Our Favorite Customer Spotlights From Data Cloud World Tour

Use Cases & Projects, Dataiku Product Catie Grasso

This year, we had the pleasure of being a sponsor at the Snowflake 2023 Data Cloud World Tour and practitioners and executives alike had the opportunity to visit the Dataiku booth for hands-on demos that showcased the seamless integration of Dataiku and Snowflake in action.

Here, we’re shining the light on two of our favorite customer spotlights from the event — joint Dataiku and Snowflake solutions from NBCUniversal and Convex Insurance

1. NBCUniversal’s Joint Solution to Achieving Scale in a Media Landscape

In a session entitled, “Optimizing First-Party Data,” at the Data Cloud World Tour New York, Claire Browder (Senior Product Manager at NBCUniversal, overseeing MarTech and AdTech applications) shared that they initially faced a myriad of difficulties doing so. The large volume of first-party attributes and events is great, but there were not enough users within each attribute for campaign activation. 

Next, as scale increased NBCU faced a tradeoff between audience accuracy (read: data integrity) and potential for campaign activation and use. They also had difficulty promoting adoption with non-technical team members, the majority of the user base. Finally, they were dependent on third-party data (which is becoming obsolete) and audience creation platforms are becoming costly.

So, their idea was to leverage Dataiku (alongside Snowflake) as their machine learning platform of choice to:

  • Create a flexible and efficient ecosystem for understanding and targeting audiences. This, coupled with Snowflake, enabled them to achieve scale for advertising campaigns without sacrificing data quality. 
  • Develop user-friendly tools, allowing marketers and advertisers to directly access data without engineers, data scientists, or complicated queries. Users were able to find, build, and create custom audiences without any coding or SQL, unlocking their ability to leverage the data available within the data warehouse.
  • Generate lookalike models against the full first-party universe to achieve scale and confidence in delivered audiences.
  • Prioritize existing data warehouse investment and reduce dependence on third-party platforms, saving on cost. 

Here is what the solution looks like in practice: 

Snowflake and Dataiku joint solution for NBCU

NBCU was able to drive great results with the joint Dataiku and Snowflake solution, including:

  • Additional Revenue: New use cases were unlocked, as well as the ability to deliver audiences at scale for campaigns.
  • Shift to Internal Tools: Reduced spend and dependence on third-party platforms.
  • Data Democratization: Non-technical users were able to build and model audiences via self-service tools.
  • Efficiency Gains: Reduced time from build to activation to less than one hour!

2. Convex Insurance’s Joint Solution to Managing Data Democratization at Scale 

In this session at Data Cloud World Tour London, which was a conversation between Steve Perry (Head of Data Delivery, Convex Insurance) and John McCambridge (Director, FSI Business Solutions, Dataiku), Convex shared their experience using Dataiku and Snowflake for data democratization at scale — with guardrails. Convex has built what they call a “data universe” from the ground up, which is basically a very large instance of Snowflake where all of their data comes into and they can curate that data, conform it, and produce it for business functions to consume. 

One of the topics that they are prioritizing is thinking of ways to use data powerfully. Interestingly, it wasn’t a technical team that brought Dataiku into Convex, but a business function: actuaries. As the actuaries are not data engineers, Convex has embedded data engineers and data scientists into business functions such as the actuary team to work with the SMEs and collaborate on products to get them productionized in a timely manner. 

Having a team inside Dataiku allows actuaries to adopt data pipelining approaches without having to become data engineers or data scientists. However, that doesn’t mean that on their own the actuaries would build a project that would go into production. That’s where the guardrails come in. For example with the task of replacing spreadsheets with Dataiku, the team acknowledges that it is a new tool and there is undoubtedly some change management involved, so they’re working on removing people that have historically had manual involvement in a safe way (i.e., decoupling the manual process from the business process and putting the results of the manual hand-cranking of data into Snowflake or another database or data store that Dataiku can pick up reliably). 

All of this is critical from a process point of view as well. By embedding technical resources directly into business processes, the Dataiku workflows and projects can come back into their CoE and be owned and managed by the data team so the business functions don’t need specialized resources themselves. 

Putting It All Together

These customer spotlights underscore the pivotal role that Dataiku and Snowflake play in driving innovations and efficiency gains in a rapidly evolving data landscape. Together, the two solutions represent a powerful alliance, offering organizations a comprehensive solution to address the complexities of modern data management and analysis. 

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