Completing Good Apple Agency’s modern data stack, see how Rivery cuts their reporting process times in half with automated solutions



Marketing Agency




How Good Apple Optimized their DataOps to Unleash New Growth for their business

“A reporting process that once required back-and-forth between different teams is now executed ad-hoc by team leads in minutes, cutting time to execution in half. The democratization of all these different data sources side-by-side ensures that Rivery is the one stop for all your data needs.” – Jean Huang, Senior Data Analyst at Good Apple

Why Good Apple chose Rivery:

  • 200+ built-in data connectors
  • Perfect data stack complement to Snowflake and Looker
  • Automates the entire reporting process for their business
  • Saves valuable time and money with transparent pricing
  • Flexible, easy-to-use, and scalable

The Customer: Media Buyer for the Modern Multimedia Environment

Founded in 2008, Good Apple is a media planning and buying company that eliminates big agency bureaucracy with an agile, adaptable team of industry pros who deliver results for a diverse client list.

This includes companies, such as Dollar General, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and the non-profit Smile Train. Good Apple generates over $100M in annual billings, and has almost doubled year-over-year in growth rate.

The Challenge: Data Bottlenecks Make Expansion More Challenging

Good Apple was expanding so fast, the company was experiencing technological growing pains — one client report took over 72 hours to create every week. But this report was just the tip of the iceberg.

Good Apple was also manually building data connectors to aggregate client data sources, a process that wasted time and resources. The process was also not remotely scalable.

“Data connectors very quickly became a bottleneck for us,” said Mark Sturino, Director of Analytics at Good Apple.

“So we had two choices. We could grow the data engineering team just to develop data connectors, or we could fall behind schedule on the growing number of sources we needed. For the longest time, it seemed like we would have to choose one or the other. But then we found Rivery.”

The Solution: The Killer Tech Stack at the Core of Good Apple’s Data Operation

Good Apple first tried cron jobs on an AWS EC2 Unix node, and then AWS Data Pipeline, as data integration solutions. While these solutions offered a baseline of functionality, Good Apple needed a more robust platform.

The team identified several must-haves in a new solution, including:

  • Data automation using analysts (not engineers)
  • Easy access to accurate data for all team members
  • Data sets capable of answering wide-ranging questions
  • Flexibility across systems
  • Multifaceted support channels
  • Rapid scalability

Through diligent market research, Good Apple finally landed on a SaaS ELT platform that met all these criteria and more: Rivery.

In addition to having the right capabilities, Rivery offers a pricing plan that was primed for Good Apple, only charging for data usage, period.

There are no platform, connector, or per user fees. This allows Good Apple to implement Rivery across the entire company, minus all the traditional costs of legacy platforms.

“The pricing model made a lot of sense to us,” Mark Sturino said. “Rivery allowed us to grow very quickly without becoming a cost center.”

Snowflake – The data warehouse built for the cloud

Prior to implementing Rivery, Good Apple laid the groundwork for its current data stack when the company adopted Snowflake.

Snowflake is a cloud data warehouse that delivers immediate elasticity, secure data sharing, and per-second pricing, across multiple clouds. Snowflake offers instant, secure, and governed access to data networks, a core architecture that facilitates myriad data workloads, and a single platform for developing modern data applications.

“Snowflake has really been an ongoing success story for us,” said Mark Sturino.

“The platform made it really easy to scale up, integrate sources, store data, and a whole host of other things. With Snowflake, you get the speed, power, and pricing of the best options on the market, but you get it with the best service, hands down. Excellent service, easy configurations, along with a pricing structure that worked for us then, and still works to this day.”

Looker – The modern data analytics platform

Good Apple also found the next critical component of its data stack: Looker.

Looker is an enterprise platform for business intelligence, data applications, and embedded analytics. The platform connects, analyzes, and visualizes data, so businesses across the spectrum can gain clear, actionable insights from their data. Good Apple chose Looker to create easy-to-access visual reports for clients and internal stakeholders alike.

“Looker was a pretty clear choice for us,” Mark Sturino.

“Looker’s integration with Snowflake was, and continues to be, seamless. And Looker has a lot of functionality that really works for us. The customization capabilities that you get with LookML are a game-changer. And with Snowflake’s embeddability, we can build a reporting portal for all our clients and internal teams easily. That enables excellent usage and control over all data. So Looker was a real clear win for us.”

