Casting Networks Sees Eight-Hour Reports Turn to Real-Time

Executive Summary

Casting Networks is a software company that provides technology solutions for the casting process by connecting professionals in the entertainment industry around the world. They were gathering close to 1 billion rows of data on their back-end, coming from dozens of sources, but didn’t have an easy-to-use BI tool to pull the data together and use it in a meaningful way. The only way to actually see their data was to perform one-off queries on the system, which fell on the shoulders of IT. When CEO, Glen Ward, joined the company, he wanted a better way to see the data and understand the business to see where its opportunities were. To that end, he tasked Senior Business Analyst, Nitika Singh, with finding a BI solution. After implementing Sisense, they are getting answers to questions in real-time and saving a full man-week per month on time spent getting reports together.

The Opportunity

Founded by a casting director in San Francisco, Casting Networks is dedicated to providing technology solutions for professionals in the business of finding and auditioning talent. With more than 160,000 projects posted annually, they create tools for communication, scheduling, media management, marketing, and career development. Casting Network streamlines some of the most complex processes facing the entertainment industry, including making it easier for talent to find work.

The Challenge: Connecting Large Volumes of Disparate Data

Casting Network’s data was being stored but not really seen, leaving the Sales and Business Development departments tracking KPIs manually. As the company started to expand internationally, the need to aggregate different data sets and evaluate the business on a global scale became even greater. Needing to access Google Drive documents, multiple Quickbook files and 35 SQL databases comprising over a billion rows of data, Nitika had her work cut out for her in pulling together a solution that met Glen’s directive.

The Search is on

Nitika evaluated a number of business intelligence solutions but eventually chose Sisense after the proof of concept proved so simple to use and effective with her data. She liked Sisense’s web-based dashboards that allow viewers to access them from any device (PC, Mac, mobile), the ability to manage and customize data using the Elasticube, the ease-of-use in combining multiple data sources, and how, unlike other platforms, she didn’t need pseudocode to be written, making Sisense more flexible when it comes to personnel changes.

Happier Salespeople, Less Manual Labor, Improved Resource Allocation

Casting Networks implemented Sisense in order to gain a better understanding of their business, both internally and externally. They wanted to see how the website was functioning, as well as track the success and impacts of different projects going on in the company. Implementing Sisense has given executives a bird’s eye view of the business’ performance and its KPIs in real time.

With Sisense, salespeople are finally able to measure how casting directors are booking and confirming their auditions. Previously, there was not much visibility into this process and the company didn’t know if their users were accepting auditions themselves or via agents, which was very important to understand in order to make the system successful. Now salespeople know who to contact next in order to promote more effective use of the system.

Sisense has also allowed Casting Networks to pull activity reports for each casting director and agent. As a tool for establishing themselves and entering new markets, this is used to recognize which industry leaders need to be more engaged with the product. In mature markets, it gives the salespeople a good idea of which projects are trending downwards. When all parts are pieced together, Sisense gives an excellent view of decline, uptake, and retention opportunities.

Hero Moment

Nitika was able to save 40 man-hours per week which had been used on manually generating reports. Those reports would have typically taken a full business day to run, but with Sisense, that information is now available in real-time with no manual intervention. Glen previously had no idea what was actually happening in the business unless somebody ran a query, which couldn’t happen daily because of the time involved and conflicting priorities in IT. Those reports were often error-prone or incomplete anyway because of the manual process involved in collecting the data. Now with Sisense, he has a real-time, 360-degree view of his data and is able to make strategic business decisions quickly and accurately.