Conversant Processes 200 Billion Events Per Day With Pivotal Greenplum

July 9, 2018 Jeff Kelly

Pivotal’s Jeff Kelly and Conversant’s Shaun Litt and John Conley talk big data analytics at Greenplum Summit 2018.

If you’ve ever been online, you’ve probably encountered Conversant, though you may not have realized it. The Chicago-based company is part of Epsilon and one of the largest digital media companies in the world. It helps its clients — companies in retail, consumer products, and other industries — put the right digital ads in front of the most relevant people at the right time. And it does so with data. Lots of data.

“You know, when a lot of people talk about big data platforms it can mean different things to different people. For us a big data platform is one that captures over 200 billion events daily,” said John Conley, Vice President of Data Warehousing at Conversant. “We have to really constantly be mining that [data] set to figure out where’s the signal and where’s the noise. Greenplum is just a key piece of our infrastructure for doing that.”

Conley was referring to Pivotal Greenplum, the open source-based massively parallel processing analytical data warehouse. It is purpose-built for large-scale data warehousing and data science, making it an ideal fit for Conversant.

“We put everything we can capture as an enterprise data asset, anything we need to run our business in the center of this picture and then Greenplum basically feeds everything else that we do with our data set anywhere,” Conley said in an interview at Greenplum Summit 2018. “So all the rich data that we capture from online interactions, all the anonymized first party data that’s been sent into our system, we centralize it all into Greenplum and then we make sure it gets anywhere it needs to be to run our operation.”

Greenplum’s open source Postgres heritage is also a big benefit to Conversant, according to Shaun Litt, Director of Data Warehousing at Conversant. It allows Conversant engineers to build extensions to the database when needed, which are then often contributed back to the open source Postgres community. Greenplum’s open source roots also make it easier to integrate with other, complementary technologies.

“We think that there’s a lot of new opportunities, new things that we can learn of how better to use our platform, how better to integrate our platform into our stack because of it’s open source nature and our ability to really make it a better product,” Litt said.

Watch the full interview below for more on Conversant’s approach to analytics and data science with Pivotal Greenplum.


Conversant Processes 200 Billion Events Per Day With Pivotal Greenplum was originally published in Built to Adapt on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

About the Author

Jeff Kelly

Jeff Kelly is a Director of Partner Marketing at Pivotal Software. Prior to joining Pivotal, Jeff was the lead industry analyst covering Big Data analytics at Wikibon. Before that, Jeff covered enterprise software as a reporter and editor at TechTarget. He received his B.A. in American studies from Providence College and his M.A. in journalism from Northeastern University.

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