DISCOVER HOW THE CZECH REPUBLIC’S TOP SITE BEATS THE COMPETITION WITH ADVANCED DATA ANALYTICS
Seznam.cz is the most visited internet portal in the Czech Republic. Launched in 1996, it now incorporates more than 30 other web services and has expanded to radio, TV, print news and more.
With over 382 million monthly visits, the most popular site in the country even outranks Google. But sustaining this growth in the data-driven era would never have been possible without leaving behind Seznam’s outdated legacy systems.
We sat down with David Kroupa, Head of Business Analytics team at Seznam, to find out just how instrumental Keboola was in transforming Seznam’s operations and propelling the business into the modern age.
Back in 2003, Seznam was growing rapidly. As the demand for real-time information grew and more service partners were being added, the team recognized the value that data analysis could bring to help the company achieve more:
“We agreed with colleagues that it would be nice to establish an analytical department, so the company knows where it stands and where it could be.”
To start with, Seznam’s five-person data team worked with the popular industry solution GoodData. However, it soon became clear that the tool wasn't able to scale with their growing data needs.
“When you have a business that is progressively growing, things start happening that throw forks into your processes. Suddenly, the old methods aren’t enough anymore.”
Seznam’s rapid growth brought new challenges for cross-departmental communication too. It became more difficult for teams to stay connected, resulting in silos that could potentially affect productivity and performance down the line.
That’s when Keboola entered the picture. By sheer coincidence (or fate), David and his colleague Michal met Keboola’s founder, Padák, and a new solution presented itself.
Keboola prides itself on its advanced data analytics capabilities and absolute commitment to its customers. For Seznam, there were a few things in particular that stood out:
Straight away, David recognized that Keboola was very different to the “Wild West” operations and scrappy startups of the early data analytics industry. The platform offered something that went beyond generic features and reporting tools.
But it wasn’t just the in-depth analytics capabilities that attracted Seznam to Keboola. It was the human side too. Despite experiencing huge growth itself, Keboola prioritized a personalized, caring service tailored to Seznam’s specific needs - something the team values as much now as they did then.
Keboola’s exceptional onboarding process caused little disruption to Seznam. As the company structure remained intact, this made it easy for people to transition over to using Keboola as part of their everyday processes.
Although he’s been working in data analytics for a long time, the immense capabilities of Keboola are not lost on David. The platform makes life easier for everyone, providing fast insights on demand among other use cases:
Seznam processes a LOT of data, including everything from HR, work attendance, mail, marketing, TV and more. Soon, this will include data from print and radio too.
A centralized system is vital for managing this volume of data.
Keboola connects all of Seznam’s commerce systems, uniting dispersed data into one intuitive dashboard. With a comprehensive overview of all the company’s data, anyone can access the data they need and make informed decisions based on what they find.
“If someone wants to know the correct answers, they go to Keboola. That is why we have written ‘department of truth’ on the door.”
This central hub makes data access much simpler for the data team. Instead of writing scripts into six databases, they now only have to focus on one dashboard.
Not only this, they can fully rely on the data’s integrity. Everything is in one place, so it’s significantly easier and quicker to check and verify the data’s accuracy.
Onboarding has also become a breeze. New employees no longer have to spend days learning how to use multiple systems - with Keboola’s intuitive interface, they can get to grips with the system in just a matter of hours.
With accurate data in one place, the team at Seznam can glean valuable insights about the business: its past, present and future.
Seznam can now deep-dive into their business data, going further than surface-level metrics to reveal information that has the potential to transform the future of the company.
Keboola has become particularly vital in complex financial management. Seznam uses the platform to compile reports for individual managers, company directors, and board members, as well as for monitoring costs, yields, and EBITDA.
Keboola helps Seznam’s key players make data-driven decisions in a matter of clicks.
“Imagine someone wants to know the weekly revenue breakdown over a specific period of months. They might think it’s a lot of work over several systems and inputs, but in reality, we can give them everything they’re asking for - and more - with just a few clicks.”
David says that the impact of Keboola on the company’s processes has been nothing short of enormous. At Seznam, the team uses Keboola for many ad hoc tasks. As soon as they realize that an impromptu fix becomes a recurring need, they can set up an automation.
“If the ad hoc thing is repeated twice, third time, for the seventh time, then you don't want to do it again. Keboola makes it easy to script and automate things, so you don't have to do it again.”
One example is Seznam’s mailing system, which was once a time-consuming and laborious task. Now, the vast majority of direct mail is counted through Keboola - that’s hundreds of thousands of custom mailings per month.
Having a flexible system in place that enables the team to customize and automate processes ensures that Seznam’s people aren’t wasting their time. Anything that can be done by a machine is handed over, allowing the team to save time and focus on more meaningful work.
Keboola’s powers of streamlining and automation mean that Seznam can fully optimize their resources.
After being liberated from manual and repetitive tasks, the team can now evaluate data in much more detail, empowering them to make better business decisions. David explains that the data insights have been a real eye-opener, and they’ve even helped his team to identify processes that they don’t actually need anymore.
“If we discover something is consuming a lot of time and effort but is not delivering a good return, we can easily kill it and simply reactivate it if we need it again later.”
One of Seznam’s biggest pain points was a breakdown of communication between teams. With Keboola, this is no longer an issue.
David quickly discovered that having an easy-to-use data management platform was what Seznam needed to break down the barriers between teams and give more people access to those all-important data insights.
At first, the data team only used Keboola in financial marketing, but they soon found other applications for the platform across the business. They now have about 44 users of Keboola who span several departments.
It’s not surprising that Keboola has become an indispensable asset to Seznam. Even when an in-house replacement was considered in a bid to cut costs, the idea was quickly abandoned:
“We realized it is not possible to match what Keboola does. Sure, we could do something internally, but to deliver the same quality, at the same speed, scale, and for the same amount of money? No, that is simply not possible.”
Years on, Keboola remains a core part of Seznam’s day-to-day operations. With the two teams working alongside each other, the future looks bright for the company. David mentions that his team currently has a few new data ventures in the works, and access will be made all the easier thanks to the platform’s centralized system.
Keboola is excited to continue supporting the Czech Republic’s most popular site as it expands, making access to data analytics easier, faster, and more meaningful.
In David’s own words:
“Keboola is a simple, clearly organized solution, and it is efficient. It allows you to give the people more, without them thinking it is possible.”
Keboola helps businesses push the boundaries of what’s possible with data management and analytics.
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