Scaling advanced analytics to continuously improve customer experience of media products

Business context

DPG Media is a leading media group with activities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark. DPG Media owns several popular brands in newspapers & magazines (Het Laatste Nieuws, De Morgen, Humo), radio & television (QMusic, VTM) and online services.

DPG Media has the ambition to become the local leader in the media landscape and therefore decided years ago to make the full switch to cloud, to invest in mobile and digital products with HLN Mobile and VTM GO, the Flemish Netflix as an example. Advanced analytics powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning are an instrumental tool for DPG to continuously improve customer experience of its media products.

Scope & objectives

Since early 2017, Data Minded has been a trusted partner of the data lake team, enabling the entire organisation to create self-service use cases for data analytics and successfully rolled out Datafy as a managed data engineering platform

The team is responsible for maintaining the central data platform, from infrastructure and workflow management to delivering data products, data science workbenches and reporting tools to the rest of the organization. In addition, they are also responsible for ingesting and processing major batch and streaming data sources such as CRM, clickstream, advertising, sales and marketing data. Data Minded also provides training and advice on data architecture.

The platform technology stack mainly consists of open-source software components such as Scala, Python, Airflow, EKS Kubernetes, CodeBuild/CodePipeline, Terraform, Gradle, Kafka, Elasticsearch, and many more, all built on AWS cloud.

Key results

Within one year, 600+ users (scientists and engineers) were on-boarded,  50+ use cases went live; 2800 projects have started; 60+ data sources were connected.

This degree of adoption was only possible by rethinking the way of working:

  • Harmonising processes and tools across Belgium and the Netherlands,

  • Cloud migration,

  • Managed cloud-native data engineering platform,

  • A central data repository for all teams for data discovery, data governance and data sharing.

Impact

DPG Media & Data Minded succeeded in creating a complete 360° view of its customers by combining both online and offline data to provide personalised recommendations for their media products.

In addition, rethinking the way of working improved operational efficiency, reduced legacy and thus improved costs.