When the founders of Compology started the company, they had a fundamental purpose in mind: bring efficiency to waste and recycling services through accurate, timely dumpster data collection. Now, Compology is driving efficiency and sustainability across waste and industrial transportation.
However, just as overflowing garbage containers can look unsightly, reams of data can quickly overwhelm a company. If you're going to tap into the growth potential of data, you need to have the right tools for the job.
Compology is a data-driven Internet of Things company providing rugged in-container cameras and sensors paired with artificial intelligence-powered software to waste and freight haulers with four key data points: fullness, content, location and activity.
Clarice Robenalt is behind all of Compology’s data. Before entering the data science world, she was studying for a Ph.D. in psychology.
"I made it halfway through before deciding that I was miserable and needed to find a different path for myself. I parlayed my extensive stats training into an analyst position about five years ago, and there's been no looking back."
Compology relies upon Clarice for accurate performance reporting on all devices that the company manufactures. Her data reports enable the company to dispatch technicians to malfunctioning devices at the right time, and they also provide crucial insights to guide company research about potential new features.
When Compology first started, they had Stitch and an open-source database - PostgreSQL. Although that makes sense for many B2B technology companies in Silicon Valley, issues became apparent as Compology outgrew the system. Running large-scale analysis processes was slow and unsustainable long term.
As the company scaled, Clarice began servicing more departments - especially marketing - that were in crucial need of support. The company was experiencing limitations in reporting due to the constraints of Stitch.
After conversations with several platforms, including ETLeap, Panoply, Fivetran, Xplenty, and Data Virtuality, the team at Compology finally settled on Keboola.
“Keboola was the only platform we evaluated who could offer unlimited data sources without a new charge per connector. It was also a huge differentiator that Keboola was able to provide a provisioned database for us as part of our contract.”
Compology needed Clarice to get a handle on the new system as soon as possible. She admits that there was a learning curve in navigating the user interface (UI) on Keboola.
“It took me the first week or so to feel like I was getting a handle on where to find things,” she recalls.
Thankfully, the hands-on onboarding process from Keboola helped make it a smooth transition.
“It was empowering to have such accessible support,” she explains, “I was surprised at just how much we were able to accomplish during that roughly-two-week period.”
Compology had some persistent problems with certain reporting functionality that Clarice was keen to solve. For instance, as the company grew, it was becoming exceedingly challenging to track the active fleet size over time for customers.
While a lot of the essential components of a robust data management system were already in place, the new collaboration with Keboola opened up new possibilities for Compology, as Clarice explains:
“We’re just able to offer significantly more information with Keboola. We’re also able to start supporting a new department -- the marketing team -- which was the team we had been able to offer the least data support in the past.”
Data insights orchestrated by Keboola are being used by just about every team at Compology, including operations, billing, marketing, sales, product design, and customer success. The company is set to leverage the Data Catalog in the near future.
Now that they’re up and running, the Compology team is seeing the benefits of working with Keboola. Clarice points to the flexibility that transformations can offer as one of the greatest strengths of the system.
"It's super easy to combine data from multiple platforms and push that data either into the default database or even back into some of the sources that we'd pulled data from initially. This capability has unlocked countless possibilities for us."
She shares how incredibly easy it is to initiate Slack alerts for any failed jobs or failed data integrity checks. This capability is a vital process Compology had long sought but was never able to get from their previous provider.
Data cleaning was never a big job for Compology before, and that hasn’t changed much. Instead, there is a new focus on data modeling, as Keboola facilitates data visualization from an array of sources. Doing this reveals opportunities for clean-up within those sources natively, and presents the team with valuable insights for growth.
With Keboola at the heart of its data operations, Clarice is excited about the opportunities it brings each day:
“Keboola supports continuous innovation in a way that our previous setup did not. It’s really exciting to be able to have a new idea in the morning and turn around a new report within hours, if not less.”
After two months, the impact of Keboola has been undeniable. Clarice explains that Compology is now much more effective at uniting data sources, as the dashboard brings together sources that weren’t even syncing before, paving the way for greater integrity and cohesion in the company’s data operations.
It may still be early days, but the collaboration between Compology and Keboola seems destined for a bright future.
Clarice believes Keboola will not only help Compology grow, but it can help her achieve her personal career goals. She wants to progress to the role of analytics engineer, as she would like to have autonomy over the form the data arrives in before reporting, as opposed to relying upon another person to generate the data she needs. Thankfully, Keboola is a user-friendly platform, so Clarice is able to teach herself using Scaffolds, which are end-to-end workflows built on top of the platform that users can deploy with just a few clicks.
“Something that I’m really excited about is that universities have started to offer data science as an undergraduate or graduate degree. My hope for the future of data analysis is that data science training becomes more formalized and continues to attract bright and innovative minds.”
Until then, Clarice is happy to spearhead Compology in its efforts to move the world’s raw materials, finished goods and waste with the smallest footprint possible.
Clarice describes Keboola as a DataOps platform beyond the standard ETL tool that comes with a very responsive and experienced support team.
"They're a one-stop-shop all the way from data extraction to data modeling to data storage. They offer very fine-tuned control over every step in the ETL process and unlock a tremendous amount of business potential."
Furthermore, she believes that Keboola enables a leaner data team to do more, as you can consolidate responsibilities to a single person as opposed to distributing across an entire team.
“Mastery of Keboola is an instrumental part of demonstrating complete ownership over our data stack.”
Try Keboola for free today to reap the rewards of your data pipeline.