Seesaw accelerates product usage and adoption

Seesaw uses Hightouch to lower engineering time and create customized lifecycle marketing campaigns to accelerate product usage and adoption.

Results:

  • Seesaw has lowered the development time to create new Salesforce integrations from days to minutes.
  • Seesaw can now sync data on custom objects directly to Salesforce, creating a 360-degree view of the customer.
  • Using Hightouch to sync Rockset data to Salesforce, Seesaw’s sales and marketing teams have increased product usage and adoption.
  • With Hightouch, Seesaw can create customized lifecycle marketing campaigns based on specific actions users take within the product.

About SeeSaw:

When the world flipped upside down in 2019 due to COVID-19, schools all over the United States were forced to shut down in-person classes and work remotely. This created a huge problem for school districts across the country because most did not have the infrastructure to quickly pivot to online learning. For many schools, Seesaw’s online learning platform came as a godsend.

Used in three out of four US schools, by over 10 million teachers, students, and family members every month, Seesaw is one of the largest online learning platforms in the United States. Seesaw is a virtual classroom that focuses on student engagement by creating a learning loop between students, teachers, and families. With Seesaw, teachers can create assignments and monitor student engagement; likewise, parents can stay in the loop, and students can interact with one another.

Problem: data accessibility

As a freemium product, Seesaw is a product-led-growth company, meaning that adoption starts with a single user and expands from there. When COVID-19 caused Seesaw’s signups and product usage to skyrocket it was relatively easy for Seesaw to scale up its main database, Amazon DynamoDB, which contained billions and billions of records. However, using this data for any type of analytics workload was nearly impossible.

Seesaw would write data to S3 and use Athena to query this information, but a single Athena job could take up to 12 hours to run. Additionally, as a PLG company, Seesaw wanted to create Snapshots on objects other than teachers (ex: students, classrooms, parents, etc.).

We were trying to repair the mess of analytics that we had made over the years at Seesaw.

Zachary Schneider

Technical Architect

These factors led Seesaw to Rockset, which is an analytics database that can ingest, store, and query large datasets to enable analytics in real-time. Leveraging Rockset, Seesaw was able to do robust analytics around product usage data as well as custom objects like teachers, students, classrooms, parents, administrators, etc.

Nevertheless, this solution quickly created another problem because it became very difficult for Seesaw to move data out of Rockset.

Once we had a POC working with Rockset and we started to generate analytics, we realized that we had a bit of a problem because it was extremely difficult to get data out of Rockset. We could make API calls against Rockset, download the CSVs and store them somewhere, but that was a ton of work.

Zachary Schneider

Technical Architect

Simply moving data from Rockset to Salesforce could take up to two days of developer time. Additionally, testing these data pipelines consistently to ensure everything was working properly was a huge pain.

We wrote our own manual Salesforce sync process that uses the Salesforce batch API to update a number of different stats on a per school base and frankly we felt that the system was unsustainable. Anytime we wanted to add a new stat it was like drawing lots to see who would have to go do it because it was a nightmare to get everything working properly.

Zachary Schneider

Technical Architect

The Solution: Hightouch for data activation

In search of a solution to address the problem of creating custom integrations through Salesforce’s API, Seesaw turned to Hightouch. As a native Reverse ETL solution, Hightouch quickly solved several of the key challenges that Seesaw was facing in moving data from Rockset to Salesforce. Instead of taking days to send Rockset data to Salesforce, Seesaw can sync data in minutes to identify product qualified leads (PQLs) and existing users with low engagement.

Now that Hightouch has this native integration with Rockset everything is entirely hands-off. There is nothing we have to do to move the huge amounts of data that we are generating to our other systems. Using Hightouch, we have lowered a day or two of developer time to minutes.

Zachary Schneider

Technical Architect

In Salesforce, Seesaw has accounts representing both current customers and potential customers. By syncing product usage data from Rockset to all of these different accounts, Seesaw’s sales and marketing teams are able to increase engagement and personalize outreach (ex: targeting the IT department in school districts where teachers are already using Seesaw).

Using Hightouch to send data from Rockset to Salesforce also enables Seesaw’s nontechnical business users to track changes over time. Additionally, this same data can be synced to mailing tools like Mailchimp, Marketo, Hubspot, etc. (ex: sending an email to all teachers who haven’t used the product recently and sharing a useful feature to encourage product usage).

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