Deliveroo turns food delivery into a data-driven enterprise

The billion-dollar food delivery company uses Fivetran to automate the movement of data, improve engineering efficiency and deliver significant cost savings.
“Fivetran lowers the barriers to entry for business intelligence. It allows us to do a wider range of things in a slicker and more automated way.”
- James Flaxman, Engineering Manager, Analytics Platforms, Deliveroo

Key results

  • Near real-time data drives decisions to improve critical advertising and marketing strategies 
  • Analytics and engineering teams can get more done, generating significant cost savings 
  • Democratization of data and insights empowers employees across the business  

Deliveroo’s data stack

Pipeline: Fivetran

Sources: Various HR, finance, marketing and productivity tools

Destination: Snowflake

Cloud platform: AWS

Business intelligence tool: Looker

Whether it’s for a weekend treat or to save time during a busy workday, millions of people across Europe turn to Deliveroo for food delivery. The company partners with national food-service giants such as Wagamama, Nando’s and McDonald’s along with a broad range of local restaurants and grocery partners, including Waitrose, Morrisons and Co-op. Deliveroo’s operating model consists of three key groups: restaurant or retail partners, riders and consumers, and providing a great digital experience through its applications is critical for success. 

“We have to make the whole platform work for everyone, balance their needs and do so in a highly efficient and effective way so everyone gets a great experience. If the platform works seamlessly for everyone, we can meet our goals as an organization to be successful and profitable.” says James Flaxman, Engineering Manager for Analytics Platforms at Deliveroo. 

The need for easier, more reliable data movement

Across the business, Deliveroo needs to make decisions based on reliable, up-to-date data. Delivering that information is where Flaxman and his analytics team steps up.

The data that ultimately informs these decisions was always present at Deliveroo, stored in Snowflake, its main storage solution, and analyzed in Looker, its primary business intelligence (BI) tool. However, internally built lines of supply were limiting the value Deliveroo gained from its data. Engineers were also increasingly frustrated by handling what they saw as a laborious data-ingestion process.

A robust, reliable alternative 

Deliveroo began to look at alternatives and drew up a list of essential criteria that Fivetran met comfortably. From ease of use to total cost of ownership, it was an obvious winner.

Fivetran offers a robust, reliable solution with a multitude of connectors – supporting their needs now and into the future. Integrating these connectors quickly and effectively with Snowflake was instrumental in breaking down internal silos that typically hold back companies that handle multiple, disparate sources of data.

The ease of use offered by Fivetran also takes time-consuming tasks away from engineers, saving them hours each week and freeing them up to spend time on business-critical responsibilities such as optimizing platform uptime and availability. 

“One thing we appreciate about Fivetran as a solution is that with relatively little documentation, engineers who aren’t necessarily specialists have been able to onboard it, create connectors and get data flowing incredibly quickly,” says Flaxman. “That’s a really positive aspect. If you are lowering the barrier to entry to creating data integrations, then you remove the bottlenecks on data engineering.”

Fast and accurate insights inform key decisions

With Fivetran providing a quick and reliable flow of data into Snowflake, and then onward into a range of employee-facing applications, decision-making processes within key functions at Deliveroo are hugely accelerated. 

An important tool at Deliveroo is AppsFlyer, a software as a service (SaaS) platform that tracks the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and other critical initiatives. Fivetran now handles the flow of data from AppsFlyer, giving Deliveroo fast and accurate insights into its marketing performance.

“The information that AppsFlyer provides is incredibly important in terms of creating company growth,” says Flaxman. “If we place an advert, what happens then? Who clicked on it? Did they then place an order or create a user account? It allows us to connect the dots and optimize our advertising spend.”

While this is an essential use case, it’s just one part of a much broader deployment of Fivetran across Deliveroo. Fivetran also loads data in Snowflake from one of our HR systems, improving processes and reliability for Deliveroo’s HR staff, and from productivity tools, facilitating the management of critical software development.

Elsewhere, Fivetran plays a key role in the efficient and accurate supply of data from Deliveroo's financial platform, along with a range of other SaaS platforms that are increasingly integral as Deliveroo looks to streamline and consolidate its operating environment. Overall, Flaxman reports material savings in Deliveroo’s infrastructure costs as a result, along with other key benefits such as speed and reliability.

“Without Fivetran, the team would need to spend around 100 extra hours per week to do what we do without drowning. We're doing things more quickly and effectively now – Fivetran effectively pays for itself.”
- James Flaxman, Engineering Manager for Analytics Platforms, Deliveroo

Having easily accessible data also enables greater cross-pollination of analysis between previously siloed departments, as well as access to completely new sources of information. These factors bring greater depths of insight than were previously available to Deliveroo, and as the business matures and its ambitions and priorities develop, they’ll prove vital to long-term success.  

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in the market and we’re going to have to remain agile and be able to react and innovate. To do that, we’ll need great analytics fed by data,” concludes Flaxman. “I can see many opportunities that will need new and different datasets, and the first place we’ll go for them is Fivetran.”

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