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"Shareable queries and real time in-app collaboration are a game changer. In Mode, you would have to send a dashboard, which could have 50 queries in it. Once you find the right query, you would also have to describe where you are in your code as you’re making edits, which made it difficult to collaborate."

About Darwin

Darwin Homes is a Series A (Canvas Ventures, Khosla Ventures) property management platform that makes residents' and owners' lives easier through an innovative ecosystem of technologies and localized teams across 7 U.S. cities. Their product allows residents to discover, tour and lease their future home; and for owners to have complete peace of mind from modern management and leasing services built around their core values of transparency and professionalism -- no more shoddy services, hidden fees, and inefficient processes.

Core evaluation team
  • Robert Ma
    Business Ops
  • Robert Kang
    Product Ops
  • Zachary Kinloch
    COO & Co-Founder

Challenges

Darwin Homes’ business relies on the foundational queries built by a few core power SQL users to guide product, operational, and day to day decisions for their 40+ employees. Their prior business intelligence solution, Mode, was helpful for visualizations, but had several limitations due to its dashboards-focused approach:

  • There was no great way to share queries and collaborate in real time
  • They had limited access to governance and version control
  • Mode’s pricing model was not scalable
“We came across several visualization solutions that were great for reporting, but they didn’t have a great SQL editor experience, or collaboration features. The more complex tools, like Tableau and Looker, don’t work for us.”

Darwin Homes found that while many of the business intelligence tools on the market today are helpful for end business users, they are too rigid for rapid data exploration, and typically require a dedicated employee to integrate and maintain the tool.

Solutions

Darwin Homes' technical and business requirements were clear from the start: their COO and Co-Founder, Zachary Kinloch, needed a robust data visualization tool, a collaborative SQL editor for their core analysts, and a low-friction way for business users to consume data through email, Slack, and self-serve reports using customizable parameters. The goal was to find a solution with all three capabilities without sacrificing resources and productivity.

Results

After a two-week trial, Darwin Homes’ core evaluation team were able to confirm that their business and technical requirements would be met by PopSQL. After 5 months of using the solution, they have:

The benefits Darwin has received have significantly reduced costs, improved productivity, decreased time to insight, and increased the amount of data-driven product decisions:

  • Lowered their costs 50% by switching from Mode
  • Improved productivity and decreased time to insight
  • Created a culture of data trust with wide adoption of dashboards

A key group of stakeholders is Darwin’s Portfolio Management team, who are now able to get customizable views on their properties, which improve their day to day operations.

“Scheduled reports with PDF attachments give our local Portfolio Managers a snapshot view of action items on their properties -- whether it’s repairs, vacancies, or price adjustments -- while they’re on the go. This has been the most efficient way for them to access data on the fly.”

With regard to SQL editing and collaboration, the core power users have found several valuable features:

“Version history has made it easy to go back and see what changes were made. If you see issues with the SQL statement or results, you can easily go back and revert.”
“Shareable queries and real time in-app collaboration are a game changer. In Mode, you would have to send a dashboard, which could have 50 queries in it. Once you find the right query, you would also have to describe where you are in your code as you’re making edits, which made it difficult to collaborate.”
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