- The development team at Hunt, Gather had built a few pipelines on their own before discovering that Fivetran offered a faster, easier and more cost-effective way.
- The speed and value of Fivetran have transformed Hunt, Gather’s approach to data analytics and reporting — pipelines that used to take the development team months to build are now up and running within one day with Fivetran.
- The team implemented Fivetran internally with great success, dropping pipeline development time from a full month to just one day. before bringing their new data capabilities to client work.
- ELT: Fivetran & Fivetran Transformations for dbt Core™
- Warehouse: Google BigQuery
- Sources: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Asana, QuickBooks, Google Sheets
- Cloud Platform(s): AWS, Google Cloud
- BI Tool: Looker
Hunt, Gather is a woman-owned agency based in Austin, Texas focused on building creative campaign websites for brands, including Chipotle, Burger King, and GNC. But they were continuously confronted by a frustrating problem: limited reporting tools kept them from sharing deep performance data with clients.
At first, Hunt, Gather tried to gain operational insights so they could estimate how long it would take to work on a project for a client.
“We scope out projects and estimate hours per person, but because of all the disparate data, it took a lot of work to figure out how we were doing, how much money we were making, and how we were spending our time,” said Jordan Scott, Analytics & Reporting Director at Hunt, Gather. “It was critical for us to look at costs and where we are driving the most revenue.”
The agency knew it was time to develop a holistic approach to the reporting of its digital marketing efforts. The company understood that it needed a suite of tools that enabled the collection and analysis of data — and ultimately the generation of key insights — all in a single location.
“There's only about 25 to 30 of us on the team. It's a pretty small but mighty agency,” said Scott. “We’re getting to a place in the development of our data management where it will help us save time and money, and expand. We're just trying to work smarter with all the data we have.”
Scott was new to data engineering and after testing a variety of analytics tools, he came across the term “modern data stack” — and that’s how he discovered Fivetran. Previously, it had taken as much as six months for Scott’s team to build pipelines in-house, but with Fivetran connectors, they connected multiple sources with BigQuery in less than a day.
“It was infinitely faster,” said Scott. “So much so that my mind was exploding with ideas for what else might be possible with Fivetran.”
Scott’s team also discovered that they saved more money through Fivetran compared to the ELT platforms they’d tried before. Hunt, Gather quickly concluded that Fivetran was an ideal fit for efficiently connecting insights between all of their client marketing and internal operational data platforms.
Connected data in a fraction of the time
After adopting Fivetran, the development team at Hunt, Gather was stunned to see how quickly they could build SQL models and connect their data. Instead of taking hours or days to answer questions, the team could now surface insights within minutes.
In addition to connecting key marketing platforms, Hunt, Gather’s development team realized they could also use Fivetran for internal reporting. They set up connectors between their time tracking software and Google Sheets to showcase how much time employees spent on projects for each client within set time periods.
“I can't speak highly enough about Fivetran transformations for dbt Core™. They are so flexible and can teach you just by looking at how they're built. I learned so much SQL just from those transformations, I've been able to replicate them for my own platforms.” -- Jordan Scott, Analytics & Reporting Director, Hunt,Gather
Previously at Hunt, Gather, teams copied and pasted data into spreadsheets. With Fivetran, the process is automated and that means no more manual data entry.
Now, Scott has data from Asana filling out Google Sheets every hour, where the company can see everyone’s working hours in real time, broken down by month and by scope of work. It’s easy to understand how each project is doing, and what spending is needed between any given day and the end of the client retainer. This near real-time, easily accessible view has been extremely valuable to Hunt, Gather’s founders, owners, and project managers.
The team also now plans to connect QuickBooks and sync invoice data every 15 minutes, so everyone can see when invoices are paid and easily make cash flow projections for the future.
“I’ve worked at larger, global agencies with thousands of employees, and they do all of these things manually,” said Scott. “Now that we have these automated connectors at Hunt, Gather, my plate is full of projects to implement Fivetran throughout the agency and for clients.”
For small agencies like Hunt, Gather, it’s essential to keep tabs on who needs to be hired based on upcoming projects, and how much those new roles will cost. The development team’s next mission-critical Fivetran project is to connect the data needed to make fiscally savvy decisions about role allocation.
Small agency, big insights
Hunt, Gather works with a variety of clients who require highly customized data reporting. They previously tested other ETL platforms before Fivetran, but they were unreliable, more expensive and difficult to use. Instead of saving time, they led to more headaches.
Using Fivetran's connectors, the development team at Hunt, Gather has built customizable Looker Studio reports that collect data from all the platforms that their clients depend on for insights, everything from Facebook, Instagram to Linkedin and more.
“You have it all broken down, and you can view everything at your fingertips,” said Scott. “Our team loves seeing how campaigns have performed across all devices and platforms. It's really cool that we can combine it all, and we're in full control of building out the metrics and data modeling how we want. And it's all automated.”
The previous paid ELT platforms that Hunt, Gather tried led to triple-digit monthly subscription fees. By contrast, Hunt, Gather now uses Fivetran's most accessible plan — the Free Plan, formerly Standard Select. Previously, the agency’s monthly Fivetran usage costs amounted to only the price of a few lattes. Now, they use Fivetran completely free.
Not only has Hunt, Gather reduced spending on pipelines, they’ve also been able to avoid hiring costly additional development staff to build and maintain their pipelines. Now, the agency is moving its data analytics capabilities forward with a small, nimble team equipped with the right tools. According to Scott, the team has found using Fivetran more seamless, flexible, and cost-effective than any other platform they’ve tried.
“Fivetran is fast, reliable, efficient, affordable — and it gives me the data. It's mine, and it replicates it.” -- Jordan Scott, Analytics & Reporting Director, Hunt,Gather
“Now I can report on it within the platform of my choice, however I want and blend it with anything I want, giving me (a one-man team) the ability to make a business impact quickly and under budget.”
Hunt, Gather is continuously building upon its data strategy to deliver insigths both internally and externally. Fivetran is the key to bringing it all together and surfacing the insights every stakeholder needs.