Becoming Data-Driven with Self-Serve Analytics at

Posted by jason on September 12, 2018 Case Study, Customers, Data Stack, is the premier destination for news and analysis on all things racing. From IndyCar to Formula 1 to NASCAR, covers racing by operating more than forty online media publications in 17 languages. Clearly, the company is a global operation.

Motorsport website

As such, has a massive amount of data that needs to be wrangled, analyzed and actioned upon on a daily basis.

We spoke with Audren de Valbray, Business Manager at, to hear how he and the online publisher uses Panoply to collect and manage data and Chartio to visualize their data stack.

Coalescing Data with Ease

Valbray reports that the ‘old method’ of data collection required building what the team, internally, called the ‘mega-spreadsheet’ that consisted of data from Google Analytics, MailChimp, Google Spreadsheets and more. Building the spreadsheet was cumbersome and prone to human error.

“We chose Panoply as opposed to a standard Amazon Redshift instance because we did not have a developer resource to start with and no way to maintain our own warehouse. Plus, Panoply handles the ETL process for our Mailchimp, advertising data in Google Sheets, S3 buckets, MongoDB and some of our 50+ social media accounts including Facebook and Twitter into a single location. We then connect Chartio directly to 60+ Google Analytics views, random CSVs, alongside various MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and the Panoply data warehouse.”

With Panoply, reports they’re able to achieve an easy data warehouse without the day to management and overhead of maintaining it.

Taking Action On Data

Now that we have a robust data stack in place, isn’t just reporting data across the company, they’re able to take action on it. For example, with performance data in hand, editors can see which articles are performing well in regions and re-purpose the content into different languages/editions to replicate success, based on prior performance.

Before, editors used hunch and intuition in the process; now, it’s data-backed.

Discovering ‘Big Wins’

Before having Panoply, data collection was time-consuming - as manages more than 40 Google Analytics accounts plus all their other data sources. Now, the team’s new data-driven method results in a 30x time savings. A process that used to take 15 working days per month can now be done automatically and is always up-to-date. Panoply and Chartio give the Digital Marketing Director more time to focus on data analysis and less time reporting on it.

Also,’s proof of concept with Panoply was a success because of the ease-of-use of the tool set. Now, editors and individuals across the company can see data and build charts in Chartio to draw custom insights for their respective teams.

Project Requirements

Going into the proof of concept - desired a solution that enabled anyone in the company to easily access data and build a chart. The resulting package needed to be straightforward, fast to set up and easy to use for those who aren’t data scientists.

The team tried other solutions, but stopped using them because of technical complexity or ease-of-use for decision makers.

To read the entire interview, visit their success story here.

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