Case Vaadin

How to use customer data to enhance business? Vaadin used analytics to organise data


The open source technology company Vaadin Oy had requirements for better utilisation of customer data through advanced analytics. Digia has been the cooperation partner throughout the specification, testing and implementation phases. The result is a data repository that enables data flows to be harnessed to serve Vaadin’s business and product development in diverse ways.

mita-teimme.pngWhat we did

We compared a number of suppliers and Digia compared favourably with all the others. Right from the start, they had the ability and interest to listen to us. Their proposals demonstrated that they understood what we want and were able to solve the problems. They have exceeded our expectations all the time. We wouldn’t have continued this far if we weren’t extremely satisfied.

Jurka Rahikkala, COO, Vaadin Oy



How to use customer data to enhance business? Vaadin used analytics to organise data

Vaadin Oy is a company developing open source web technology. Together with Digia, Vaadin implemented a project that resulted in large data volumes being harnessed to support business. A data warehouse utilising analytics is used to accelerate product development and sales.

In a business that is based on code and software, products and services can be accessed online from around the world in real time. This enables rapidly expanding networks and an increasing amount of data. Vaadin Oy’s objective was to use analytics to enable proper utilisation of the massive data flows. The company chose Avarea as its cooperation partner. During the project, Avarea was merged with Digia.

Vaadin, a software company based in Turku, develops open source-based user interface technology. The main product of the company is the Vaadin Platform, on top of which web developers in Finland and abroad build various web applications. The business model is based on commercial products and services being sold to the developers using the free platform.

“We have an international community of open source developers, with over 150,000 registered users. Together they create an enormous amount of information,” says COO Jurka Rahikkala.

“Previously, data was scattered in several systems and difficult to access.”

“We came to the conclusion that we need capable analytics, which will enable us to better understand the requirements of the developer community and provide them with relevant information. In addition, we use data to steer product development and sales operations.”

Clear understanding of the implementation

In the first phase of the project, a thorough current state analysis was carried out and the target state, roadmap and available technical solutions were defined. The specification phase also involved comprehensive interviews of the employees and management team of Vaadin. In addition, Digia’s consultants used the so-called Genba method, in which the activities of employees are observed where the work is taking place in order understand the practices and the overall business.

"Through the specification work, we realised that the most important thing for us is to be able to implement the basics properly. Understanding this helped us focus the work,” says Rahikkala.

The second phase of the project involved the concept testing of the proposed technical solutions. In the third phase, which is still going on, the lessons learned from the specification and testing phases are taken into practice and the production use of the data warehouse will commence.

“Based on the interviews with the management team, we chose 16 most business-critical use cases that are the first ones we will implement. We have defined the scope and phases of work so that we can proceed by taking concrete and useful steps,” says Rahikkala.

“All use cases are analytics-related and involve areas such as order management, which is the core of our business.”

“We have over 1,000 customer companies using order-based products and services. When order management is functioning, we can merge data with the CRM system and move towards comprehensive data management,” says Rahikkala.

“We aim for full-scale utilisation of the data repository.”

Refining data for practical use

According to Jurka Rahikkala, Vaadin expects the project to generate additional sales resulting from a better business understanding. “We are able to detect signals, combine information and see what types of customers we have,” says Rahikkala.

“We also aim to increase customer loyalty. By analysing customer behaviour, we can identify the indicators that lead to the renewal or cancellation of orders. This will enable us to better address these issues.”

Analysing customer data sharpens product development and enables the provision of relevant training and services to developers. The objective is that the developer community will be able to optimise their use of both the free products and paid services.

“The first concrete benefit from the data repository is that the workload required for reporting and analysis will be dramatically reduced,” says Rahikkala.

According to Rahikkala, selecting the partner for the project was easy.

“We compared a number of suppliers and Avarea/Digia compared favourably with all the others. Right from the start, they had the ability and interest to listen to us. Their proposals demonstrated that they understood what we want and were able to solve the problems. They have exceeded our expectations all the time,” Rahikkala says.

“We wouldn’t have continued this far if we weren’t extremely satisfied.”

Cooperation with Digia will continue, but the responsibility for further development and changes is shifting to Vaadin. The company is enthusiastic about the changes introduced by the project.

“The entire organisation is really looking forward to this! The benefits provided by the data warehouse will start to materialise in the first quarter of 2019. We believe that this will facilitate our operations tremendously and make them more efficient.”