Dailymotion and Exasol

Dailymotion accelerates business transformation with our analytics database

Founded in France in 2005, Dailymotion is one of the country’s biggest tech success stories. The video distribution site welcomes 300 million unique active visitors who view 3.5 billion videos every month. Dailymotion is continuously improving and evolving its service, with offices in 5 different continents and available in 20 different languages.


Challenge

Legacy analytics database slowing down BI tool

Solution

Dailymotion runs our analytics database across 3 servers, running in AWS and a Tableau server cluster

Benefit

Queries can be accelerated tenfold

“The fact that it’s a three terabyte cluster that we can push a hundred gigabytes of data into every hour and not have to think about it, is a huge part of the reason why we chose Exasol.”

Philippe Girolami VP of Data Engineering and Loading...Machine Learning at Dailymotion
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Background

In recent years, the business has expanded its offering in the B2B market, giving organizations the opportunity to reach a wider audience, more effectively. This is no simple task. To provide the deep insight that brands need in order to monetize their content, Dailymotion has to be at the cutting edge of data analytics, a step ahead of its rivals.

The team turned to us to improve the performance of its BI tool. In doing so, we’ve enabled them to focus more on premium B2B content providing the richer insights brands require, as opposed to just user-generated content.

  • Industry Social Media
  • Application BI Acceleration
  • Database Exasol
  • BI Tool Tableau
Case study background details

The journey

You can use our analytics database with our private cloud, any public cloud, on premises – or as part of a hybrid deployment.

The challenge

As Dailymotion added greater emphasis on the B2B market, it found it needed to deliver more and more sophisticated analysis, to provide content partners with a competitive edge. The previous version of the company’s analytics tool allowed users to track their own videos and see how many views they generated every day, breaking this down on a country by country basis. But Philippe Girolami, VP of Data Engineering and Loading...Machine Learning at Dailymotion, and his team knew they needed to share richer insights over a greater period of time – they wanted to share data gathered over at least two years.

Dailymotion needed to be able to track revenue, ad impressions and drill down deeply into the statistics by country, by specific video, by device and many other dimensions. They needed to track how engaged users were and measure the quality of their experience. What is more, the team needed the tool to be able to do this at speed. They turned to Tableau to bring this to life.

Improving BI tool performance

Philippe and the data engineering team wanted to visualise insights and expose Tableau dashboards to partners through Dailymotion’s partner website. But Tableau was let down by the performance of the analytics database sitting beneath it. Speed and scalability go hand in hand and because the team was unable to push a significant number of concurrent requests to the database to deliver sufficient insight to customers, neither could be achieved.

“The performance we were seeing when displaying the dashboards using whatever we were using at the time was abysmal, to say the least,” says Philippe. “Sometimes it didn’t even display. We went through a number of rounds of optimization. At some point we realised, we’re not getting anywhere. We need to try something completely different.”

The legacy analytics tool had been built on a Loading...Hadoop cluster which couldn’t support the new drill-down use-cases and the analytics database being used for the new analytics turned out not to be fast enough either. This is when Dailymotion began assessing a number of analytics database vendors to solve its big challenge; how could it present rich analytics to its content partners, with speed and reliability.

“We looked at a number of vendors, we evaluated a couple, and then Exasol came out on top.”

Proof of concept and assessing our solution

Dailymotion assessed its options with two key criteria in mind. Firstly, the project was running late – the team had to make sure this got to market. Dailymotion had relied on a Loading...Hadoop system for seven years and it needed a new vendor that could help it move at the speed the business now demanded.

Secondly, the capability to push two years of data into the analytics database was required and of course, a good price to quality ratio.

Why our analytics database?

Having assessed a couple of vendors against these key criteria, Exasol came out on top as the clear choice, following a successful Proof of Concept (POC). “We had a POC up and running within two weeks of initial contact,” says Philippe. “Honestly, it was an amazing experience.”

