Background Behind Deployment
Enduring service and long-term relationships
SmartNews, Inc. coordinates with national newspapers and other news media and operates "SmartNews," a smartphone app that delivers personalized news that is trending online. In 2014, it began operations in the U.S., and the app has now been downloaded over 50 million times by users around the globe. It is now known as the news app with the highest average per-user monthly usage time. In the future, it is looking to expand its services to all regions and languages.
The SmartNews app is free to use, generating revenue through advertising. SmartNews has agreements with various media to provide appealing news content and offers users greater ease of use, while at the same time focusing on optimizing ad delivery. To maintain the proper balance, it is vital to visualize and analyze data such as logs, which are all recorded in digital form.
As KPI, it uses app user data such as MAU (monthly active users), WAU (weekly active users), and DAU (daily active users), article impressions, clicks, ad impressions, views, and other key figures. These are used in various ways, and almost every department in the company requires KPI monitoring and data analysis capabilities.
SmartNews has an established culture of using dashboards in all kinds of situations. For example, when performing A/B testing with the aim of improving the app, a dashboard is created to visualize models for maximizing ad revenue and creating more usable designs. It tries to look at things from a variety of perspectives to find better solutions.
Tableau Deployment and Operation Environment
Deepening the company's data-driven culture
Almost all of SmartNews's employees worldwide utilize Tableau Online and Tableau Data Management to visualize and analyze all kinds of data related to their work. Since the company was established, it has had a data-driven culture, and by providing all employees with the flexible Tableau environment, it aims to deepen this culture.
The majority of the data used in its operations is stored in a Hive data warehouse built on Hadoop and is normalized with Presto Hive Connector. Tableau can link not only to this main data warehouse, but also to other sources, freely extracting data as needed and displaying it visually in a dashboard.
To promote greater use of Tableau, it prepared roughly 50 documents on topics such as how to create dashboards and how to connect to databases. It also created an extensive FAQ and a dedicated Slack channel. 632 employees have logged in within the past 90 days. For 150 heavy users, such as data scientists and BI analysts, it provides Tableau Creator licenses, which make it possible to use advanced functions such as connecting to data sources.
"It's only been 8 months since we began full-fledged use of Tableau, but everyone is using it so much that we're already reaching the limits of our storage," says Kuan Li.