Update: “Your Data Team Should Be Your Company's Conscience” — Forbes Technology Council
Read More
Common

Professional Services to Get Up and Running Quickly

Common

Professional Services to Get Up and Running Quickly

Employees
Industry
Housing
Customer Since
2017
Case Studies

Common is a residential property manager that addresses the needs of today's renter, with a primary focus on enhancing the roommate experience. It aims to deliver convenience, flexibility, and community to its members through hands-on property management and technology. Rooms come at a set monthly rate for members, and include a fully furnished home, from beds down to laundry detergent, and a host of included amenities like utilities, weekly cleaning, and WiFi.

With homes in Chicago, San Francisco, D.C. and New York, business is booming, but with no data professionals on the team, Common needed a better way to organize and structure its data analysis without learning proprietary analytics languages. By turning to Periscope Data and its Professional Services offering, Common has been able to ramp up its data efforts even without SQL experts on board.

Up and Running Quickly

In his role as the Director of Sales at Common, Eric Rodriguez says data plays a huge role in his success.

“It’s extremely valuable for us to know what vacancies we have in our homes,” says Rodriguez. “Being able to see our data update in real-time allows us to move a lot faster and make sure that we don’t have duplication of efforts or errors in what we’re selling.”

Rodriguez had relied on Periscope Data dashboards in a previous role and liked the flexibility it provided, so when he arrived at Common, Periscope Data was the first call he made to help provide structure to their data analysis.

“Like many startups, I came in and we’re using a ton of Google Sheets without a live look at data. We couldn’t get answers until we dug into a spreadsheet and re-invented the wheel on our own” said Rodriguez. “We needed to get a pulse on how the business was performing, and to unite data from different databases because it lived in disparate places. Periscope Data was the perfect solution for that.”

Within a month of his initial call, they were up and running with Periscope Data, providing a quick win for Rodriguez as he looked to get more data insights right away. Instead of pulling data from internal systems, manipulating it in Excel and updating it every time the needed new information, they had a method to pull data much faster in Periscope.

“Our data lives in many different places, so if we had to build new queries every time, it would be really annoying,” said Rodriguez. “With Periscope Data, when somebody wants a piece of info, I can pull that in two minutes because I know what the views look like and don’t have to do any more work to join different data sources."

Today, Common’s management team spends a lot of their day with Periscope Data dashboards open to see how the business is performing. They use custom-built views from Periscope Data to easily manipulate their most important metrics – such as occupancy rate across all their homes, renewal rates, and drilling down to insights on specific buildings or tenants.

“It honestly comes to the rescue for us every day. Periscope Data allows us to really understand what’s happening, or catch errors in data that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to see,” said Rodriguez. “Prior to Periscope it was really hard for our executives or our sales team to get visibility, but now they can see everything in one place and understand what actions need to take place.”    

“The Expertise We Needed”

“We had our contact at Periscope Data work on getting our critical reports in place, but also setting up the views for us so we could easily access the data we needed. He laid a strong foundation for us to then be able to replicate and shape that data in different ways much more easily.”
Eric Rodriguez, Director of Sales, Common

Despite his previous knowledge of Periscope Data, Rodriguez is not a SQL expert. And although they’ve hired a full-time data analyst in the spring of 2018, they needed to build their data process without an in-house expert.

“Since we were a fairly small company when I started, we didn’t have the resources, but we knew that we needed to get real-time data,” said Rodriguez. “Finding a solution that’d help us get going without having those resources internally was hugely beneficial to us.”   

For that reason, they leveraged the “Professional Services” offering to have a Periscope Data solutions expert to set up everything they needed to explore their data without any technical expertise.

“We had our contact at Periscope Data work on getting our critical reports in place, but also setting up the views for us so we could easily access the data we needed,” said Rodriguez. “He laid a strong foundation for us to then be able to replicate and shape that data in different ways much more easily.”

Rodriguez says that he knows other startups are in a similar place as Common, where they might be intimidated by jumping into a tool like Periscope Data. He says the professional services option makes that jump a lot less daunting.

“Having professional services made this a lot easier sell for me to our management team, because I could point to the fact that we wouldn’t need internal resources to help us do so much more than what we were doing,” said Rodriguez.

Building Out Technical Expertise with Growth

Use of Periscope Data has transformed Common into a data-driven culture, with more than half of the company logging in regularly to ask their own questions and get answers without waiting.

“There has been really positive feedback across the board – everyone likes Periscope Data and speaks positively about it internally because they now have the information they need in real-time,” said Rodriguez.

Moving forward, Common has plans to continue expanding the business, and sees Periscope Data as an ideal partner to scale up as their data analysis becomes more complex. As they onboard a full-time data analyst this spring, they’ve been able to leverage Periscope Data’s integration with R and Python to play to the strengths of that new hire.

“The data analyst we’ve hired was really strong with Python, so it was great to bring somebody on board that could ramp up in SQL but still get immediate value in Periscope because of the Python integration and support,” said Rodriguez.

With the power of R and Python, Common will begin doing more statistical analysis around churn likelihood within their homes, leveraging data to uncover insights that will be immensely valuable to their business success.

“We’re going to be very diverse and do far more things than we are doing today,” said Rodriguez. “It’ll expand beyond our sales and management teams to member services, to our real estate team and beyond. I fully expect Periscope Data is going to permeate across the organization, because it can really solidify our use of data in all facets of the business.”