How Clearbit cleared up data quality to increase customer retention and improve detection time by 3x+
With Metaplane, we've gone from stakeholders reporting data issues weeks after being found to (our team) flagging the person that matters.
Julie leads the Analytics team at Clearbit, supporting every business function with not only traditional analytics' responsibilities such as reporting dashboards, but also data feeds directly back into applications. With Metaplane, her and her team were able to tackle long standing silent bugs.
Clearbit is a marketing intelligence solution that helps B2B marketing and revenue teams activate their ideal customer profile so they can grow faster and smarter. Julie Beynon, Head of Analytics at Clearbit, leads the data team responsible for internal performance analytics, responsible for ensuring data quality and availability, for multiple business units to be used in both dashboards as well as model data feeding directly into business applications.
Clearbit faced several challenges with their data pipeline, including tables breaking silently, delayed data updates, and introducing data issues via dbt model pull requests. The company needed a solution to improve data reliability, increase trust in the data, and reduce downtime on critical reports used in customer calls.
Before adopting Metaplane, Clearbit relied on Mode reports to manually track core tables with zero updates or rows. Despite best efforts to deploy tracking on those core tables, it wasn’t enough - Julie and her team still had to deal with tickets being created by downstream stakeholders with messages like “is this data up to date?”. In one example, silent table breakages would be caught by downstream Customer Success team members 3 days after the fact, impacting information that was critical for customer renewal calls.
❝It really only takes 30 seconds to lose trust that you might have spent 5 months building.
Automated data monitoring
❝The ease of entry with the free product gets you value immediately. Setup was so simple and easy.
Julie found Metaplane's setup to be simple, painless, and easy, with quick onboarding. The platform provided immediate value with its free tier, and the ease of connecting to GitHub and other systems in the data stack was a significant factor in the decision.
Julie defines success for her role as:
❝People have the data they need to do their jobs, the right data, and confidence in the data. They’re not constantly making reports and coming back to me to double check the accuracy.
To that end, she was able to immediately gain visibility into the state of data quality across her data stack to ensure data pipelines aren’t breaking, including whether data processes had executed as expected so that downstream tables had the proper volume of data at regularly scheduled runtimes.
This meant that the Customer Success team could continue to rely on their reports that were being used for live renewal calls, and the data team could improve uptime across all other dashboards and reports.
Proactive incident mitigation
With Metaplane, Clearbit could effectively monitor data pipelines extending beyond the core tables, reducing the potential for downtime on crucial reports. In addition to data monitoring, the team was also able to proactively reduce errors through the Data CI/CD feature, which allowed them to see the potential downstream impact on Mode reports, dbt models, and other tables before merging in changes.
Metaplane's alerts are integrated into a company Slack channel, allowing relevant stakeholders to stay informed about potential issues which increases trust in ongoing incident resolution.
Implementing Metaplane led to several benefits for Clearbit, including:
- Less downtime on reports, ensuring the availability of crucial data during customer calls and renewal discussions resulting in improved customer retention.
- Faster identification and resolution of data pipeline issues from weeks to hours, enabling the engineering team to address problems before they significantly impact users.
- Improved trust in the data, as stakeholders can rely on the data provided by the analytics team without constant double-checking.
❝There’s a multiplier effect in that you’re providing so much good data that teams can reuse what you’ve done, and we’re able to speed up 5-7 people’s workflows.
Clearbit plans to further enhance its data capabilities by:
- Developing new models to consolidate data from different sources.
- Optimize and build on existing models
- Streamlining technology and use cases across teams to improve efficiency and collaboration.
- Metaplane's implementation at Clearbit showcases the value of effective data monitoring in enhancing data reliability, efficiency, and trust.