We're particularly excited about the AI capabilities of CastorDoc
This customer story is contributed by Kai Richardson, Data Engineer at Jimdo. From website building to online store creation, Jimdo is the go-to platform for small-scale businesses and side hustlers. Especially popular in its home country of Germany, Jimdo is committed to making e-commerce accessible to everyone.
Founded in 2007, Jimdo has strategically pivoted from its origins as a website builder to become a go-to platform for small-scale online stores. Though we've been in the industry for a while, we maintain the agility and innovation of a startup. Our focus is simple: empower local businesses and individuals who seek an easy entry into e-commerce.
Our transformation into a data-driven organization has been pivotal in this mission. No longer guided by intuition alone, we now rely on data for decision-making processes that not only drive internal strategies but also enhance customer experiences.
As for the team executing this data-driven approach, we're a centralized unit of approximately 20 experts, reporting to the Head of Data and ultimately the COO. This team is integral in supporting a wide array of stakeholders across our organization, including key departments such as Marketing, Product Development, Finance, and increasingly, Legal.
I - Challenge: Navigating the Complexities of Data Migration Without Proper Documentation
“Our data was scattered and poorly documented, making it difficult for teams to access and leverage the information they needed promptly.” Kai Richardson, Data Engineer, Jimdo
Before implementing CastorDoc, two years ago, one of our primary challenges was data discovery. Our data was scattered and poorly documented, making it difficult for teams to access and leverage the information they needed promptly. In addition to these challenges, we also faced issues with data ownership, which further complicated our data management and accessibility.
This fragmentation was holding us back, especially as we were in the midst of transitioning to a new data warehouse. It was taking longer to locate and understand the data, which was slowing down the migration process.
To understand the extent of our data management issues, we conducted an internal survey which highlighted a significant gap in data discovery. The feedback was clear: navigating our data repositories was cumbersome, and our data discovery processes were rated poorly by stakeholders.
It was evident that we needed a solution to streamline our data governance and accessibility. This was the impetus for adopting a data cataloging tool, which has since transformed our approach to data management.
II - Impact: Migration Efficiency and Improved Workflows
“CastorDoc significantly accelerated our migration to a new data warehouse, saving us roughly two weeks in the process” Kai Richardson, Data Engineer, Jimdo
The integration of CastorDoc significantly accelerated our migration to a new data warehouse, saving us roughly two weeks in the process. This acceleration was crucial not just in terms of time saved, but also in maintaining momentum and focus on our data strategy. The ability to identify and remediate deprecated tables, which might have otherwise been overlooked due to the volume of our data, was a key part of this. Coupled with the visualization of data lineage, we gained essential insights into the data lifecycle, crucial for precise reporting and maintaining compliance.
CastorDoc has also impacted our analytical and engineering operations. The sync back and description propagation features, in particular, have been appreciated by our analysts and engineers, who are managing over 800 tables. Sync back has improved our approach to data changes, ensuring consistency across datasets and eliminating the need for repetitive manual updates. Description propagation has similarly been invaluable, enabling our engineers to apply descriptive metadata en masse to ensure clarity across our data infrastructure.
However, what really made the difference between CastorDoc and other solutions was the level of support from the team. During our migration, the lineage feature was key to understanding the complexity of our pipeline. The CastorDoc team was generous in allowing us multiple integrations to better navigate the transition. Their level of expertise, responsiveness, and tailored assistance provided by their support staff has been a real differentiating factor.
III - What’s Next: AI Enhancement and Self-Service Strategy
“We're particularly excited about the AI capabilities of CastorDoc.” Kai Richardson, Data Engineer, Jimdo.
Looking ahead, we've got a clear roadmap for harnessing the full potential of CastorDoc. We're pushing to elevate our data platform to a self-service model. This shift is important for creating a culture where insights are readily accessible across departments. We're mindful of the challenge ahead – the 'chicken and the egg' situation where effective self-service requires comprehensive documentation, which in turn requires user input. Our strategy involves gradually encouraging user engagement with CastorDoc to build this documentation collaboratively.
We're particularly excited about the AI capabilities of CastorDoc. The AI-generated descriptions, used in semi-assist mode, are a game-changer, promising to save us a lot of documentation time. The SQL explainer is also a feature that's already proving its worth by bridging the gap between our Python-fluent engineers and SQL-savvy analysts. It's a powerful tool for demystifying complex SQL queries, and I see it playing a pivotal role in improving cross-team communication and understanding.
In summary, Jimdo's integration with CastorDoc has led to significant improvements in our data management and migration processes, saving us about two weeks during our transition to our new data warehouse. Key to this success has been the ability to effectively manage and understand our data, streamline workflows, and benefit from the exceptional support offered by the CastorDoc team. Looking forward, we aim to leverage CastorDoc's AI capabilities and transition to a self-service data model, enhancing accessibility and efficiency across departments. This strategy includes fostering user engagement with CastorDoc for collaborative documentation and utilizing AI features like SQL explanations to bridge communication gaps between teams. Our goal is to deepen integration, expand adoption, and tailor CastorDoc to our unique data environment, further optimizing our data practices at Jimdo.
Read More Success Stories
This is the story how Oodle used dbt Cloud and CastorDoc to speed data development while reducing costs
Streamlining Data Insights at Branch Insurance: How CastorDoc Streamlined our Documentation Process
“[I like] The easy to use interface and the speed of finding the relevant assets that you're looking for in your database. I also really enjoy the score given to each table, [which] lets you prioritize the results of your queries by how often certain data is used.” - Michal P., Head of Data