Director, Data & Analytics uses Alation to make the right curated data quick and easy to find for Tableau

Hello Fresh Q&A

Question: How is data used within Hello Fresh?

Kai von Grambusch, Director, Data & Analytics: HelloFresh is the leading global meal-kit company based in Berlin, Germany. We are the market leader in each of the 11 countries we are operating in. Data is essential for operations across our entire business. Our supply chain team, for example, uses data to make sure they order the right amount of ingredients at exactly the right time and to help manage delivery logistics efficiently. Our product team uses data to analyze and create offerings. We’re continuously working on optimizing our offering and service in order to give our customers the best possible product.

Q: What is your data environment like?

Kai: We store our data and run our data processes in a Hadoop Cluster mainly using PySpark and Apache Airflow. Our internal stakeholders access our data via Apache Impala. We are using Apache Kafka for our event messaging system, and for visualizing data, we use Tableau.

Q: What are your current data initiatives?

Kai: Our goal is to get our analysts to be more independent instead of only having to rely on the data engineering team. We also wanted to solve the problem of documentation. Manual documentation is difficult, it takes analysts out of their workflow. It was difficult for new employees coming into the company to understand what the data was about and how to use the data correctly without good documentation.

Q: How does Alation help with your data initiatives?

Kai: Alation makes data documentation easy. It empowers our users to find the right data and to understand how they can use it. The user interface is clean, modern, and easy to use. Alation saves users time because they can easily search for data and receive better data with better curation. We also use Alation to endorse data or add warning notes. If we find any data quality issues, we tag it in Alation. Another key aspect is the Compose query writing tool, which makes it easy for people to connect to data and see the existing documentation in the query editor while they write queries.

Q: How does Hello Fresh use Alation with Tableau?

Kai: We use Tableau for visualizing data. There are a lot of teams creating a lot of workbooks and reports. Before we had Alation, analysts would need to know where the data was, or ask in a Slack channel, or search Confluence for the data to use. Now with Alation, analysts are saving time when looking for data for their Tableau reports because it’s faster to search and understand data on Alation.

Hello Fresh + Alation

At Hello Fresh, Alation has been able to:

  • Automatically extract data and make the data searchable and accessible
  • Enable an actual person to manually add more detailed information to the meta information
  • Ensure data quality without excessive manual work
  • Save and share queries and save time querying with Compose
  • Make finding the right curated data quick and easy for Tableau reports and dashboards
  • Ease analyst onboarding
  • Combines data discovery with a beautiful interface

Q. How does Alation help HelloFresh be more data driven?

Kai: We use Alation to write, save, and share queries which saves a lot of time. Alation makes onboarding new analysts easier and gets them up to speed much faster. Alation also helps our Tableau users because, before Alation, users had to know where the data is to try to find the right table. Alation saves us time, helps us find more data, as well as curate the data for better results.

Analysts are saving time when looking for data for their Tableau reports because it’s faster to search and understand data with Alation.

Kai von Grambusch, Director, Data & Analytics

Facts

Industry: eCommerce/meal-kit delivery

Data Environment:

  • Hadoop Data Warehouse
  • Apache Impala
  • Google BigQuery
  • Data marts – Postgres, MySQL
  • Tableau
  • Apache Kafka