Dailymotion did consider some open-source solutions and some GPU-based systems, but our analytics database’s ability to run with the company’s existing systems was an important deciding factor. Not only was it implemented quickly, it was performing well, meeting all of Dailymotion’s needs. The system needed to hold a certain amount of data without compromising performance, and for Philippe and his Data Engineering team, this was not a problem.

“The fact that it’s a three terabyte cluster that we can push a hundred gigabytes of data into every hour and not have to think about it, is a huge part of the reason why we chose Exasol.”

Handling terabytes of storage and gigabytes of hourly updates was one thing, but concurrency was also essential. If the system was unable to handle large volumes of requests at the same time, the same issues with Dailymotion’s BI tool, Tableau, would have recurred.

Philippe backs this up, stating, “The ability to push a lot of concurrent requests to the database, that was one of the problems we were having. The concurrency just wasn’t there. Not only can we push a lot of concurrent queries into Exasol’s analytics database, it knows how to parallelise those queries.” The new analytics database was able to match these requirements, which has been absolutely essential to Dailymotion delivering the rich analysis its B2B customers demand.

Critically, the system needed to be able to refresh the data every hour, without impacting negatively on performance. Finally, to ensure that these business benefits could be realized, the system had to be easy to run and administer. 

The solution

Following the POC, it was a case of getting our analytics database fully operational for Dailymotion. The team got to work immediately.

  • Dailymotion runs our analytics database across 3 servers (1 admin and 2 cluster servers),running in AWS and a Tableau server cluster
  • Thanks to its Massively Parallel Processing (Loading...MPP) capabilities, we’ve enabled Dailymotion to process large sets of data simultaneously, spreading processing across clusters of servers to share the workload
  • This Loading...MPP offering makes our analytics database perfect to serve the client-facing side of the Dailymotion business, as it does, where the team can’t control concurrency
  • The team maintains 3 Terabytes of data into our analytics database and pushes about 100 GB of uncompressed data every hour
  • Like the POC, the integration was fast and straightforward. In a matter of weeks our analytics database was integrated into an existing project and was operational

We met all of Dailymotion’s requirements during and after the POC. As Philippe says, “It really felt like we had a partner. We were all very inexperienced in Exasol, obviously we didn’t have time to do a training session and we really had a lot of support. We had to write some customer scripts in Exasol’s analytics database and I think probably Johannes wrote them all and just got it working for us. The delivery was up to par with the POC. The help we got with the POC, we got when we needed to deliver, after we signed the contract.”

The benefits

Moving at the speed Dailymotion requires, rather than what technology dictates

Above all, working with Exasol has allowed Dailymotion to meet business objectives, unburdened by legacy technology. Thanks to improved performance of its analytics database, it has been able to accelerate use of its BI tool, Tableau and, in doing so, deliver and maintain a hugely important strategic project for the business.

Now, queries can be accelerated tenfold, given that the team can rely on our analytics database handling significant volumes of data and large numbers of concurrent queries. The speed at which it runs now means that Tableau can be used, where previously in some cases, dashboards for customers wouldn’t even load. Consequently, the team can use the BI tool to demonstrate far richer insights to clients tracking performance of specific videos, in certain countries, how much revenue they are generating and ad impressions to name but a few use cases.

As well as speed, our analytics database’s Loading...MPP capabilities make it easier for Dailymotion to scale without impacting performance and maintain its systems at a lower cost.

This new capability has had a significant impact on Dailymotion’s business in two respects:

1. Retaining customers – Businesses can have the confidence to base decisions on the more in-depth data that Dailymotion can provide.

2. Engage new customers – Not only does Dailymotion have an analytical database solution that comes up to the market standard, in many respects it allows the company to offer greater insights than many of its competitors. In such a competitive market, this is a crucial advantage and one that Dailymotion plans to continue exploiting, with Exasol running its client-facing analytics.

Now, Dailymotion can back up its distribution platform with data – there is no more powerful argument than that.

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