Juwai Streamlines Multilingual Big Data BI, Creating Real-Time Value for Customers

Executive Summary

Juwai.com is an online marketplace where Chinese consumers search for international properties added by local real estate agents, brokers, and developers in 89 countries. Over 2.5 million properties from around the world are currently listed on the site – mainly in the US, Europe, Australia, and Southeast Asia, and thousands of interactions between Juwai.com, real-estate agents, and potential buyers take place on a daily basis.

This means that Juwai.com’s data comes from multiple sources and is generated at a rapid rate. Manual data preparation and reporting were slowing them down, so the company began looking at BI solutions. After choosing Sisense, they were able to achieve real-time reporting, a centralized repository for all organizational information, and the ability to identify new insights and proactively expand the business’ reach through its data.

The Challenge: Multilingual Big Data

Juwai.com had four major problems to solve. First, they used multiple data sources, both in Roman and Chinese scripts. Next, they were using seriously big datasets, with billions of rows. Processing such large data sets with Excel and internal scripting was intensely difficult, and at present, they could only produce manual reports, generated by IT.

In their favor, Juwai.com did have an effective system for capturing data, consisting mostly of user interactions with its websites: the properties that were frequently being searched, viewed, etc. Data was ‘fed’ into the system and handled using Excel or internal scripting. However, as the business grew, these interactions increased, and the data was getting too large to manage effectively using these tools. What’s more, manually adding data led to human errors, inconsistencies, and other issues, which could only be dealt with reactively.

At the same time, the company relied on reports generated by their IT department, which mostly focused on trends in the properties consumers were searching for and viewing. This piled a burden on IT, who were only able to produce reports on a monthly or an ad-hoc basis – by which point they were largely out of date. Clearly, Juwai.com needed far more flexible reporting, with reports that were timely and responsive to real-time developments.

The Search is on

Juwai.com began their search for BI software that could address their issues. During the evaluation process, their main concern was that the platform could process the hundreds of millions of rows of data that the company generates on a weekly basis. They looked at several tools, including many industry leaders, but ultimately Sisense was the only option that could process such large datasets originating from multiple sources – efficiently, and within their budget. After undergoing an extremely thorough proof of concept using Juwai.com’s own data, the company steamed ahead with deployment – and found implementation a breeze.

Consistent Reporting With a Single Source of Truth

Since deploying Sisense, Juwai.com has finally consolidated its scattered data into a single source of comprehensive information. The technology and data teams were able to pull all their data into Elasticubes, which are updated as frequently as every ten minutes, providing real-time information and insights. In this way, they can combine different data sources with ease, control the data for inaccuracies and inconsistencies; and swiftly set up BI dashboards for different stakeholders in the company.

This has different implications for various departments:

  • Upper management get a bird’s-eye view of dashboards, to provide an overview of the company’s overall performance across departments;
  • The finance team now has the functionality to combine multiple data sources to generate reports that previously had to be compiled manually once a week, taking around 30 minutes. With Sisense, the data is available on-demand, instantly.
  • The PR department uses data discovery to uncover insights into market and buyer behavior, used to generate press interest.
  • IT monitors the way Juwai.com processes listings and real estate agents inside their databases, allowing the department to be more responsive, proactively identifying problems in real time instead of waiting for complaints from users.
  • A cold calling tool is being built for the Sales team by Juwai data engineers, using the information gathered in Sisense. This will track areas where buyer interest is increasing, based on user behavior on the Juwai.com website. The sales team will then be able to approach real estate agents with targeted offers to expand their business in these areas.
  • The marketing and product development teams are using Sisense data to create animated, real-time maps that visualize user interest in different locations around the world.
  • Juwai-Chinese-Properties-Data-Visualization
    Image source: WSJ

    Hero Moment

    Juwai.com immediately saw a steep drop in the time it took to generate reports. Now, reliable and consistent data was always readily available for analysis, giving them a single source of truth. The executive and exploratory dashboards offered a high-level summary of trends, as well as opening up new use cases – brand new applications and products that could be built around Sisense.

    Today, Juwai.com uses Sisense to get a clear, immediate overview of the business, joining up disparate sources. It’s also a proactive tool they can use to increase business reach, bringing both high level and exploratory dashboards to all different users.

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