Trifacta Legends recognizes a customer every month who is doing groundbreaking work with data using Trifacta.
We’re pleased to announce the Trifacta Legend for December 2021 – Steve Wilkinghoff, Founder & President, BizDog.
Steve Wilkinghoff is a published author and strategic entrepreneur. Steve has been doing data analytics for about 20 years. His background is as a CPA who grew into the data analytics space from that angle. As an expert on analyzing and understanding data Steve has been advising businesses on marketing spending by uncovering hidden profit and cash flow. Today, his company BizDog delivers a marketing analytics solution that is powered by Trifacta and is marketed to companies globally.
We talked to Steve about his insights with data and his experience. Steve shared highlights from his career that have enabled him to grow his customer base and overcome challenging bottlenecks in his business journey.
Trifacta: First, thank you Steve for being a valued customer of Trifacta. It has been a pleasure to work with you and we look forward to the continued partnership. We feel privileged to award you as our Trifacta Legend for November 2021. Let’s get started.
Trifacta: What problems are you solving with Trifacta?
Steve: Well, BizDog focuses on mid-sized companies and a lot of work comes from private equity firm referrals. Both of those facts mean we have to be able to move relatively quickly, at scale, and with as much automation and repeatability as we can. We work with our customers to leverage their existing data, while leaving it in place, to drive revenue and profit. The process involves identifying revenue and profit drivers with the client by extracting data, and assembling it, and delivering insights that allow the client to leverage those drivers. Almost every mid-sized company has several data sources such as CRM systems, ERP systems, billing and shopping cart systems, customer support systems, and so on. It’s even a frequent occurrence that these companies may have multiple systems of the same type. So dealing with all of those at scale and pace was always a challenge. We had a wide range of data sources with millions of rows of data and some were captured manually using excel vLookups and it could not scale due to the data size. These constraints in turn resulted in incomplete analytics. We needed an automated insight platform that could provide daily updates and be a managed service.
Trifacta: Can you tell us how data was imported before using Trifacta?
Steve: We were doing largely bespoke methodologies where we would either build Python scripts to assemble, clean, and process the data, or we would use SQL scripts. The problem was that as we assembled many large datasets Python became slow and would hang up. Excel was out of the question since the data sizes we were using overwhelmed that software. Also, using SQL made it harder to easily provide information on data lineage to clients when they were looking for it.
This created a lot of extra effort and hours on projects.
Trifacta: What are the benefits you have gained from using Trifacta?
Steve: Trifacta has been key to creating repeatable processes and transparency into our ETL and its impact at each step of the process. With Trifacta we have been able to build out our platform-based solution and expand our marketing analytics capabilities. We now have an automated, BI-enabled solution that allows us to build an automated pipeline and provide very granular insights down to the keyword and acquisition level for our customers. We can schedule flows within the tool which is key and this was not natively available with Alteryx as it required an additional license. Best of all, we are not dependent on excel-based processes. As a result, BizDog is now being marketed to companies globally and has customers in the UK, US, and Canada.
Trifacta: Thank you again, Steve. Any final words for us?
Steve: One of the things we like to do at BizDog is to give opportunities to people to enter the analytics profession, who may not have traditional ‘data’ backgrounds. A lot of our work is remote and that allows us to provide opportunities to various groups such as stay-at-home parents and single parents who need flexible schedules, people looking to leverage their prior experience and re-career, as well as people just starting their careers and seeing the massive opportunity the analytics profession provides.
Trifacta helps us with this as well since we don’t have to insist team members have strong Python or SQL skills. Instead, we can hire based on the person’s values, attitude, and life experience and grow them quickly into high-performing team members.
You can read more about Steve and BizDog here.