Building Analytics at Simple

Early in 2014, Simple was a mid-stage startup with only a single analytics-focused employee. When we wanted to answer a question about customer behavior or business performance, we would have to query production databases. Everybody in the company wanted to make informed decisions, from engineering to product strategy to business development to customer relations, so it was clear that we needed to build a data warehouse and a team to support it.

Today, we are over a year into a partnership with BBVA and Simple is nearly 300 employees strong. We have a Director of Data leading a team of five engineers and five analysts who have access to a wealth of business data stored centrally in Amazon Redshift as our data warehouse. Building robust, near real-time analytics capabilities wasn’t easy and we learned a few hard lessons along the way. This post shares some details of what our current data infrastructure looks like, how we make use of it, and some of the decisions that led us here.