Data Reply Helps Showpad Adopt Amazon QuickSight to Democratise Access to Data and Dashboards

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    Executive Summary

    Belgium-based Showpad chose Data Reply to help it migrate to Amazon QuickSight to provide a unified visualisation tool to users across its business. It was important to transfer the previous report visualizations to the new system so that reports look identical and business users could start using it immediately with no need for training. The new system improves performance and security and allows teams in Showpad to align on key business metrics using accurate and relevant data.

Showpad's Shift to Amazon QuickSight

We travelled to Showpad's Brussels office to hear directly from Head of Data, Jeroen Minnaert, about how his team has benefited from working with us. Watch this short video as he shares the Showpad story.

You can read the full story below

Reports Created 3x Faster with Strategic Data Use

Belgium-based Showpad provides businesses with a sales enablement platform that uses state-of-the-art technologies—like digital deal rooms and video messaging—to enable sales reps to share personalized content and deliver the best buying experiences. Showpad also gives sales managers the insights to bring their teams to the next level and accelerate sales cycles.

Although Showpad uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) for most of its digital infrastructure, it relied on a separate provider for its visualization tools. This required complex integration, creating management headaches for the technology team. It also meant that licensing costs were unpredictable, and it was difficult to match expenditures to the relevant business departments.

Sharing dashboards and data across the company was also a challenge. Showpad found it difficult to take prototype analyses and seamlessly embed them as dashboards into the main Showpad product. Finally, only a limited set of data was available in the visualization solution because of security and compliance standards.

Showpad also needed a faster, better way to create reports. This was achieved by working with AWS Premier Partner Data Reply to migrate to Amazon QuickSight. ”The move has made a big difference—we can create reports 3 times faster than before, make more strategic use of data, and provide access right across the company,” says Jeroen Minnaert, head of data at Showpad. The company can now build dashboards with embedded visuals in weeks rather than months..

Amazon QuickSight also keeps costs low and predictable but still can cope with rapidly changing demand as the project gains momentum. “Democratizing data requires a different cost model for infrastructure, and serverless technology fits like a glove” says Minnaert. “It also scales easily, which is important as our maturity evolves.”

Data Reply—an Agile Partner

Showpad’s focus is on differentiating and innovating for its customers. That means spending its time and resources on making its offering unique.

The project originally appeared to be a straight migration to QuickSight, so it brought in Data Reply to handle that. “But we were a little optimistic and once we started on the project, it was clear that proprietary technology and custom coding in our previous tools was going to make this migration more complicated,” says Minnaert. “Data Reply was able to respond to that change. They did a great job of the initial scoping and analysis and when it became clear more needed to be done, they collaborated with us to keep the project moving. AWS also provided great support—we had two AWS QuickSight experts on our Slack channels answering questions and helping out, which was really helpful.”

Easier, Faster Integration with Security Baked In

With most of Showpad’s other systems running on AWS, integration is now simpler than before. Combined with the ease of infrastructure management, this is projected to deliver cost savings within a year. Showpad has also improved its financial management of cloud use and spending—a practice known as FinOps—and can much more easily identify relevant costs for each business department.

Strict compliance standards at Showpad did not allow the sharing of data between AWS and third-party business intelligence providers. Using Amazon QuickSight means this is no longer an issue.

Benefits to the Business, Keeping the UI Intact

Showpad believes it is still early in its cloud journey and is not yet making fullest use of the features the technology offers. But it knows that it has the right foundations in place. Because Amazon QuickSight is much more accessible and reports were reliably migrated from previous systems, more departments are creating their own dashboards, and their knowledge and skills around data use are growing.

A key goal of the project was to keep the visualizations in the reports as similar as possible to the previous system, to help win over business users. This is helping to spread use of the system across the business.

Showpad is taking a varied approach to expanding use of the dashboards and data insight now available, including workshops and different support approaches that are tailored to different user groups. It is happy with the visualization tools and reliablity it has achieved by using Amazon QuickSight. The company now finds it easier to create dashboards from a single-source-of-truth data lake. Showpad is confident that adding new sources will be easy as its needs grow.

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