“In six months, Fivetran allowed us to work quickly to consolidate a large amount of data and build new, easy and simple pipelines, allowing us to increase productivity by 5.5x.”
- Thomas Evans, Director of Data Warehousing and Operations at Mindbody
- A 5.5X productivity gain in pipeline development, effectively saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in labor costs
- A quick and pain-free merging of two companies with considerable data architectures
- Widespread usage of business intelligence with more than 15% of the company actively using BI and data tools
Mindbody’s data stack
- Pipelines: Fivetran
- Destinations: Snowflake
- Data sources: 650+ connectors, including Pendo, Gainsight, Salesforce, Stripe, JIRA
From slow, complicated DIY pipelines to fast, company-wide intelligence
Fitness technology platform Mindbody powers tens of thousands of fitness and wellness businesses in more than 100 countries. They run a sophisticated data operation, managing data for millions of consumers globally. The Mindbody platform features real-time analytics, artificial intelligence capabilities and data marketplaces that serve both their customers and Mindbody’s internal operations.
Mindbody has accelerated its growth through strategic acquisitions: Bowtie in 2019 for its AI-driven virtual receptionist functionality, Zeezor in 2020 for its customer and staff engagement needs and ClassPass in 2021 for its industry-leading class scheduling capabilities. Fivetran is a core component in merging these companies and increasing their overall efficiency.
Becoming 5.5X more productive with Fivetran
When Mindbody acquired ClassPass in 2021, they had no idea it would lead to a major shift in their data strategy. The ClassPass data ecosystem was built entirely around Fivetran’s data movement platform, including its powerful analytics environment. No custom pipelines and no long-term maintenance. Mindbody’s data ecosystem was built entirely in-house with custom pipelines developed and maintained by an internal team of 11 data engineers.
In 2022, Mindbody decided to make a major investment in improving its user experience with the popular UX analytics product, Pendo. The data engineering team began working on a custom data pipeline only to find itself facing a series of challenges. Inspired by the success and speed they saw in the ClassPass ecosystem, the Mindbody team decided to try Fivetran’s Pendo connector.
Rather than spend weeks building their own data integration, they were up and running with Fivetran in a matter of hours. Thomas Evans, Director of Data Warehousing and Operations at Mindbody, recalls, “This is when Fivetran really entered the picture for Mindbody. It made way more sense to use Fivetran instead of building a custom connector. It was so quick and easy that we were using Fivetran as much as possible for the next year.”
Mindbody allocated two additional data engineers to run and manage Fivetran while keeping their team of 11 engineers working on bespoke pipelines. In six months, the two engineers using Fivetran were able to quickly stand up multiple pipelines, becoming 5.5x more productive and saving Mindbody hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
“In working with Fivetran, the team did not have to spend time building out manual pipelines, becoming wildly productive and progressive and allowing them to achieve their goals faster.”
Increasing the speed of mergers and acquisitions
Growing through acquisition comes with a variety of challenges: aligning data architectures, resolving data quality and governance issues, reducing technological redundancy and cultural differences. Consolidating the data efforts and environments of two companies is time-consuming, complex and inefficient.
Consolidating data operations and environments involves replicating infrastructure out of siloed environments and into a shared one. “Fivetran has made the integration and consolidation of ClassPass and Mindbody both straightforward and fast,” notes Evans. “We’ve spent minimal time replicating and standing up all our new pipelines because Fivetran works so well. It’s fast, it’s simple and it gets the data we need in.”
Being exposed to the ClassPass data infrastructure has helped Evans to see opportunities for improvement in Mindbody’s data ecosystem. For example, Mindbody’s bespoke Snowflake connector has presented challenges for business-critical analytics calculations. “Some of the issues we have with our bespoke connectors just don’t exist on the ClassPass side. So, now I tell our engineers they should just use Fivetran.”
The use of Fivetran has shifted the focus of Evans’ teams and has allowed them to serve more people across Mindbody and its subsidiaries. They’re shifting from being a team that builds pipelines to being a team that consults and enables via Fivetran’s prebuilt data connectors. And that’s bringing people and systems together.
“Fivetran has given us a blended approach to sharing load and data across both orgs, while consolidating our data warehouse and analytical environment into a single Snowflake instance.”
From bespoke pipelines to a self-service data platform
Like every other data engineering team, Evans and his group always have more on their plate than they can realistically handle. Rather than compete with an ever-increasing queue of incoming work requests, he’s leveraging Fivetran to build a self-service data platform.
“We can now allow non-data warehouse engineers to build out our data ecosystem. They might say, ‘I need this data by Friday.’ I tell them, ‘Cool. Here is a login to Fivetran. Knock yourself out.’” To say they’re surprised is an understatement. “Once they’re in, they say, ‘Why does it take months to build a pipeline? This was so easy!’”
Evans’ team also leverages Lite connectors, which offer use case-specific solutions for API-based data sources. This saves weeks of development time. They’re already using Lite connectors for cybersecurity systems and analytics to get quick wins. Lite connectors are also closing gaps in a major “Analytics 2.0” upgrade in the ClassPass data infrastructure.
“We had pipelines in Analytics 1.0 that weren’t on Fivetran and the team is now easily rebuilding with out-of-the-box and Lite connectors. Fivetran has enabled us to move to a new consolidated environment very quickly with limited pain and headache.”
Widespread usage of analytics and business intelligence
Mindbody has made the leap toward widespread usage of business intelligence. More than 15 percent of their employees have access to — and are actually using — sophisticated data and analytics systems.
Fivetran has helped to enable a data-driven culture at Mindbody. Employees who aren’t in data engineering roles are building pipelines and regularly using business intelligence and data analytics software. Consolidating the Mindbody and ClassPass data environments is moving quickly and pain-free, and Evans and his data team have seen incredible productivity gains.
In the coming months, they are focusing on further building out their machine learning capabilities, which include predictive modeling, intelligent messaging recommendation tools and a variety of projects leveraging Fivetran’s automated data movement platform.