Media and communication companies rely on the newest technologies to provide the highest quality products and services. Oftentimes, to maintain quality, these companies have to collect large amounts of data and apply analytics to boost service performance and diagnostic abilities.
In this Acceleration Case Study, learn how a top media and communication organization, Sky, implemented a cloud solution to scale for growth as well as maintain quality services. By using Google Cloud Platform, Sky was better able to manage high volumes of data to drive analytics for an improved customer experience and scale for success.
Business Challenge – Applying Data Analytics to Scale
Founded in Europe in 1990, Sky is a leading media and communications company. It offers mobile TV, streaming, Sky TV, talk, broadband, and line rental services for millions of customers across seven countries. To deliver top-quality services at scale, Sky had to constantly collect diagnostic data from millions of customers. It used the data for in-depth analysis and insights to maximize uptime and service performance.
For years, Sky gathered data using a Hadoop cluster. Although the on-premises platform was established in 2013, it became outdated as technology continued to evolve. Eventually, Sky began encountering bottlenecks in collecting diagnostic data.
- The drawbacks included:
- Processing backlogs of up to half of daily data
- Limited use of datasets
- Difficulty in gaining valuable feedback
- Inconsistent data reliability
These limitations led to scalability challenges. For instance, planning for peak workload demand can result in idle servers. On the other hand, failing to meet peak demand can lead to data loss and compromise the entire database. Using a diverse range of data processing features also adds challenges for scalability.
Furthermore, an ever-growing amount of diagnostic data from all of the Sky TV boxes created significant challenges for the on-premises Hadoop cluster, which could not keep up with such high demand. As a result, up to 50% of the data on a given day was waiting to be processed. The boxes also reported back in bursts, creating significant spikes in the data flow.
- Sky needed to find a modern software solution to scale that would be able to:
- Handle a large volume of data
- Process information for analysis and diagnostics for Sky Q boxes
- Enable the company to improve customer experience
Software Solution – Google Cloud Platform
Sky decided to work with Google Cloud partner Datatonic and utilize the Google Cloud Platform to eliminate the data-processing bottlenecks that had been an issue due to limited server capacity. The company is now able to monitor all of its data throughout its system.
Sky publishes between 200 and 300 million events each day. Google Cloud can handle this volume without the need for manual intervention. In addition, the system is distributed globally, enabling Sky to launch a new system in another country while only needing a minimal amount of support.
Because the system was created with Google’s managed services, it automatically scales to match peaks. Also, the use of Apache Beam and Cloud Dataflow provides flexibility, ensuring a simple transition from batch processing for the future.
Google Cloud’s BigQuery database is the hub for all of the data, allowing teams to use the collected information for various tasks. All of the enriched and raw events are available in Cloud Storage, which is more cost-effective than on-premise solutions.
Through its strategic relationship with Google Cloud, Sky is able to keep up with the latest technologies, and no longer worry about scalability issues. And the support team is available to resolve any data issues quickly.
It took around six weeks to create, test, and eventually go live with the new system. Now, Sky can easily collect all of the diagnostic data from Sky Q boxes without any problems. Sky plans to collect all of its reporting by using a BigQuery data warehouse.
The Google Cloud Platform also serves as a blueprint for future projects. By capturing all of this data, the company can make well-informed business decisions. For Sky, the new capabilities represent the beginning of a new era in data science, management, and analytics.