Mobile Services Provider Turned Messy Data Into Powerful Insights

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Ian Clark


disparate data sources

dedicated researchers, working in 28 languages, across 40 countries

1 day
until first dashboard was live with Sisense

Executive Summary

Crowd Mobile, an Australian tech company in the mobile services industry, was knee-deep in Excel spreadsheets when it became clear a BI system was needed. As the CTO, Ian Clark was looking for visibility on their most effective experts and best performing ads. The idea was to replicate that success across all resources and target underperforming projects. After a lukewarm experience with a competing BI tool, the company switched to Sisense and never looked back. Sisense was quickly deployed, widely adopted and is used to improve the efficiency of marketing and operations
as well as generate reports.

Founded in 2009, Crowd Mobile is a global mobile entertainment and micro job company that allows customers globally to crowdsource answers to questions from experts around the world.

Today everything is in the dashboard and the team can get the answers they need directly and start acting on those insights faster than it would have taken me to even document their request!

The Challenge: Sorting Through Large Data Faster and Easier

Ian explains that employees would come to him and say: ‘I need to understand X’. He would write a query on the database and come back with an answer. But when someone needed a weekly or daily report, it needed to be built from scratch, which was much more difficult.

The company’s marketing, operations, and finance departments all collect large quantities of data: the performance of various marketing channels (social media, television ads, influencer outreach, etc.) would generally be stored in spreadsheets, in addition to operational and financial data. As the business is global and data is coming in multiple formats from a variety of systems, the data was not uniform –
meaning it needed to be standardized before analysis.

In the beginning, the company was working with a ‘data dump’ – a webpage with the relevant numbers, which could not be filtered or drilled into. As Crowd Mobile grew, so did their data and number of data sources. Suddenly, they were integrating Redshift DB, MySQL and connecting to various APIs from Facebook Ads and App Annie in addition to their question/answer database. Ian wanted to generate more detailed reports on a daily basis which could also be easily filtered by the user. At first Ian used Excel, but soon it became clear that a more robust system was needed.

The Search is on

An external consultant agency implemented a competing BI product, but Ian wasn’t happy with this tool’s charting and dashboarding features. Searching for a replacement, Crowd Mobile considered three BI options, one being Sisense. After building a few KPI dashboards during the trial period, Ian felt that Sisense was the most intuitive BI tool on the market due to Sisense’s sophisticated charting
abilities and how easy it is to grant contributor access to additional teams that could “get in and do their own thing”. For these reasons, as well as an attractive and flexible pricing model, Crowd Mobile chose Sisense.

A live dashboard is displayed on a large TV monitor that shows the most frequently asked questions in the past 15 minutes. It’s exactly what we needed.

Gaining Actionable Insight

Deployment of Sisense was a very straightforward process, and Crowd Mobile had an Elasticube, Sisense’s data cube, and a dashboard up and running even before the first onboarding session.

Today, Crowd Mobile uses Sisense to find the best-performing markets and channels, calculate earnings from text messages, taking into consideration the researchers’ fees and marketing costs, and increase overall customer retention.

The marketing department is the heaviest Sisense dashboard users. A live dashboard is displayed on a large TV monitor, displaying the most frequently asked questions in the past 15 minutes, along with a map showing which countries have the highest usage. Different marketing campaigns and initiatives are tracked through Sisense, and these insights are then used to improve marketing efforts. The dashboards are on all the time and also used to monitor problems – if there is a sharp downwards percentage change, this could indicate an issue with marketing efforts or technical difficulty.

The operations department uses Sisense to generate a report that shows the response rate of individual researchers, and the researchers whose answers led to customers returning to ask questions. This reveals who the best researchers are, and also enables the operations managers to improve the work of the other researchers. The finance department uses Sisense to visually represent data for board reports.

Hero Moment

What Ian has built for Crowd Mobile allows them to effectively manage and mobilize their team of over 1000+ dedicated researchers, working in 28 languages, across 40 countries, answering millions of questions per year. They are able to see at a granular level how well a marketing effort is working so that they can adjust any unsuccessful efforts, and emulate the more successful campaigns. This same technique is used to evaluate researchers and compare performance between the highest response rate and lowest response rate.

Crowd Mobile plans to launch a new line of products soon, focused on mobile apps delivering expert assistance on a variety of topics. They plan to use Sisense to track data gathered from these apps and expect to see similar global success as they have with their current products.