You don’t have to work in the women’s clothing business to know that one size doesn’t fit all. Adore Me pioneered the try-at-home shopping service, helping to ensure that every woman can feel good in what she wears. I’ve been lucky enough to have played a part in our growth and success over the years. Now, data is transforming every aspect of how we work, shop, and do business, making these last few years especially exciting. But I’m often asked about how we utilize data here at Adore Me, so I thought I’d share some of the obstacles we’ve encountered, how we resolved them, and offer up a few pointers that I hope others will find helpful.
Freeing up teams from getting to the data, to use the data more effectively
It’s no secret: The less time we spend getting to the data, the more time we have to actually use it to support our business. Getting an online shopping service off the ground brings complexity into every part of our business. We quickly discovered that providing everyone in-house with the ability to make smart, data-driven decisions resulted in fewer errors and fewer choices that slowed down the business, driving better results for the company and our customers.
Once I got my nose out of code and started looking around for ways I could help the business make the most of its data, Looker and BigQuery quickly fell into place as the solutions we needed. In BigQuery, we found a centralized, self-managed database that reduced management overhead. And once all our data was in place, Looker had the most significant impact on our overall productivity, particularly around efficiency and reducing human hours previously spent waiting for data and sharing results between teams. With Looker, we saved time on both ends: in the gathering of data as well as in sharing the insights it revealed with those who needed them most.
What’s remarkable about the BigQuery and Looker combination is how much we can accomplish with relatively small teams. We have our Business Intelligence team, the Data Engineering team, and the Data Science team. These are our ‘data people’, who bring in the data rather than consume it. Then we have our power users who need quick insights from that data and therefore rely on Looker to access up-to-the minute data when they need it. Empowering everyone with data consistently pays off, and it’s a much better use of our time than hammering away at SQL.
Surfacing data insights that lead to action
Data permeates everything we do at Adore Me because we believe that a smarter business results in happier customers. Data helps us run interference, identify problems, and find a fix in real-time, whether that’s optimizing our delivery times or tracking lost packages. On the business planning side, our data reveals what our customers are looking at on our site. This gives us insight into their interests, what’s trending, and what they want to see more of, which in turn also helps to inform our marketing strategies.
As an online shop, driving traffic to the site is critical to Adore Me’s business. With real-time data at our disposal, we’re able to determine which campaigns are the most effective and which markets are best suited for a specific message, so we can intelligently refine our campaigns during peak seasons. With the data in BigQuery and insights surfaced by Looker, we can deliver the products and services our customers want most on our site.
Enabling continuous improvement with a flexible infrastructure
Ultimately, we want to have all of our production-critical data in BigQuery and Looker, acting as an easy-to-manage single source of truth. Data lives where we can easily access it, see it, and analyze it. We can set the rules for all of our KPIs, and everyone is able to look at the same data in order to work towards achieving them together.
What makes Google Cloud Platform so powerful is the suite of products and services that allow our teams to experiment with data in ways that are relevant to our particular business needs. For example, when working with new data sources, we need the ability to quickly visualize a .csv file, and Google Data Studio is the perfect tool for enabling that. If we find something that we want to bring into production, BigQuery makes it easy while modeling it in Looker speeds up the process. This is one way we are constantly improving and enriching our organization’s data capabilities.
Making it easy to find the right tools for the job
Our teams have discovered that the variety of solutions offered by Google Cloud are ideal to address the evolving data challenges we face. Flexibility is critical in business today, and Google Cloud provides a major advantage to those who embrace a proof of concept mentality, which is why we take advantage of the free Google Cloud trials offered. They allow us to roll a product into a project, test drive it for a few days, and fail fast if necessary. No contracts. No hassle. Better still, the variety of products, their ease of use, and overall versatility make it a good bet that we’ll find a solution that works for us.
Anyone with experience working with data will tell you that there’s no shortage of fly-by-night tools out there. But personal experience has shown us that, at the end of the day, success comes down to the strength of your team and choosing the right tools to get the job done. At Adore Me, we’ve built a fantastic team and, with the power of Looker and BigQuery, the sky’s the limit.
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