BI Transformation with Looker and dbt for Pollen

We helped Pollen, an exclusive online marketplace for experiences, transform their Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities with Looker. This enabled them to improve decision making across the company with a single source of truth, and increase adoption with self-service data insights.

Our Impact

Fast & accurate self-service data insights

Empower users with a single source of truth in near real-time view

Maximise the value Pollen's data (e.g. campaign performance) to drive decision making

The Client

Pollen is a members-only marketplace for experiences in travel, nightlife, festivals and more, which has sold over 1M experiences and raised over $100M in capital to date. In 2020-2021, when the pandemic severely hit the travel and hospitality sectors, Pollen seized the opportunity to scale and transform their internal BI & Analytics function – prioritising transparency and ownership across their business.

The Challenge

Pollen already had Looker as their BI platform, however, their current usage and set-up was out-of-date and not built with their end business user in mind, leading to frustrated stakeholders. From leadership to business unit, the team needed greater visibility to track their KPIs and campaign performance. In particular, the team were struggling with: 

  1. Disparate data sources (e.g. P&L for each campaign was managed in separate google sheets) 
  2. Bottlenecks with the BI teams 
  3. Disengaged and frustrated internal data customers and BI teams

“Partnering with Datatonic to get sponsorship at an executive level and understand the key KPIs has been crucial for success.”

Richard Jacobs, Data & Analytics Product Lead - Pollen
The Solution

Datatonic was chosen as the key partner to drive Pollen’s BI Transformation program (approx. 12 months) to empower the business from senior management to business users to make data-driven decisions with trusted, governed, near real-time data.

The solution was delivered in September 2021.

“The ability to take data where the users are is super important to Pollen. That means we can keep people in the tools they’re best at using, and drive adoption and faith in our data, which will lead to better long-term results.”

Bradley Wright, CTO - Pollen

Through audits, delivery sprints, and upskilling sessions, Datatonic’s in-house Looker team are: 

  1. Building a single source of truth for exec & business unique reporting (from financial, customer, customer reporting) 
  2. Completely refreshing the Looker user experience (including permission, access rights, folder structure, PII data handling in Looker, and data exports) 
  3. Implementing a solution with command line tool, dbt, to combine multiple data sources and give a complete view of performance/potential per campaign

“With Looker + dbt, we can model in LookML to flesh out the UI and make sure the use cases and visualisations make sense, and the user understands what’s going on. it’s available to everyone as a single source of truth – that means that we unlock a lot of innovation beyond just Looker. “

Bradley Wright, CTO - Pollen

“We have worked in a deeply integrated way with Datatonic, in terms of cycles of development and sharing retros. The level of honesty and trust with the Datatonic team emulated what we strive for at Pollen and that transparency and alignment has got us to where we need to be.”

Richard Jacobs, Data & Analytics Product Lead - Pollen
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