Further modernization of rapid7's analytics ecosystem

Rapid7 is a leading SAAS provider of security and vulnerability management solutions. Cross functional enterprise analytics is a key driver for defining product strategy and customer engagement activities. Rapid7 recently upgraded their analytics environment with a combination of Snowflake and Fivetran to enable deeper data integration, more efficient processing, and a scalable data model. As part of the modernization of their analytics eco-system, Rapid7 sought guidance from Archetype to determine an appropriate Business Intelligence tool to integrate with Snowflake and meet the organizations analytics needs.

The core focus of this assessment included:

  • BI tool selection focused on achieving organizational scale, broad self-service access, and fully leveraging the underlying data structure in Snowflake.
  • Recommendations to strengthen Rapid7’s Analytics Center of Excellence (COE) structure and stakeholder engagement model.
  • Development of a strategic implementation roadmap inclusive of migration plan for the new BI tool, COE process improvements, and staffing needs.

Archetype leveraged its proven technical architecture assessment process to define Rapid7’s future needs, identify short- and long-term gaps, and prioritize Rapid7’s fundamental needs to achieve future state strategic objectives. The primary competencies that Archetype focused on as part of this assessment were:

  • Data Integration: ETL/ELT, Data Quality, Master Data Management
  • Insight Delivery: Reporting, Visualization, Predictive Analytics
  • Governance: Data Governance, Enhancement Management, Project Governance
  • Infrastructure: Tools & Technology, Cloud Considerations
  • Organization: Culture, Staff Experience & Skills

Following a series of stakeholder and senior executive workshops Archetype identified opportunities in several key areas:

Tool Features: Need for robust self-service capabilities to deliver integrated and customizable analytics content for non-technical resources, as well as improved data management capabilities.

Data Analysis Capabilities: Allow analytics users the ability to do more of their analysis within the BI Tool by having functionality to easily integrate supporting data sets and automate offline processes.

Data Awareness: Clear and consistent categorization of 'certified' data, data definitions, and lineage.

Data Ownership: Identify data stewards with responsibility for defining subject area data needs and definitions.

Data Architecture: Data structures should support both well-defined reporting requirements as well as ad hoc analytic capabilities.

Master Data Management:  Address key analytic master data needs such as standardized customer and product data, along with alternate hierarchies.

Data Access:  Address use cases for both broader data access as well as row-level security.

Ultimately, Tableau Online was selected as the BI tool that most appropriately met Rapid7’s needs. The primary drivers included Tableau’s ability to handle a broad range of use cases from complex, integrated dashboards to tactical data exploration with an intuitive user interface. Tableau’s Data Management functionality for creating data definitions and tracking data lineage within the tool were also key differentiators. Additionally, Archetype proposed that Data Stewards be defined from each of the key functional areas to further strengthen the data creation and definition process, leading to a broader awareness of data availability and usage criteria. Lastly, to enable direct access to data and shorten time to insight, an access model whereby analytics users with pre-requisite skills can directly access Snowflake was defined. These initiatives were prioritized and planned along a one-year roadmap, that included cost breakdown for new tools, staff requirements, and consulting support areas to supplement the existing team.

Following the assessment, Rapid7 has further leveraged Archetype’s deep Snowflake and Tableau experience for additional project work focused on developing a scalable access and control model and to ensure a smooth consumer and content transition to the new BI environment.