Data management services case study
Cloud Migration Brings Agility and Innovation to Cars.com, Strengthening Brand Experience
“Wavicle Data Solutions has been one of our most trusted partners in our cloud migration journey. They provided us with a wide variety of data engineering and AWS platform expertise while offering significant flexibility in being able to quickly scale up our teams as the project ramped up. I highly recommend Wavicle for any company looking to embark on a cloud journey.”
— Luna Rajbhandari, Vice President, Data Management and Platforms
Cars.com wanted to accelerate innovation, reduce time to market, and serve highly contextual and relevant content to its shoppers and sellers. The company realized that transitioning to the cloud, rather than managing its own IT infrastructure, was critical for delivering modern business needs while reducing operational inefficiencies and overhead.
With Cars.com’s core business increasingly driven by data, Wavicle partnered with the Cars.com team to architect a strategic foundation for the company’s entire data ecosystem. First, Wavicle helped develop an AWS Data Platform to perform data science and analytics on a wide range of data including vehicle inventory, shopper clickstream, and third-party data sources, with multiple terabytes processed weekly.
Next, the existing on-premise legacy environments were re-platformed onto Amazon Web Services – which meant faster data retrieval and lower resource costs by addressing data integration inefficiencies. Re-platforming involved moving from Talend on-premises to Talend Cloud, building a data lake, and moving reporting tools such as Tableau and SAP Business Objects to the cloud. Optimizations to the architecture delivered tangible benefits when migrating to the cloud system, rather than a lift-and-shift approach of system migration as-is. Key to achieving this was a design decision to ingest jobs developed in Python and Spark, enabling serverless execution.
As a result, job run times and Amazon EMR compute times were vastly reduced. Finally, centralizing the data in AWS Redshift will provide ease of access to data and expand the scope of reporting tools available for dealers. The data lake also integrates with a streaming platform that provides real-time insights and personalization capabilities to the Cars.com website.
The data platform transition to AWS put Cars.com in a ready position for agile innovation, time-to-market efficiencies, and service level guarantees through advanced orchestration. As a result, Cars.com was able to offer a more personalized experience improving matches between shoppers and sellers. In real-time, dealers know which vehicles receive the most attention and are more likely to sell based on price and market dynamics. Additionally, new image-recognition tools built in-house will scale better on AWS in detecting vehicle attributes, such as trims and conditions, to increase the quality and accuracy of car listings.
Legacy data and technical environment
On-premise technologies included Talend, IBM Data Stage, Teradata, Hadoop, Tableau, and SAP Business Objects. Source data was loaded to HDFS and Teradata, where the processing was done by Talend and IBM Data Stage. This data was eventually consumed by machine learning tools for advanced analytics, Tableau for visualization, and SAP Business Objects for ad-hoc reporting.
- External Files (JSON, CSV, text), API, Database
- Database (Oracle, Couchbase, Salesforce)
- Streaming Data
- Cloud (Google & AWS S3)
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