Data Talks fills a gap in the sports market by giving brands the data they need to truly understand their customers. But when your platform is responsible for continued ticket, merchandise, and sponsorship revenue, it needs to deliver insights fast. Here’s how Data Talks delivers data quickly with a rapid insights platform powered by Snowflake.
From football fans filling out stadiums to baseball followers streaming every game, few customers are as avid and loyal as sports fans. Data Talks, a Customer Data Platform provider based in Sweden, helps sporting brands of all shapes and sizes get the data they need to better understand these fans, and drive increased ticket sales, merchandise revenue, and sponsorship packages.
But when you’re helping organizations understand their customers in granular detail, you need superstar data skills on your team. That’s where Snowflake comes in. We spoke with Anders Madeley, Head of Strategic Partnerships, and Alexander Hallsten, Data Engineering Team Lead at Data Talks to understand how the company uses Snowflake’s platform and partner to offer innovative analytics use cases at speed.
Data Talks fills a gap in the sports brand market
From its earliest days, Data Talks was clear on the market opportunities in the sports entertainment industry, and how to fill them. “We saw very few brands had their own data teams,” said Madeley. “The largest organizations might have analysts, but without a full team behind them, they really need an analytics platform that can offer self-service capabilities.”
Data Talks seized the opportunity to become that self-serve platform for brands. With a laser focus on the sports industry, Data Talks already stands out in the market. And it was able to offer other innovations to help customers achieve peak performance. “We create a closed loop for brands where they can get insights about their supporters’ specific wants and needs and use them to target supporters with campaigns that they know they will really appreciate – all from a single platform,” explained Madeley. “Many general marketing automation tools don’t store transaction data either,” added Hallsten. “We knew we’d need to store data for our clients. For our largest customers, that can add up to large volumes of fan behavior data on top of their transactional data.”
Snowflake delivers lower costs, faster insights, and extreme flexibility
With clear goals in mind, Data Talks turned its attention to how to best serve its customers. “We knew we needed to support different types of workloads—from streaming to batch processing—and conventional BI and data warehouse tools just weren’t going to be able to handle it,” explained Hallsten.
Early tests made it clear Snowflake offered everything the Data Talks team needed. After a short deployment period, the company quickly found itself with a platform that offered several major benefits.
“Decoupling compute and storage was a big deal for us to keep our costs under control. At the time Snowflake was the only data platform offering this,” said Hallsten. “And it was the cool new kid on the block, so we knew we had to try it.”
“As we’ve grown, Snowflake’s Data Cloud has helped us stay flexible and respond to new opportunities,” explained Madeley. “For example, we can now store data closer to customers if needed to improve performance or comply with regulations like GDPR and PDPA. And if we did want to shift parts of our estate to other clouds, we know Snowflake can support that.”
And the platform accelerates customer onboarding, improving time to insight. “In the past getting new customers onboarded to our application was a manual process that could take up to a month,” recalled Madeley. “Now, it’s done in a few clicks, and takes less than a week.”
Data Talks and Snowflake team up to continue their winning streak
These benefits have already helped Data Talks grow its concurrent users consistently over the last few years, and achieve 172% year-on-year growth (2021-2022) for the business. And it looks to take these benefits further by cementing an even closer technical and business partnership with Snowflake as part of its Powered By program.
As a Snowflake partner, Data Talks has access to technical support and go-to-market assistance that can help it move into new geographies. “Snowflake has been a big help in finding the right people to help us from a technical standpoint, and in uncovering new markets,” said Madeley. “We’re already discussing how we can launch in the US together. The Snowflake team is helping us understand how larger, more mature organizations in the region are using the Data Cloud. That’s really interesting for us to see ahead of our launch there.”
New features, new ways to use data, and brand-new revenue streams
Beyond tapping into new markets, Data Talks has big plans to continue serving customers by making the most of Snowflake’s Data Cloud.
The first idea is to broaden Data Talks’ focus beyond a closed-loop platform, using Snowflake’s collaboration features to share data directly with customers. “Our customers may want to enhance their data by combining it with other research and consumer information we don’t supply,” explained Hallsten. “By sharing data with them, they can easily mix it in their own environments. That’s really straightforward to do and will be even easier when we work with other Snowflake users.”
Data Talks is also investing in creating data clean rooms in Snowflake to bring even more value to sponsors by using fan engagement insights. Likewise, secure data collaboration features create options to share sports fan data with sponsors and other brands. “With a 360° view of fans, a customer data platform like Data Talks understands customer behavior before, during, and after a match,” said Madeley. “All kinds of organizations can use this data to better understand sports within society. For example, we can see travel behavior during home or away matches, arena utilization and channel preferences across large groups of people.
Whatever comes next, Data Talks—and Snowflake—are ready
Hallsten and Madeley both have plenty of predictions for where the industry will go next, from VR, AR, and wearables-powered experiences to using more AI and data science models to target customers at an individual level.
One thing is for certain though: “Whatever comes next will demand a lot of data,” said Madeley. “And as we continue to work with Snowflake, we can give our customers the insights they need to get creative and connect with the next generation of customers, and deliver better experiences and more revenue.