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

Fast to Implement, Easy to Scale

Cover

Fast to Implement, Easy to Scale

Employees
Industry
Insurance
Customer Since
2018
Case Studies

San-Francisco based Cover is a straightforward, app-based way to get insurance on anything from cars to personal property. Customers use Cover’s mobile application to simply take pictures of an item they want to insure, answer a few short questions and the Cover team then finds them the best insurance policy from 30+ carriers to match their situation, completing the entire process via text message.  

Industry: Insurance

Customer Since: 2018

  • Problem: Cover needed to link its data sources with an analytics tool that wouldn’t create a strain on resources from the engineering department.
  • Action: After evaluating multiple tools, Cover chose Periscope Data for its flexible reporting functionality, ability to scale and support complex analytics, and its quick implementation time.
  • Solution: Periscope Data has provided a solution that helps answer analytics questions around every step of the customer flow for Cover, supporting its product, marketing, finance and operations teams with consistent, reliable reporting.
“We can create dashboards, create email reports, everything we need, so Periscope really has the full scope of what we needed to effectively drive business insights from our raw data tables. Periscope has also scaled a lot with our needs as we’ve done some more complex analysis. It’s easy to get started, great for scaling, and gives you all the functionality you need right at your fingertips.”
Chris Stanley, Business Operations at Cover


When Chris Stanley arrived to lead business operations in 2018, Cover was collecting an incredible amount of raw data on its interactions with customers, but that data wasn’t being piped into any analytics solution. Instead, engineers were regularly writing SQL queries against the raw database to get a sense of how the company was operating.

“The first thing we needed to do was effectively get all these different data sources and pipe them into one place where it could easily be analyzed by writing SQL queries,” said Stanley. “Periscope Data provided us the ability to link our data sources to an analytics tool in a very easy way.”

Stanley has worked with several different tools in his analytics workflow throughout his career. That included one workflow with manual, custom-made ETL tools supported by Tableau for visualization, and another workflow using Looker. At Cover, he realized that recreating those complicated workflows wouldn’t fit in his new position.

“At a startup, we don’t have the luxury of going to our devops team with specific requirements for analytics and have them go build it,” said Stanley. “All our engineers are focused on trying to build and enhance the actual consumer-facing product, so our priority was to find a solution that would help us get up and running without requiring any bandwidth from our engineering team.”

As he began evaluating tools, he determined that building a manual ETL tool would have been too big of an effort, and Tableau would have been too expensive to provide value. He also determined that a Looker implementation would have meant spending his time in the initial weeks and months of his new job trying to teach his team a new language, with added layers of complexity involved to maintain that over time.  

“We had done a Looker implementation in my past role, and I was not very fond of the tool because of the LookML language,” said Stanley. “At the end of the day, we’re just trying to run a quick analytics process, use simple queries, find conversion rates and get this whole BI system up and running. And getting our team to learn LookML would have just added a few weeks, maybe even a month of just upstart time. So that’s why Looker was disqualified from the running early on.”  

With Periscope Data, Cover has been able to get up and running quickly. Stanley also says the SQL Views capability in Periscope was a big win for Cover, because it meant they didn’t have to use their own ETL tool. Instead, they could use SQL Views as a way to write all the glue between their tables. The simplicity of Periscope’s “write SQL, get charts” mantra played perfectly into Cover’s needs, because it didn’t require multiple steps to get SQL queries ready to be visualized. Finally, the flexible reporting functionality in Periscope allowed Cover to maximize the value of their analysis by empowering the rest of the company with data insights.  

“We can create dashboards, create email reports, everything we need, so Periscope really has the full scope of what we needed to effectively drive business insights from our raw data tables,” said Stanley. “Periscope has also scaled a lot with our needs as we’ve done some more complex analysis. It’s easy to get started, great for scaling, and gives you all the functionality you need right at your fingertips.”


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Learn more about how Cover uses Periscope Data across its teams to solve complex data questions: Page 2