Deliveroo Uses Looker to Transport Delicious Meals Faster
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Deliveroo: A Customer Story Deliveroo Uses Looker to Transport Delicious Meals Faster Changing food delivery with an app, two wheels, and data. A London bicycle messenger leans into the curve around a corner, skids to a stop in front of an office building, and rushes inside. But she’s not there to hand over important documents—instead, it’s hot food from a nearby restaurant, ordered online and delivered in 30 minutes or less. Although online restaurant delivery services are common in the United States, former Wall Street investment banker Will Shu found it almost impossible to get food delivered after he moved to London. So in 2013, he teamed up with his childhood friend Greg Orlowski to found Deliveroo, with the mission to deliver the best selection of food in the fastest time possible and with the best customer service. Deliveroo speeds hot meals to customers using its environmentally friendly delivery fleet of bicycles and scooters, with orders placed through an online software platform. A hyper-local focus on restaurants available within the customer’s postal code helps minimize delivery time. Deliveroo’s market win is in creating new revenue streams for restaurants that wouldn’t otherwise offer delivery services, while also expanding home or office dining options for eager customers. Not surprisingly, growth has been dramatic since the first delivery in 2013. The service has expanded to 12 countries, 200 cities, and more than 30,000 restaurants to date; in 2016 alone, orders grew by 650%, an impressive jump in a rapidly expanding European market that’s expected to reach $46B by 2021. And today, they are pushing the boundaries of what is possible even further with their new Delivery Additions program, which uses data about order demand to place delivery only restaurants in cities around Europe. Scaling for Rapid Growth At Deliveroo, data isn’t just helpful for running the company; in a sense, it is the company. Deliveroo sees itself as a technology play and has been funded by leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms. “Data runs through the veins of
Deliveroo: A Customer Story CRITERIA everything we do here,” explains Will Sprunt, Head of Business Intelligence. “It’s absolutely essential for our growth to understand and have control of A data platform that the way the business is performing.” provides reliable information to everyone The initial BI tool Deliveroo put in place worked well in the startup phase, “Enabling a framework to get the right data to the right people but it wasn’t built to scale for rapid expansion. It didn’t have the security, is hugely important for any big user management, or automation that would help take the company to the decisions we’re going to make.” next level, and business users couldn’t be agile in decision-making, because they had to wait for the technical staff to write SQL for each report they requested. Code management quickly became extremely time consuming Modern, API-focused for the data team because every dashboard had a unique code base, a modeling language single change in the underlying data architecture would require updating “What I love about Looker is that the code in about 100 different locations. Also, variable demand based on it’s incredibly flexible when you the day of the week or time of day could put unpredictable strains on the build on it.” data warehouse capacity. So in 2016, Deliveroo decided to look for a new platform that would be both robust and flexible enough to take them into Self-service a new phase of growth—both immediately and into the future. reporting A Clear Choice to Smooth Implementation “Looker has helped us not be a bottleneck. Before, for every new chart we’d have to write SQL. Looker rapidly rose to the top of the list as Deliveroo evaluated platform Now our end users can build options. According to Will Sprunt “There are many reasons that we liked dashboards themselves.” Looker. One was the core LookML. It meant we could have end users exploring the data without falling into major pitfalls. We could define a Data visualization metric once, like conversion rates, then give our users the freedom to with the ability to drill down create their own reports and dashboards.” “Thanks to Looker, we’re able to visualize data a lot better than The ability to customize Looker for Deliveroo’s exact needs was also a we were before. It helps the strong draw. Will explains, “Looker is built with an API structure. That business by creating a lot more trust, as well as more action- means we can integrate our own triggers. We can understand how the driven responses.” tool’s working and modify it to fit our needs.” After embracing Looker as the clear choice, Deliveroo chose to roll it out in two phases. They promptly implemented a Proof of Concept, followed in short order by the core reporting functionality. This quick win relieved BI bottlenecks, because analysts no longer had to export data to Excel or pull one-off reports from the legacy system. Then the team stepped back to plan the structures they’d need for the next three years, building out the LookML model in a way that would provide both the foundation and flexibility they needed for growth.