The Outcome: Crisp™ – Rivery, Snowflake, & Looker form the foundation of Good Apple’s data operation

Good Apple turned the tech stack combo of Rivery, Snowflake, and Looker into a branded data integration and management platform – known as “Crisp™” – to anchor the company’s data strategy.

With Crisp™, the three platforms worked well together to provide easy, universal access to custom reporting and client data to any member of the Good Apple team.

“Once we joined Rivery, Snowflake, and Looker, the combination became the foundation of our data operation,” said Mark Sturino.

“We tried various ETL solutions with Looker and Snowflake, but only Rivery possessed the scalability, technical horsepower, and ease-of-use to really maximize the flexibility of Snowflake and the analytical depth of Looker. These three platforms play together like a jazz trio.”

Pre-Built Data Connectors Eliminate Inefficient Development Processes

After implementing Rivery, Good Apple first focused on eliminating the costly, time-consuming process of building API connectors.

Rivery comes with 200+ pre-built data connectors right out of the box. Good Apple deployed each pre-built data connector in a matter of clicks. The company managed multiple client accounts simultaneously, without requiring new integrations for each account.

“Rivery’s pre-built data connectors solved such a huge challenge for us,” said Jean Huang, Senior Data Analyst at Good Apple.

“We no longer had to build breakable legacy architecture that was both a major operational roadblock and a poor investment. It saved our dev and data engineering teams countless hours.”

Good Apple did require some additional custom connectors. For this, they leveraged Rivery’s API on-demand capability.

With API on-demand, Rivery’s R&D team built custom connectors for Good Apple on an as needed basis — Good Apple analysts never have to write a single line of code and the developers never have to build another data connector.

ELT Paradigm Supercharges Data Importation

“Rivery’s performance improvements allowed us to get more data into the system, and at a quicker rate,” said Mark Sturino.

“This allowed us and our clients to make quicker, more accurate, and better informed business decisions.”

As a SaaS ELT platform, Rivery loads data into Snowflake faster than the previous ETL configuration. Rivery also ingests a higher volume of data. The platform aggregates data from more sources, and enables custom data imports. With Rivery, Good Apple imports over 200 data pulls per day into Snowflake.

This increase in data volume, speed, and sources helps immensely with data importation. Good Apple now provides clients with more rapid and insightful data analysis. This offers a competitive edge to Good Apple’s clients, many of whom operate in fast-paced markets that demand incisive, near-instant results.

Granularity of Reporting Increases, While Time to Generate Reports is Cut in Half

All of these other optimizations lead up a complete overhaul of Good Apple’s reporting process. Prior to Rivery, Good Apple relied on a clunky, back-end reporting system that produced friction both internally and externally.

With Rivery, Good Apple creates bespoke reports without requiring any back-end modifications whatsoever. Rivery enables any team member to directly revamp reporting for an individual client without demanding technical tweaks. This saves team members a tremendous amount of time and energy.

Good Apple harnesses Rivery’s Logic Rivers to create its client-facing reporting views. Logic Rivers automatically extract and transform client data inside Snowflake. The transformed data funnels directly into Looker reports.

Rivery Logic Rivers now automate the entire reporting process in one continuous workflow, saving time, while making teams more efficient.

“A reporting process that once required back-and-forth between different teams is now executed ad-hoc by team leads in minutes, cutting time to execution in half,” said Jean Huang.

“The democratization of all these different data sources side-by-side ensures that Rivery is the one stop for all our data needs.”

The Outcome: Growth Unshackled 

When Good Apple first learned about Rivery, the company was having the problem every business dreams of: unstoppable growth. From the outside looking in, this always seems like a wish come true.

But when it became apparent that data integration was a central impediment, Good Apple didn’t take the growth for granted. The company acted quickly to find the right technology solution. Now, Rivery is not just a key part of Good Apple’s tech stack. It is, along with Snowflake and Looker, an engine of growth, a strategic partner.

Scaling up is one of the most important endeavors a company can undertake. What happens in that timeframe will determine the fortunes of a business 6 months, 2 years, 5 years down the line.

For growing businesses, Rivery offers an end-to-end SaaS ELT platform, not just for expanding today, but for thriving tomorrow.

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