Sijthoff Media: Democratizing Insights With Google Cloud And Looker Embedded Data Platform

Sijthoff Media: Democratizing Insights With Google Cloud And Looker Embedded Data Platform

Creating a central view of the company and making actionable insights available to employees and partners with Looker and Crystalloids.

Sijthoff Media: Democratizing Insights With Google Cloud And Looker Embedded Data Platform

The Challenge

Extracting actionable insights from data was difficult because of siloed data and analytics. Proper semantics were not in place. As a result, identifying trends, understanding partner audience demographics, or measuring marketing ROI and readership behaviour could have been improved. This limited their ability to make data-driven decisions. Also, it was hard to share decisions with people and systems.

Starting small with solving one challenge, which was to learn and fail fast, Sijthoff shared a use case with Crystalloids. The challenge was generating reports for their extensive advertising partner network.

Unfortunately, the existing connection between Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Looker Studio was limited in its data request capacity, leaving them to manually create reports for each partner on a monthly basis, which took up to two days. 

This process significantly impeded Sijthoff's communication and engagement efforts with partners due to a reporting bottleneck, which consumed much time and resources.

The Solution

We began with a Proof of Concept, offering a concise three-week phase to develop Looker visualisations tailored to Sijthoff's needs for automating reporting to advertisers. This allowed firsthand experience of Looker's features, such as drill-down performance and data analysis capabilities, enabling an informed decision on suitability.

We implemented a solution using the Looker Embedded Platform to address Sijthoff's challenges. Here's how:

BigQuery Integration: Crystalloids brought GA4 data into BigQuery, a data warehouse platform, to bypass the data request limit.

Looker Connection: BigQuery was connected to Looker, Google's business intelligence data visualisation and activation platform.

Custom Report Template: A custom report template was built within Looker to ensure consistency and efficiency.

Automated Partner Reports: At no extra cost, automated reports were scheduled for each partner, granting them direct access to Looker to the data through interactive dashboards.

Because the Proof of Concept project succeeded, Sijthoff asked Crystaloids to write and develop a significant backlog for company-wide self-service analytics with Crystalloids.

We continued to support Sijthoff Media's data strategy, providing ongoing insights and assistance in maximising Looker's value across various departments, including editorial, marketing, education, and events. We also created a holistic view of all company data in the Google Cloud Platform.

The collaborative approach ensures that Looker remains aligned with Sijthoff's evolving business needs, driving continued success and growth in the dynamic media landscape.

The Result

Sijthoff achieved significant improvements through Crystalloids' Looker solution:

  • Self-service analytics: All employees can generate their explorations and dashboards, removing the bottleneck of a central analytics team.

  • Self-service actions: Teams can share audience selections with stakeholders and marketing systems such as CRM and advertising platforms.

  • Automated Reporting: Advertising Partner reports are generated automatically, saving Sijthoff two work days per month. Partners receive links to interactive dashboards instead of static PDFs, allowing them to explore the data and gain deeper insights.

  • Deeper Insights: Looker consolidates data from various sources, such as registrations finance, including GA4 and their marketing automation tool, providing a unified view and eliminating the need to switch between reports and tooling.
  • Centralised Knowledge Base: Looker is a central location for all business definitions, replacing scattered information previously stored in Confluence pages and other unorganised systems.

About Sijthoff

Sijthoff Media offers high-quality content, leading education programs and data-driven insights. Their independent editorial teams and communities inform and connect 3.5 million professionals and boardroom members monthly within marketing & communications, tech, finance, HR, M&A and government. Sijthoff does this through events, awards, expos, executive dinners, magazines, training courses, news, and job sites.  

Visit their website →

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“Crystalloids team brings structure into the project, asks the right questions and suggests solutions proactively. Also, the swift pace of development was very satisfying.”
Daan van Renterghem
Daan van Renterghem

IT Director, Sijthoff Media