PTC Inc. is an American computer software and services company founded in 1985 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The global technology company has over 6,000 employees across 80 offices in 30 countries, 1,150 technology partners and over $1bn in revenue.
Amid PTC’s transition of the Vuforia® analytics environment to Snowflake and Tableau, PTC’s Director of Product Analytics left unexpectedly. As a result, PTC needed to quickly add an experienced analytics leader to ensure continued alignment between the analytics implementation roadmap and PTC’s strategic objectives. In addition, as part of their broader Vuforia analytics strategy, PTC wanted to drive increased analytics stakeholder engagement and define new Vuforia product metrics to aid the development of measurable objectives and key results (OKRs). PTC partnered with Archetype to lead the environment transition on an interim basis until a full time Director of Analytics could be hired. And, while the engagement started with a strategic objective, new tactical needs arose as the COVID-19 pandemic brought additional uncertainty.
The first action of the engagement was to confirm that Snowflake and Tableau were the proper tools to build broader self-service access to Vuforia analytics data. A change from Tableau Server to Tableau Online was made in order to alleviate the install and maintenance burden felt by the analytics technical team. Additionally, Archetype provided the development team with a set of best practices and process improvement recommendations to ensure increased efficiency and data quality in Snowflake. With this initial assessment complete, an implementation roadmap outlining data migration and reporting cutover milestones was developed with prioritization based on PTC’s strategic objectives for the Vuforia product offering. This roadmap was presented to PTC leadership and functional stakeholders to increase awareness, to align on timing, and to call out critical dependencies.
Stakeholder engagement was key to advancing the Vuforia analytics offering for PTC. Weekly working sessions were instituted to develop new reporting metrics for PTC’s latest augmented reality product release – Vuforia Expert Capture™. This effort was focused on defining a set of measurable user engagement metrics and building a collection of self-service dashboards that stakeholders could leverage to track customer progress and drive product enhancement priorities. Additional stakeholder engagement forums were enabled to rationalize historical reporting and optimize the underlying data models.
Following the completion of the Snowflake and Tableau integration, training sessions were held for analytics stakeholders on the capabilities of the new environment and to introduce a new analytics intake process. At this time, PTC hired a full-time Director of Analytics, and Archetype’s focus shifted to a successful transition in leadership. The transition was further complicated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Archetype was retained to handle several day-to-day analytics tasks, most notably rapid development of an enhanced reporting solution to track the success of PTC’s response to the COVID-19 crisis – the free release of PTC’s remote assistance product, Vuforia Chalk™. Additional tasks executed during this period included Snowflake data model optimization, new Tableau dashboard development, and automated compliance reporting.
PTC has weathered some challenges, but remains on a successful path towards a data culture. With the migration to Snowflake and Tableau, stakeholder engagement has increased significantly. The number of users with direct access to reporting has increased from 30 to 140 and is expected to grow over time. The analytics team can now focus on core analytics functions and stakeholder enablement since automated, self-service reporting is reducing the number of unexpected ad-hoc requests. Today, PTC’s strategic planning is reliant upon defining and measuring metrics jointly developed by the analytics and product teams, and communication from the analytics team is consistent and aligned to PTC’s priorities. Enabling a data culture is a continuous process and there will always be advancements required for data quality, reporting efficiency, and new product features but the path for PTC is clearer with a strong foundation in place.