Data Warehouse for inMotion ignite enables creative teams to take their creative operations reporting to the next level by bringing their creative workflow data from inMotion ignite into their preferred Business Intelligence (BI) tool, where they can build dashboards, access historical data for trend analysis, create custom visualizations, and combine their data with cross-organizational data to make metrics-driven decisions. We caught up with Chris Trauzzi, COO, inMotionNow, and Josh Trauberman, Director of Product, inMotionNow, to learn more about Data Warehouse for inMotion ignite.
inMotionNow: How does Data Warehouse differ from or expand upon the existing reporting functionality in ignite?
Chris Trauzzi: We had been hearing from our customers that they wanted something more robust in terms of reporting, which could connect the data in ignite with other systems. In fact, when we built ignite, we thought a lot about reporting and how we could build a reporting suite that would give our customers the outcomes they were looking for. Specifically, we were hearing 3 main use cases:
- Track and report on only creative operations metrics
- Build custom dashboards and visualizations to track creative KPIs
- Combine creative workflow data with cross-organizational data to get a full picture of creative ROI
The first use case is solved with our integrated reporting suite in ignite. However, for users that want to build dashboards, custom visualizations, and combine their creative operations data with data from other areas of the organization, we needed to build a Data Warehouse.
Josh Trauberman: It’s important to remember that the point of having all this data is to tell a story. Every time you look at a report or dashboard, you’re looking at a story about the work being done in your organization. ignite offers templated reports that give you different pieces of the story – thin slices of an overarching storyline. What Data Warehouse does is allow you to bring all those pieces together, and even combine with pieces from outside the creative team, to tell the full story.
CT: Reporting in ignite is great for looking at the data in ignite, but Data Warehouse gives you a broader scope to enrich other reports and the flexibility to create reports and presentations in your preferred BI tool of record. Data Warehouse surfaces ignite data in an easy to consume way, automates manual data refresh, and handles data aggregation processes.
iMN: Why did we take the data warehouse approach, as opposed to building an integration with a popular BI tool?
CT: Well, the short answer is that we built a data warehouse because that is the best way to access all the data in ignite without being limited by any tool choices we might have made. The Data Warehouse for inMotion ignite is all about providing access to the data so that you can do whatever you want with your data.
JT: I think it’s important here to emphasize that the Data Warehouse is more than just a transport system for the data – we’re actively transforming the data, normalizing, and flattening the data so that it’s consumable.
I’d also like to point out two other benefits of a data warehouse:
- Active data sets v. resting data sets. The data in ignite is active – it’s constantly updating in real time, so users are always looking at the most current data. The problem is you can’t bring active data sets into a BI tool, because you’re going to run into concurrency issues. Additionally, active data sets can’t be as granular. Because the data is updating constantly, you can only capture limited data. For example, for a Start Date an active data set might capture month, day, year, but a resting data set, because it takes one snapshot a day, can go deeper, and capture granularity like month, day, year, hour, minute, second.
- Data Warehouse for inMotion ignite is BI tool agnostic. We want to be flexible to meet our customers where they are, so instead of building a single integration, we’ve built something that can connect to pretty much any BI tool they choose.
CT: To answer your question about an integration – that’s actually a sort of “Phase 2” of the Data Warehouse. What I mean is we would have had to build the core Data Warehouse for the integration to use anyway, before we could build an integration to a specific BI tool. Will we do that in the future? Maybe, that’s going to depend on customer feedback. What I want to convey here is that it wasn’t an either/or decision – the Data Warehouse is the best way to give our customers access to the data they’re asking for, while allowing for integration expansion in the future.
iMN: What kinds of things should customers be thinking about if they are interested in adding Data Warehouse to their subscription?
CT: First off, you really want to make sure you already have the necessary infrastructure in place. You want to make sure your organization has already selected a BI tool and that you have access to need a data resource or team – usually organizations taking advantage of BI have someone on the team with a title such as Data Scientist or Business Analyst.
JT: Exactly, and you also should be thinking about what you specifically want to get out of the data. What is the story you want to tell, what questions do you need to answer? You want to have a strong sense of those before you start the technical process of adding the feature to your subscription.
Additionally, as you think through those questions, you’re going to also want to do a tech stack survey to make sure you have all the data you need and can fit it together. For example, if you wanted to look at ROI on creative projects sorted by product line, you’d need to make sure that ignite, your marketing automation platform, and your CRM all have their pieces of that story, and use the same nomenclature (or you understand how to do the translation!). If there are gaps in the data or inconsistencies with how it’s being tracked, that’s going to slow you down when you get all the data together in the BI tool. You don’t have to have everything solved before you get started with Data Warehouse, but you want to be thinking about these things.
CT: That’s a good point – and I would build on that to say when you start having these Data Warehouse conversations, you need to make sure you have the right people in the room. You need the perspective of the person who will be consuming the data – what questions do they want answered, what story are they trying to tell? You also need the creator of the reports – the data person who’s going to be in the data, managing the Data Warehouse. They need to assess if they have all the data pieces to answer the questions and tell the story.
iNM: To sum it all up, what do you think are the primary values and outcomes that customers will see with Data Warehouse?
CT: The main value that Data Warehouse offers is the ability to unlock the data your team is generating in ignite so that you can report on it in any format, and combine it with any other data set in your organization to make data-driven decisions. The Data Warehouse gives you the ultimate flexibility to build reports and combine data.
JT: With Data Warehouse for inMotion ignite you can see the past, present, and potential future of your organization’s story. You’ll know what has and hasn’t worked in the past, and why. You’ll be able to monitor current work and its alignment with organizational strategy. You can start forecasting one year, five years out as you begin to identify patterns. Being data driven to this level is what makes a creative team a strategic contributor and empowers them to achieve better content outcomes for their brand.
To learn more about how your team can become analytical creatives with Data Warehouse for inMotion ignite, get started with a free trial of inMotion ignite.
Elise Hauser is a product and content marketer with a passion for telling brand stories. She has produced inMotionNow’s annual In-House Creative Management Report for 3 years, webinars, content sessions for major industry events reaching audiences of 1,000+, and of course, countless blog posts. When Elise isn’t writing about the marketing and creative industry at inMotionNow she is teaching economics and hanging out with her cat, Tucker, at her home in Raleigh, NC.