How Snowflake and Sigma Help This Company Be Nimbler and More Agile
It can sometimes be difficult for companies with long histories to make changes to their tech. This institutional inertia is often driven by success and can be compounded by the fact that, as a company grows, a single change can impact hundreds or thousands of employees and lead to costly downtime.
Agero is not one of these companies.
The Medford-based company was founded in 1972 and has 3,500 employees, yet its tech org seems to operate as nimbly as a young startup. The company, whose white-label roadside assistance tech covers some 115 million American drivers, acquired the San Francisco-based dispatch platform Swoop in 2018 and began migrating its applications from data centers to the AWS cloud that same year. More recently, Agero has switched its data warehouse to Snowflake to save time and work more efficiently with its ever-growing volume of data.
That ever-growing volume of data travels through data pipelines that are built to scale, which is a necessity as American roads aren’t becoming less crowded anytime soon. We recently spoke with Cathy Slesnick, senior manager of data science, to learn more about why her team loves Snowflake — and Sigma — and the benefits of both.
What technologies or tools are you currently using to build your data pipeline, and why did you choose those technologies specifically?
We recently switched our data warehouse to Snowflake, a SQL-like data store. Snowflake is truly our single source of truth unto which all the data from our other platforms migrates so that we can conduct analyses, build models and reports. This move has allowed us to save a significant amount of time: It is user-friendly, reliable, enables us to be consistent in our analyses and can easily consolidate and manage the massive amount of data we capture from the tens of thousands of roadside assistance events we service every day.
On top of Snowflake, we use the dashboarding data analysis platform Sigma. Sigma allows us to democratize our data analysis, enabling our partners across the business — from finance to product management, marketing to client success, and beyond — to self-serve reports in a simple, yet governed way. Able to digest the data in very near real-time, Sigma supports our strategic business decision-making and powers our continuous roadside event case management processes and products, many of which leverage machine learning technologies.
We are far nimbler and more agile than ever before.
Snowflake is truly our single source of truth.”
As your company — and thus, your volume of data — grows, what steps are you taking to ensure your data pipeline continues to scale with the business?
Our data pipelines are set up with multiple fail-safes and redundancies, and we do a significant amount of load testing to ensure platforms can manage the volume of data we create. Sigma also allows us to easily add additional connections to our data warehouse so that, for example, our escalation dashboard being used in real-time 24/7 doesn’t impact the dashboard available to our business at large for regular and ad-hoc reporting. As an emergency services business serving more than 115 million consumers across the United States, uptime is incredibly important. With our current tools, we can confidently avoid delays and decrease downtime.