Apartment List

Sep 7, 2022

Apartment List is an online housing rental platform that helps connect renters with property owners. To date, more than 1 million families across the US have used Apartment List to find a home.

The Opportunity: Taking the Next Step in Data Visualization

As one of the fastest-growing online housing rental platforms on the market, Apartment List is dedicated to eliminating the pain and complexity of both finding rentals and finding tenants. With properties across the country listed on its platform, the company must understand the unique needs of hundreds of different markets in real time so it can offer the best experience possible.

When it first launched, the company adopted Chartio to quickly get up to speed with data visualization. However, Apartment List had found that it outgrown Chartio’s limitations, while the product’s upcoming end-of-life accelerated Apartment List’s urgency to find a replacement.

Because Chartio is highly dependent on SQL to create an analysis, it limited its use to the technical team. As a result, business users were unable to easily use the tool in their own work to answer critical questions about things like customer acquisition costs or marketing campaign performance. In addition, each department had potentially its own version of SQL, which led to siloed logic for each group resulting in different interpretations and definitions of core business metrics.

In order to meet the evolving and maturing needs of its business, Apartment List knew it needed a solution that could provide a single source of truth that anyone in the company could access to answer queries.

The Solution: Looker and Bytecode IO

Apartment List had a vision of evolving beyond a decentralized, technical tool to a centralized, governed analysis platform capable of providing best-in-class capabilities.

In order to bring that vision to life, Apartment List worked with Bytecode IO, the #1 Google Cloud Platform data partner, to implement Looker as its business intelligence and visualization platform.

Bytecode IO was responsible for supporting Apartment List’s migration to Looker on Google Cloud Platform’s BigQuery. The team worked with internal data champions to define the company’s roadmap for a next-generation analytics platform and then oversee the technical implementation, creating a platform that could deliver a single source of truth across the organization and solve the company’s disparate analysis issues.

As a proof of concept, Bytecode IO built out an initial dashboard that would help the company answer pressing questions about its acquisition funnel. Using this dashboard as a success story, data champions throughout the organization were able to gain buy-in from key stakeholders, significantly improving adoption of the platform.

The Results: Creating a Culture of Data

By enabling centralized governance for business logic with the flexibility of ad hoc data analysis, Apartment List has been able to transition its culture to prioritize transparency and accountability.

Thanks to Bytecode IO, Apartment List is now able to leverage analytics in a way that was impossible before:

  • By migrating to Looker and BigQuery, Apartment List was able to eliminate the noise and data chaos of competing logics, improving visibility while reducing costs.
  • Apartment List can now confidently answer questions about its renter profiles, acquisition channels and costs, email campaign performance, A/B testing performance, and more.
  • Bytecode IO’s training and enablement of the core analytics team and department champions enabled each department to quickly integrate sophisticated data analysis into their work, allowing them to build dashboards unique to what they do while still maintaining common data governance.
  • Business users can now leverage data to answer complicated questions without writing a single line of SQL. Without the need for code, this frees the technical team from constant requests for help, allowing them to focus on improving the core product.

Results At A Glance

  • Partnered with the data champion to build the technical roadmap of their vision.
  • Worked with the team to define and execute the rollout strategy.
  • Enable advanced analytics for business users across the organization.

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