Tinuiti is the largest independent marketing agency in North America, helping businesses connect with their customers through comprehensive digital marketing strategies.
Tinuiti is the largest independent marketing agency in North America, helping businesses connect with their customers through comprehensive digital marketing strategies. Their services span the entire gamut of digital marketing disciplines, including SEO, paid search, paid social, CRM and email, Amazon and Walmart, CRO, analytics and much more. Their primary focus is helping brands accelerate their business across the Triopoly of Google, Amazon and Facebook. Their end goal? Helping brands understand their ad spend and where to invest next.
Having made three landmark acquisitions in recent years, Tinuiti now employs over 600 employees across the country with 12 physical locations and a significant remote workforce. This diverse and distributed workforce serves roughly 700 clients, which means they work with vast amounts of data at a dizzying speed. As such, Tinuiti boasts a healthy Analytics team whose job it is to ensure timely and reliable data keeps flowing to their clients. Under the umbrella of this Analytics team is the Data Services team, responsible for building internal data stacks; the Insights team, responsible for generating insights from data for client use; and the Marketing Sciences team, responsible for applying advanced analytics and data science principles to Tinuiti’s work.
A Higher Level of Tableau Server Performance
Tinuiti had been using Tableau as its analytics engine of choice for a few years. The analytics generated from Tableau sat at the heart of both internal reporting and customer reporting for their larger clients. Their Insights team, along with their clients, needed the ability to access relevant insights rapidly. However, recent acquisitions and a growing number of clients put an increasing performance demand on their Tableau Server instance. In search of a solution, the first course of action for Tinuiti’s Data Services team – who oversees all data stack operations – sought a Tableau Server health check from Tableau. Upon seeing the results, Tableau performance wasn’t where they wanted it to be, which is where InterWorks came into the picture.
The first collaboration between the Data Services team and InterWorks began with a Tableau Server migration. It was clear that Tinuiti could no longer operate Tableau Server on a single node if they wanted to continue scaling their analytics, so InterWorks helped them migrate to a three-node cluster hosted in AWS EC2. InterWorks advised them on the appropriate sizing for their needs and took care of implementation. Once the migration was complete, Tinuiti asked themselves an important question: Whether it was worth it to continue managing the performance of their Tableau Server, or whether to entrust it to a partner like InterWorks? Given the high volume of requests coming from their user base and several other valuable analytics initiatives they wanted to prioritize, they decided to entrust Tableau Server management to ServerCare by InterWorks.
The Virtues of Tableau Server Management via ServerCare
For Tinuiti, the benefits of outsourcing Tableau Server management to the InterWorks ServerCare team are many. InterWorks takes care of all performance/health monitoring, which focuses primarily on resource utilization, CPU and memory usage, and Tableau processes and sub-processes. This monitoring provides 24/7 coverage, so if a Tableau component crashes, the ServerCare team can jump in immediately and resolve the issue with minimal downtime or disruption. With considerable AWS expertise, InterWorks can also take care of any application support they might need on the hosting side.
Key ServerCare Benefits
- 24/7 performance monitoring
- Rapid maintenance SLAs
- Regular Server health checks
- Upgrade management
Another large advantage of ServerCare is ongoing Tableau Server maintenance and upgrade management. Whenever Tableau releases a new version upgrade or a Windows system update occurs, the ServerCare team handles the entire process. They’re also readily available if there are any weird Tableau Server issues that can’t be explained by the Data Services team, which is still very much involved in day-to-day Tableau Server operations. If they need additional help troubleshooting, the ServerCare team is only a quick phone call away to resolve it with timely SLAs. Sometimes these issues get forwarded to Tableau as an official ticket, and other times the ServerCare team jumps in to resolve them, but the combination of Tableau and InterWorks support makes for a well-covered Tableau Server that performs well and is agile when change occurs.
A Small Team with a Big Impact
Zooming out to a more macro level, all these Tableau Server improvements have streamlined the data stack overseen by the Data Services team. Their team is relatively small, yet they serve over 700 Tableau users within their organization and client base. By having a Tableau Server that is performant and managed by InterWorks, they’ve been able to compound the success of their efforts throughout the organization.
With the burden of Tableau Server management off their shoulders, the Data Services team can focus more on data integration efforts in Tableau Prep. That, paired with their new compute resources, has enabled them to bring more of that work in house and make fewer requests to their data integration partner. This also keeps analysts on the Insights team from having to run Prep workflows locally, which is smart from an efficiency and reliability standpoint. It also enables analysts to focus more on what they do best, which is building Tableau dashboards and communicating insights to clients. This trend towards more centralization of data integration has given them a clearer picture of performance and data source usage, compounding the performance boost already present in their new Server infrastructure.
The best way to summarize all the Tableau Server improvements that have taken place at Tinuiti is that they have more resources, more clarity and more efficiency than ever before. This enables each team to do more of what they do best. InterWorks will continue to play an important supporting role in ensuring their Tableau Server meets the need of internal report consumers and clients alike. The benefit for all of them is faster access to relevant insights, which strikes right at the heart of Tinuiti’s mission of helping others make better marketing decisions rooted in data.