Humi Takes Control of their Data to Achieve Massive Growth at 25% Lower Costs 

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2x volume of data handled

Humi was able to handle 2x the data volume than with their previous platform at 25% of the cost

Saved the work of one FTE

Time is saved on pipeline maintainence, allowing engineers to focus on the big picture

Humi is Canada’s leading payroll, HR, and benefits platform in the SaaS space. They have a very mature and pervasive data system, with robust internal reporting. They use a variety of data sources to create a well-rounded view of their business for multiple stakeholders across the organization.

The data team at Humi aligns their resources around unlocking the maximum value in their data, working in tandem with a data-driven and literate culture across the board. How exactly did they achieve this setup?

Focusing on the big picture: data-driven insights

The data team at Humi is small but mighty. It is divided into data engineering and analytics, and the team is critical in Humi’s transition from a startup to a full-scale stable organization. The analytics side of the team focuses on extracting value from the meaningful data sets that the data engineering team has carefully put together. They put a big focus on automation, accessibility, self-serve of data, and data literacy. This helps them focus their time on value-adds by combining data in different ways, building models, and solving problems.

Sean, the Director of Data and Analytics at Humi, understands that the potential to generate meaningful insights is only achieved by having streamlined and quality data - there are many insights which are only unlocked by having data in an accessible format. Sean has a large focus on shrinking time-to-insight by automating the manual work and focusing purely on the most valuable projects that the team can work on.

Our data practice boasts a diverse collection of data sources, fueling a number of internal applications with critical intelligence. As a lean, high-performing data team, it is imperative that we allocate our resources toward addressing strategic challenges, rather than becoming trapped in daily data manipulation and wrangling. We place a premium on dismantling data silos and extracting maximum value from our high-quality data assets.

- Sean Froese, Director of Data & Analytics, Humi 
Data Team at Humi 

Humi’s journey with data

When Andrew Wesson, Data Engineer at Humi, entered the organization around 2 years ago, the team was in a transitional state. As a growing company, it was important for them to start thinking about the long-term scalability of the tools they were using. With an increasing number of data sources to be managed and very volatile APIs, it was proving very difficult to sustainably handle the data systems with a ton of individual scripts.

With a focus on longer term goals, scalability, and automation, the answer to the ‘build vs buy’ question seemed more and more obvious, especially when it came to such a fundamental component like their ETL. They felt they needed to build their house without having to tear down the walls to get at the plumbing and wiring. They needed a long-term solution that would act as a reliable foundation for their data.

Humi quickly ran into issues with their first data pipeline tool. With low control over their pipelines, limited ways to solve their own problems, and poor experiences with support, Andrew says that it felt like they were always waiting for the platform to ‘figure it out’. A number of outages at key moments really impacted the team, which is when they decided to switch tools.

A new paradigm: Incomparable flexibility at a cost-effective rate

There were a number of factors that were important to Sean and his team when evaluating a new ELT tool. The main ones were:

• Transparency and clarity of scale of the pricing model

• Level of control over the platform

• Availability of technical support

  • Transparency and clarity of scale of the pricing model

  • Level of control over the platform

  • Availability of technical support

Their search led them to Hevo, which ticked all the boxes for them. There is much more control over schemas thanks to the hybrid schema mapping feature. In the event of an API change that impacts a downstream schema, they are much more equipped to prevent the change from breaking downstream code or leading to data mismatch issues.

Their costs have also gone down by 25% with 2x the data volume since the introduction of Hevo. They have been able to expand the bandwidth of their data engineering team, allowing the team to focus on broader strategic initiatives. The work of the equivalent of one FTE is saved on the maintenance and upkeep of data pipelines, allowing the engineers to focus on the big picture. These aspects are crucial for a rapidly growing organization like Humi, as it gives them a lot of stability and space to grow. Additionally, the high level of personalized support gives them the confidence that their data needs will always be taken care of.

A lot of good personal attention and consideration has been given to our specific data needs, which is really great. The ability to manage schemas more granularly and the breadth of connectors available are also great reasons for us to recommend Hevo!

- Sean Froese, Director of Data & Analytics, Humi 

Every decision taken with a data-driven mindset

Humi is currently a very data literate organization across the board. The biggest insights that they unlock are the ones that connect the dots for different teams. For example, when they work with the acquisition team, they try to understand metrics like increased marketing ad spend leading to a change in the quality of inbound leads, leading in turn to the number of implemented customers. Here, they are using a variety of data from ad platforms, CRM, their own internal database, and finance data to track and understand these initiatives across the board.

The true value of the data they are unlocking is the integration and centralization of data to connect the dots. The data team at Humi works hard to ensure that people are not working in silos and that the data and insights are trickling throughout the organization. With the immediate availability of data in their warehouse, they are much more proactive about their decisions instead of being reactionary. Weekly meetings about metrics and key initiatives allow the entire team to keep on top of their own goals.

Humi witnessed 658% revenue growth in the last year, making The Globe and Mail’s list of Canada’s top growing companies. This was largely thanks to their focus on data-driven decisions. We at Hevo are proud to enable such a mature and impactful data stack in coalition with an organization like Humi!

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