especially when it comes to MySQL, Singh shares:

If you are running MySQL, Fivetran is the best option. It just works. There is absolutely no point in building a custom pipeline for MySQL.

No Database Downtime = Happy Analysts

Previously, Cars24 had to restrict access to the MySQL cluster. If too many people were running queries at the same time, it would crash. With Fivetran seamlessly piping data into Snowflake, crashing the database is a problem of the past. The analytics team is free to run queries without fearing long bouts of downtime.

The modern data stack had a significant and immediate impact on marketing. Cars24 spends a substantial amount of time and money on marketing. It’s important to understand channel performance and to be able to allocate budget in the most effective way. To make these decisions, the business joins marketing data with transactional data. Prior to Fivetran and Snowflake, the business wasn’t able to join these sources easily.

While some companies, especially startups, may be tempted to try and build internally to save money, Singh points out that investing in technology will save you money in the long run and help propel your business forward:

Fivetran and Snowflake are now central to our analytics efforts. If you’re willing to invest the money upfront, you will save money in the long run. People end up paying a lot more in building and hiring. If you choose the right tools at the right time you can move much faster.

To learn from more businesses using Fivetran to centralize database data and amplify their analytics, check out our customer stories.

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 delivers the Data Cloud — a global network where thousands of organizations mobilize data with near-unlimited scale, concurrency, and performance. Inside the Data Cloud, organizations unite their siloed data, easily discover and securely share governed data, and execute diverse analytic workloads. Join the Data Cloud. https://www.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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