Zillow gives its data a home with Domo.
Challenge: End-of-the-month invoicing reporting process was inefficient and excessively complicated.
Solution: Adding Domo to schedule reports to run with no manual intervention needed.
Impact: Billing process was simplified and time reduced by 90%.
Zillow has become one of the most widely-used real estate marketplaces for a reason: it was a pioneer in collecting real estate data that was once siloed off among local sources and making it publicly available for all to see. Today, it’s often considered the single source of truth for which homes are available for sale, what homes are worth, and how much others are paying.
As one of the most trafficked websites in the world, Zillow is a popular advertising platform for brands looking to reach a home-buying audience. However, when it came time to invoice customers at the end of the month, its media business was regularly hamstrung by a manual, inefficient reporting process.
Brandon Ankuda, a senior analyst for Zillow Group’s Enterprise Applications Team, remembers its byzantine process: “We had multiple members of multiple teams that were responsible for different ad platforms, who would then have to pull data and send it to another team. That team would have to wait for another team to get more data, then they would compile it and send it to another team to do the calculations. Then it would be reviewed by management and okayed to be sent to billing.” All told, Ankuda estimated that it would take approximately 30 hours a month for Zillow to just get invoices out the door.
“With Domo, we’re no longer spending time in Excel piecing together bits of data.”
After adding Domo, Zillow was able to schedule these reports so that billing now takes just three hours to run without any manual intervention–a 90% reduction in time. “We’re not spending time in Excel piecing together bits of data,” said Ankuda. “Domo just does it; all we have to do is go in, look at a card, and download it when we’re ready to bill customers.”
Keeping the business open for business.
Inspired by the way it was able to improve its media processes, Ankuda and his team began to explore other ways Domo could improve the way the company works. They’ve since started using Domo to analyze things like ticketing data and process run times within IT.
“We’re pulling data from our other automation platforms into Domo so we can really monitor their successes and failures, using Domo as a monitoring platform for all our other services,” said Ankuda. “We’ve leveraged Domo to better identify trends for what’s going on between platforms, or for what the platforms themselves just might not be great at telling us.”
To keep the IT team up-to-the-second on performance metrics, Zillow uses thresholds on cards that send alerts when a trigger threshold is met. “These metrics are really important to us on a real-time basis, because we can’t afford for systems to be down or not updating data the right way,” said Ankuda.
Turning on the lights.
Thanks to its success optimizing media billing and IT processes, Ankuda notes that Domo has attracted its fair share of attention from within the organization. “Other segments of the business, like sales analytics have come to me and said, ‘Wow, that’s really cool! What is that tool? What are you doing? Who do I talk to about this?’ It’s pretty regular for me to get new requests for expanding our use of Domo.”
To help the organization scale its use of Domo throughout the enterprise, Zillow has implemented a governance model that provides guidelines about how to build things like cards, data flows, and data sets. In addition, it also designed a self-service learning module using Domo’s CourseBuilder tool, combining Domo-provided content with custom Zillow-created content tailored to different teams. “That’s really empowered users, while allowing IT to gain time back from training to focus on the overall management of Domo,” said Ankuda.
For Zillow, Domo allows the organization to put its foundational belief into action. “One of our core values at Zillow is ‘Turn On the Lights,’ which means enlightening people with data. It’s what we’ve done with real estate data, and it’s what Domo does for us,” explained Ankuda. “I never thought I would get so giddy about data. I was always a power Excel user and can crack into databases, but Domo removes all the hassle by putting data at your fingertips without having to get messy.”