HelloBetter: a customer success story
Sooner or later, every growing tech startup faces the same challenge. They realize that spreadsheets are not providing them with the insights they need to have to grow.
So, in order to stay (or become) data-driven, startups need to step up their data function.
This can be achieved in two ways:
- by hiring a data team fast and quickly
- by hiring a company that takes care of your analytics needs
HelloBetter chose to do the latter. This article zooms in on why one would make such a decision, how Gemma delivered the project and what the impact was.
HelloBetter is one of the most promising HealthTech startups in Berlin. They offer scientifically tested online psychological training with personal support.
HelloBetter was founded in 2015 as GET.ON by renowned research psychologists. They have been a pioneer in online mental health courses, with more than 25.000 people having completed the course ever since. HelloBetter currently employs over 70 people.
They offer their product to consumers both directly (B2C) and indirectly through companies (B2B2C). Major insurance companies they work with are Barmer and Allianz, while they are also part of corporate health management for clients such as Viessmann and Lufthansa.
Why HelloBetter chose Gemma
Since HelloBetter handles privacy-sensitive information, HelloBetter could not buy a SaaS for their data needs. These SaaS companies are primarily located in the US, which is why this option is not GDPR compliant.
Instead, they had the need for a build solution. Gemma Analytics is a specialist in building modern data infrastructure. Gemma Analytics has the data engineering know-how to host all required tools in a separate environment. Examples of such tools are dbt, Apache Airflow, and Metabase.
To Build a data infrastructure, meant that HelloBetter had to hire a data engineer or a specialised company like Gemma Analytics. What drove the decision to hire Gemma Analytics?
- It is very hard to hire a senior data engineer. It is even harder for startups as they often lack an employer brand.
- For less than the cost of hiring a data engineer, you get a whole team of specialists.
- Hiring & onboarding a data engineer takes time. Gemma can ramp up very quickly and deliver results within weeks.
"HelloBetter needed a partner to design, build and maintain a data infrastructure that is scalable, highly performant and GDPR compliant."
- Kick-off meeting November 2020
- After 3 weeks: data engineering complete
- After 4 weeks: first report complete
3 different MongoDB instances
Marketing sources to come
Airflow with Python Dags using our own Python library EWAH
Roles of Gemma Analytics
- Project management
- Data Engineering
- Data Modeling
- Data Visualisation
- Infrastructure maintenance
Outcome vs. starting point
To better understand the outcome, a picture is painted of how HelloBetter used to do data analytics, before they partnered with Gemma Analytics.
- There was no dedicated analytics infrastructure available to do data analysis. The VP of Engineering wrote MongoDB queries for ad-hoc requests. He then ordered and analyzed them in Excel. For every update, a new report had to be created.
- Because a single person was performing all the work, there was a lack of capacity to create new analyses or extract new data.
- On top of it all, combining data was often not even possible.
So what has the result been?
- The most powerful outcome is that their product will be developed more rapidly.
- How? By validating their assumptions quickly and highly targeted.
- Currently, no more queries and manual analyses are required. Data is now updated every two hours.
- Dashboards are customizable, and people can create their own questions.
- Different dashboards have been created for different types of users. There are High level for management (e.g. revenue, retention, and NPS numbers)
- Detailed – e.g.on a customer level – for product development and other stakeholders
Due to sensitive data, we needed a customized, GDPR compliant solution. Gemma was able to provide us with project management, data engineering, and analytics engineering to get the job done. Gemma delivered fast and effectively. Due to their expertise, they are still doing maintenance of our data pipelines.
HelloBetter now has a scalable data infrastructure, enabling data-driven product development. There is much more transparency in our organizational development, with shorter iteration cycles as a result."