Creating a One-stop Shop for Data with Atlan
The Active Metadata Pioneers series features Atlan customers who have recently completed a thorough evaluation of the Active Metadata Management market. Paying forward what you’ve learned to the next data leader is the true spirit of the Atlan community! So they’re here to share their hard-earned perspective on an evolving market, what makes up their modern data stack, innovative use cases for metadata, and more.
In this installment of the series, we meet Anh Pham-Walther, Technical Program Manager at Personio, a Series E funded HR software company helping thousands of small- to medium-sized enterprises simplify and automate their HR processes. Anh explains how Personio has restructured their data team toward a hybrid model, and the role Atlan will play as a central store of knowledge about their data.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself, your background, and what drew you to Data & Analytics?
I started my career working as a Data Analyst, where I was very eager to learn about data analysis and how it can help with both driving strategic decisions and facilitating people’s lives by optimizing processes.
After that, I worked as a BI Consultant, which gave me the chance to get to know different industries. In 2022, I started at Personio as a BI Analyst. Over time, my focus changed to Data Governance and optimizing workflows for our data teams. In this context, I have taken on the responsibilities of a Technical Program Manager, contributing to the streamlining of our data processes.
Would you mind describing Personio, and your data stack and team?
Personio specializes in HR software designed to automate every person’s process, enhancing efficiency for HR teams. This allows HR departments to dedicate more time to strategic initiatives and focus on the most crucial asset of any company – its people.
At Personio, our data stack includes Snowflake as our primary data warehouse. We utilize dbt for data modeling and transformation, and Tableau serves as our data visualization tool.
Historically, our team setup was decentralized and consisted of one core and multiple department-specific data teams. With time, as Personio experienced hyper-growth, we encountered challenges related to siloed knowledge and data accessibility. To address these challenges, we changed how our data teams are organized.
Now, both the core data team and the data teams in each department are all part of one centralized data department.
In this new set-up, cross-functional teams with Data Platform Engineers, Analytics Engineers, Data Scientists, Data Analysts, and Technical Program Managers work closely together to better support our business departments. By doing so, we aim to empower every department across Personio to access and analyze relevant data while fostering collaboration and streamlining workflows.
Why search for an Active Metadata Management solution? What was missing?
We looked for an Active Metadata Management solution because our company’s rapid growth made it hard to keep track of all our data. Connecting data across departments to form a complete view was cumbersome and time-consuming. Often, finding the right data that you could trust involved navigating a maze of fragmented documentation and Slack messages. These inefficiencies made it clear that centralizing our metadata and creating a central knowledge space was essential to avoid losing valuable insights, increase trust in our data, and optimize our processes.
Why was Atlan a good fit? Did anything stand out during your evaluation process?
We chose Atlan because, with regard to our data stack, it met our most important requirements for a data catalog. When we were testing two different tools, Atlan surprised us with its maturity with available features like Playbooks and the Google Sheets add-on. It seems like Atlan understands what companies like us need for data management.
What also stood out during the selection process was Atlan’s customer support. During our trial, Atlan had a very structured process of supporting us. They listened to our needs and were responsive with every question we had. Now that we are working with the Customer Success team on the implementation, they continue to help us with pragmatic solutions, provide detailed documentation, and share best practices from the “Atlan University”.
What do you intend on creating with Atlan? Do you have an idea of what use cases you’ll build, and the value you’ll drive?
Our vision is to establish Atlan as the primary repository where all information about our data is centrally located. The idea is to make it the first point of reference for any data-related questions within our organization. If a team member cannot find the required information in Atlan, the platform will guide them to the owner of the specific data asset for further assistance.
Essentially, our goal is to transform Atlan into what we could call Personio’s “Google” for data. It will be the go-to resource for anyone needing data insights, ensuring efficient access to information and streamlining our internal data search processes.