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

Turning Data Analysts into Front-End Engineers

Tenor Inc.

Turning Data Analysts into Front-End Engineers

Employees
Industry
Messaging
Customer Since
May 2017
Case Studies

Tenor Inc. has quickly established itself as the best way to search for GIFs on a mobile device. The Tenor GIF Keyboard is the most frequently downloaded keyboard app, allowing users to quickly find the perfect GIF that captures their mood or personality, and easily share it with friends or family. Via its API, Tenor also powers GIF search on a wide range of third-party platforms, including Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Google Gboard, iMessage, Whatsapp and hundreds more.

Across these partner GIF integrations, Tenor sees more than 12 billion GIF searches come through its system each month, from more than 300 million users. Additionally, Tenor recently launched a branded GIF program which lets companies run GIF ad campaigns across Tenor, requiring new data use cases & generating new data.

With these massive datasets, combined with a growing team, Tenor recently turned to Periscope Data to help provide them with a complete, unified platform for combining, querying and visualizing its data.

Finding a Single Source of Truth

Having a company full of smart, data-driven people can be incredibly valuable, but it can also cause major challenges if disparate teams approach data in different ways. With many different groups across the organization analyzing data separately in Tableau, Tenor had to overcome issues when collaborating on data and didn’t have a solution that served as a single source of truth.

“In the past here, everyone would do their own thing and come up with answers that worked for their respective teams,” said Brian Allen, Product Manager at Tenor. “But when we came back together as a company and people were looking at data slightly differently, they’d have different insights and sometimes entirely different conclusions, so that’s where you get a lot of confusion and a lot of time wasted.”

Allen and the data team began looking for another solution, and soon identified that Periscope Data’s system would allow them to quickly onboard and get the entire organization on the same page with how they see data.  

“The speed at which we could get up and running was what won out,” said Allen. “With Periscope Data, each team can still slice and dice their own data, but everyone from our executive team down to our individual sales members are all looking at the same data sources, so whenever anyone talks, they are always talking in the same language and with the same scope.”

A Nimble & Powerful Data Team  

With Periscope Data, Tenor is able to apply SQL queries directly against its Redshift database and build dashboards quickly. Allen says that allows the data analysts on his team to operate as if they are front-end engineers.

“To think that we can now dump our SQL in the back, get these very pretty visualizations and tweak them slightly to tell the right story – all without front-end engineering development time and other bottlenecks involved – it really opens up the creativeness within our data teams.”

Each week, the data team at Tenor spends more than 70 hours combined in Periscope Data - many analysts are logged in every day, and almost all of their team members are active at least weekly. Allen says the value of Periscope Data is not only in giving the data team a tool they need to complete their jobs, but also in reducing costs so they don’t have to hire a large group of engineers to manage that process.

“Our engineering team would have to be at least double its current size to handle what we’ve been able to build with Periscope Data,” said Allen. “We’re a scrappy data team here – so having a tool like this allows us to stay nimble with fewer data engineers and use our existing resources to help our company out in other more valuable ways.”

“The speed at which we could get up and running was what won out. With Periscope Data, each team can still slice and dice their own data, but everyone from our executive team down to our individual sales members are all looking at the same data sources, so whenever anyone talks, they are always talking in the same language and with the same scope.”
Brian Allen, Product Manager at Tenor

Embedding Dashboards for Partners

At first, Tenor focused on maximizing its value from Periscope Data internally, but recently it began embedding dashboards to begin help partners immediately and intuitively understand the ROI of their partnership with Tenor. Ultimately, Allen’s team is building a complete portal page to help partners like Google, Apple and Samsung really understand Tenor’s value and how users are searching for GIFs. Allen believes it’ll be a great self-service solution for Tenor’s partners without much additional engineering work for his team.  

“Often times when you integrate with an API, there’s not a great way to look at data within that system,” said Allen. “I think using embedded dashboards within Periscope Data will definitely help set us apart within our industry for giving our partners a way to see the trends and see what’s going on with their users.”

Between the internal value and the expanded partnerships it provides, Periscope Data has become an invaluable resource for the Tenor team. Allen says with other analytics tools they considered, his team might still get to the same end insights, but it would have taken much more time, because he’d have to learn different languages just to tie in all their data and train others on his team to do the same.

“Without Periscope Data, the process would just be way more manual, with back-and-forth conversations between our analysts, salespeople and others that can take weeks to complete,” said Allen. “Having Periscope Data really allows us to open that up and remove that hurdle from everybody’s data usage.”