Netlify’s data team is changing the conversation around metrics with Transform
Data Talks

Netlify’s data team is changing the conversation around metrics with Transform

Annie Worman
Annie Worman

Netlify is a web development cloud platform, helping millions of developers to build, deploy, and scale modern web projects. Netlify’s 10-person data team is as innovative as their product. Their mission: “To help Netlify make the best decisions possible by providing accurate, timely, and useful insights.”

Netlify’s modern data stack includes:

  • Data warehouse: Snowflake
  • Operational analytics / reverse ETL: Census
  • Data transformation: dbt
  • Metric store: Transform
Diagram of Netlify's data stack, including dbt, Census, Transform, Mode and other downstream tools. Graphic courtesy of the Netlify data team

With a mix of data engineers, analytics engineers, and data analysts, Netlify works within a hub-and-spoke model. While all data team members report into the data organization, the hub of the data team is responsible for infrastructure and key strategic projects, while the spokes work directly with business functions to prioritize these projects.

Gabby Kirlew is the lead data analyst responsible for the product “spoke,” crafting metrics around product adoption, usage rates, and user activity. Since Netlify started using Transform in March of 2021, both the data and product teams have collaborated on how to define these complex metrics and communicate when product indicators shift.

Some insights that they have been able to explore with a clear view of their metrics revolve around:

  • Product planning: Seeing how customers interact with the product to determine the most valuable product features and where they can improve.
  • Product adoption: Understand how many users are utilizing a product feature.
  • Product launches: Track results of user testing before rolling out product launches to all customers.

Metrics in Transform have also led to a more collaborative relationship with stakeholders. Instead of having to write and rewrite queries about metrics changes over time, the data team houses all of the information in Transform for the product team to explore at any time.

“Our VP of Product can now go into Transform and view the status of product’s most important metrics. He can slice and dice metrics by week-over-week or year-over-year to answer both common and pressing questions.”
—Gabby Kirlew, Data Analyst at Netlify

Teams empowered to monitor and find insights in their metrics

The team still leaves the door open for questions, but the end goal is for all teams to feel empowered to monitor and find insights in their metrics on their own.

Once the data team has established a metric (in partnership with the business), business stakeholders don’t have to go back to the data team with additional data requests about the metric in question. They can filter and dig into metrics views right in Transform, knowing that all of the data they’re consuming is OK’d by the data team and that everyone is defining the metric in the same way.

“More and more dashboards can lead to more room for error. With a metric layer, everything is very intentional, accurate, and double-checked,” said Gabby.

Growth marketing uses metrics to scale experimentation

Product isn’t the only team benefiting from a clearer view of their metrics. Netlify is using Transform to centralize metrics across the entire organization. Another example is the growth marketing team that is tracking conversion rates and prospecting rates by marketing channels.

“I really love using Transform for the freedom to create different views, filters, and groupings of any metric that I want," shared Drew Teller, Growth Marketing Manager at Netlify.

“Transform enables growth marketing leaders to be better builders. Builders are growth marketing generalists who help construct, test, and hypothesize existing growth models in order to scale acquisition. Transform gives me the data-driven sandbox to play with data and transform the data into the necessary insights for cross-functional collaboration.”
—Drew Teller, Growth Marketing Manager at Netlify

Building a culture around collaborative metrics

Netlify is building a culture where the data team facilitates conversations around metrics with their stakeholders instead of fielding the same questions over and over. A metric store helps foster and encourage that culture.

“When we have our foundational metrics in a central place, it reduces redundant tasks and frees our time to work on other projects. A metric store like Transform helps us fulfill our mission to help Netlify make the best decisions possible.”
—Gabby Kirlew, Data Analyst at Netlify

With Transform, Netlify has been able to:

  • Replace redundant data questions with strategic conversations
  • Create more collaborative relationship with business stakeholders
  • Reduce room for data error with a centralized metric store

Learn more about the Transform Metrics Catalog and explore more detailed product information in our documentation.