Shazam Ups Productivity, Saves Big with Analytics

Digging through massive amounts of data to generate reports, analyze results and detect patterns is a critical, yet laborious and time-consuming, task. Shazam, the company behind the music and video discovery app of the same name, recently adopted a new analytics tool that quickly generated significant time and money savings while freeing up staff for more productive activities.

Previously, Shazam used spreadsheets for internal reporting and for managing advertising sales. But data from its many regions around the world was scattered across multiple spreadsheets, and executives and the sales team had to rely on analysts to generate reports. “It could take hours to put together one report, and if we wanted to find out something specific — say, the top 50 advertisers for the last quarter — we had to restart the whole process,” says Steve Shee, director of advertising operations for the London-based company. “It was a very manual process that simply wasn’t scalable. We wanted a tool to automate the process so our analysts didn’t have to spend time pulling reports but could actually do meaningful analysis.”

In the summer of 2016, Shazam executives saw a demonstration of Salesforce Einstein Analytics that sparked interest. After considering several other options, Shazam decided it was the right fit for several reasons. “All our data was already in Salesforce, which we use as a big data dump, and this tool was native to it,” Shee explains. “The prebuilt dashboards and charts were a plus, because we have a small team, and all of us are wearing many hats. And their pricing was very competitive.”

In late fall, Shazam began working with Einstein Analytics. Because many such tools are designed primarily for manufacturing applications, it required some modification to work with an ad-based business like Shazam. Salesforce made the necessary changes and built out a custom user interface tailored to Shazam’s needs.

Next came the process of cleaning up the data the company had already stored in Salesforce. “The ways we were entering data, including the nomenclature and hierarchy, were not optimal,” Shee says. “This move forced us to clean it up. It took a few months to do that before we could start using Einstein.”

Shazam rolled out the new analytics platform in the first quarter of 2017 and began actively using it in March. Startup went smoothly. There was no new hardware required to use the cloud-based platform, and training requirements were minimal. There were a few tweaks required to accommodate different practices in various geographical regions, but that was more about Shazam’s operations than the tool itself, Shee notes.

Improvements were immediate — and dramatic. A self-service, easy to use dashboard enables users to surface actionable insights on their own, so analysts no longer have to manually pull and compile the data for weekly reports. Having regained 15 percent of their time back — time that was previously spent cleaning data — analysts can concentrate on tasks better suited to their advanced skills, such as performing complex analysis on the data and trends. In addition, Einstein Analytics helps Shazam identify more granular patterns across customers, allowing sales teams to more accurately target their customer base.

“In client meetings, we can discuss what advertisers in one country are doing and see if clients in another location want to try that,” Shee comments. “We’ve heard anecdotally that these and other capabilities are helping to drive sales, but it’s too early for hard numbers.”

Shazam has been able to track other benefits. According to an analysis by Nucleus Research, Shazam has experienced a 752 percent return on investment (ROI) with an average annual benefit of $246,896 due to increased productivity and time saved.

At this point, sales vice presidents, analysts and the chief revenue officer are the primary users of Einstein Analytics, but Shee says the company plans to roll it out to other users, including sales reps, in the near future. Shazam is also looking at another Salesforce app, CPQ, which can configure products, price orders and generate quotes with the click of a button.

“All our users love Einstein Analytics,” he adds, “and we’re only scratching the surface.”

Eileen McCooey, a New York-based consultant and Baseline contributor, has extensive experience covering a wide range of business and consumer topics, including digital technologies and consumer electronics of all kinds.