Shopify's Analytical FoundationMode empowers everyone at Shopify with the daily data they need to think further down the road.
Over 600,000 businesses run on Shopify's platform. These companies trust Shopify to power all the workings of their online stores, from browsing to checkout to shipping. Mode empowers everyone at Shopify with the daily data they need and frees up analysts to think further down the road.
Before, our reporting got in the way of hundreds of people trying to do their jobs.
Denis Zgonjanin, Data Applications Lead, was tasked with solidifying Shopify's analytical and reporting process when he joined the team. Shopify wanted to invest in talented analysts and support them with a best-in-class data stack.
The only problem was that slow report creation and delivery of day-to-day metrics stood in the way of the advanced, proactive projects Shopify wanted to tackle. Every day, tons of shareholders across the Shopify organization needed access to important metrics, but reporting was cumbersome and slow to load using the traditional BI tool the team was using.
Analysts found themselves starting reports and actually walking away from their desks to let them finish. “Because it took a while to load," Zgonjanin says, "our reporting got in the way of hundreds of people trying to do their jobs." Before, team leads would allocate a half hour or more just to pull a simple status report. Now, running crucial day-to-day reports is no longer a burden.
“When we brought in Mode, it leveled up our reporting,” Zgonjanin says. “It now takes 2 - 3 seconds to pull these reports.”
Focusing on the Future
Faster access to insights opened the door for more teams at Shopify to rely on analysis. The analytics team was right at home with a SQL-first workflow, but the appeal of Mode quickly spread.
Shopify tends to hire people who are both curious and technical, so they were at eager to roll out Mode to more of the company. “To me, a selling point for Mode is its simplicity -- you can write some SQL and get analysis or charts,” Zgonjanin says. “It does exactly what you need to solve the business use case.”
Write some SQL and get analysis or charts, it does exactly what you need.
One team that adopted Mode quickly was Customer Support, whose leads measure their teams' progress using factors like customer ratings, interactions per day, and tickets successfully closed.
With access to basic performance metrics, leads began to dig into trends in customer questions, and to build resources to solve the common customer issues they uncovered. As Zgonjanin points out, “there was a clear feedback loop, where analysts quickly built reports, and users wanted more of that, so even more reports were built and used across the organization.”
An Analytical Foundation
Today at Shopify, over 4,000 people across various teams and roles are using Mode to answer questions on a daily basis. Though their needs will always grow and change, Zgonjanin believes that investing in a centralized analytics toolkit has been key to their success. “To me, Mode is really the best first and foundational step a data team could make.”
To me, Mode is really the best first and foundational step a data team could make.
Mode delivers the key reports that everyone at Shopify needs, and it pushes the conversation around data forward. The initial need for daily reporting inspired deeper questions across teams, and Zgonjanin says this has made everyone more data-driven in their decision making.
These days, Shopify's analysts are constantly busy because everyone from project managers to salespeople has questions about their numbers. These questions often relate to conversion, retention, and events within the product. Repetitive questions signal to analysts that it's time to build a centralized report so that teams can gather answers themselves. As Zgonjanin says, “we want to empower analysts to let others self-serve.”
Teams at Shopify now have access to metrics that provide a snapshot of progress and drive their immediate initiatives. Zgonjanin's team can focus on deeper analysis and the questions that drive Shopify's business forward. Though Zgonjanin considered the whole spectrum of analytics platforms for Shopify, his decision ultimately rested on how easy a tool made it to deliver reports.
“If you're focused on getting data in front of people everyday,” he says, “you don't need anything else except Mode.”