Deliveroo: A Customer Story The BI team was amazed at how quickly they were able to get up and running with Looker, and this speed now defines the way they work. “We sometimes think of it in dog years, in that we do in one month what other people might do in seven,” Will explains. New Challenges Within weeks of rolling out Looker, active weekly users quickly climbed into the hundreds. “We found that people began customizing reports and exploring the data much faster than we had ever expected,” explains Will. But with such widespread data use came new challenges. The amount of questions being asked in Looker was putting too much stress on their database and performance began to lag. “As with many BI tools, there’s going to be peak times when people use the tools. What we had before was fast, but it couldn’t handle concurrent users, especially on Mondays when bottlenecks would emerge as everyone would be assessing the previous week’s performance and running queries.” To solve the problem, the team migrated to Snowflake, a SQL data warehouse built for the cloud. Snowflake’s separate storage and compute architecture could easily handle hundreds of simultaneous queries, without requiring them to maintain that level of infrastructure at all times. “What we like about Snowflake is that it elastically scales up and down, so if we have a peak for three hours on a particular day, we can just ramp up the number of clusters, but we don’t have to pay for that reserved instance during the rest of the week,” Will continued. “With Looker and Snowflake,” Will adds, “we are very confident that we are building a BI stack that will scale as quickly as we do over time.” Strong Gains with Looker Looker produced an immediate win for Deliveroo by making it easy for business users across the company to access reliable data. According to Will, “The ethos of the way we operate as a company is that everybody should have access to the data they need.” With self-service dashboards that let them drill down to the details they need with a click, Deliveroo team members have been able to rapidly deepen their insights and drive the next phase of growth.
Deliveroo: A Customer Story Asking Smarter Questions, Getting Better Answers As business users have been empowered across the company to use data in the way that works best for them, the sophistication of their questions has increased. According to Will, “People come to us with smarter questions. Instead of coming to us with a very simple question of ‘What happened yesterday?’ they’re coming to us with, ‘I saw this happen yesterday. I believe it is in this area. I think that this is the metric we should understand. Can we “ I think dig deeper here, here, or here?’ It means we’re leveling up as a business.” every Timely Decision-Making Across the Organization single Be removing the bottlenecks caused by one-off report requests, Deliveroo has enabled the entire organization to become even more agile. Krishna person Nandakumar, a Special Projects Development Associate, describes how much people rely on Looker. “I think every single person probably opens probably Looker at least once a day. This can be all the way from CEO level to someone who has joined the company on their first day.” With the data opens they need at their fingertips, team members can make decisions promptly, helping them capture new growth opportunities and adjust to market Looker at shifts well ahead of the competition. least once Nandakumar also highlights the importance of being able to present the data to groups: “For me, having good data is great, but if you can’t a day.” present it in a good fashion, it’s not going to help you make a decision.” Today, Deliveroo team members use Looker visualizations interactively in meetings—a big improvement from the days when they would have shared Krishna Nandakumar, screenshots of fixed reports and argued about whether the data was valid. Special Projects Development Associate More Strategy, Less Repetitive Work Because the LookML modeling language relieves the BI team from the burden of writing one-off queries, analysts can be more strategic. Edward Kaznowski, Lead Performance Analyst, is excited about the possibilities. “With Looker,” he says, “we can focus on the things we want to do and really enjoy, which is building really, really important reporting and doing really cool analysis for the business.” Business managers have also found that they’ve been able to focus more on strategy because they no longer have to waste time wrangling data requests.
Deliveroo: A Customer Story Accelerating Business Growth The Deliveroo sales team works closely with thousands of restaurant partners to drive up order volume and help them improve their operations. With twelve markets in time zones spreading from Australia to the UK, it was hard for managers to provide timely service for requests for data. Now Looker handles those requests automatically, with a level of detail that’s useful not just for the sales team but also to share with partners. Mathilda Nathan, Head of Global Sales Strategy, explains, “Transparency is important to us, including external transparency to our restaurant partners. In the past, we weren’t able to provide them with the data to grow their business, but now we have full visibility. We can inform them, consult to them, and help them grow.” At the same time, the delivery additions team is creating an entirely new revenue stream by launching restaurants without seating in geographical areas where the demand for meal delivery isn’t being met. Using Looker, they’re able to analyze data from multiple sources—including population data and data about the mix of restaurants not already on the platform—to launch new takeout restaurants globally from the London headquarters. Looker Today & Into the Future As Deliveroo continues to grow, the BI team is confident that Looker will scale and flex to meet their needs. Right now, the team is particularly enthusiastic about being able to take the most useful reports or dashboards created by end users and share them with the broader company. This sets up a virtuous circle that continuously encourages innovation in the use of data. But perhaps the biggest win, both now and in the future, is the impact on the way people work. Edward Kasnowski says it best: “Looker gives people confidence.” Ready to Love Your About Looker Analytics? Looker brings data-driven decision making to every level of the enterprise. Providing a modern data platform that adds value and creates a single source of truth. From Amazon to Sony, Come see a live demo and schedule more than 750 industry leaders use Looker to help every team access the data they need to your free trial. make informed decisions, from anywhere. Call 888-960-2331 or go to: Follow @lookerdata or visit www.looker.com looker.com/demo
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