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Metabase at PaperCut

  • PaperCut uses Metabase to analyze order and license subscription data
  • Metabase is used across the company — by Engineering, Sales and Marketing
  • Commonly asked questions include
    • “How many device licenses did we sell in each region?”
    • “What percentage of printers sold in the US have PaperCut installed?”
    • “Who was our top reseller in Europe last year?”

The company

PaperCut is a print management software company based in Melbourne Australia. Founded in 1998 by two engineers, PaperCut has grown to over 100 employees with offices in the US, UK, and a network of worldwide partners. They develop software to control printing, copying and scanning to save paper and recover costs for both IT administrators and MFP users. They are especially prevalent in educational institutions where students and faculty pay per-use.

The data

Like any company that is over 10 years old, PaperCut has a wide variety of data. They currently store data from their order processing and licensing server in a MySQL database, as well as storing interaction data in BigQuery. While it remains an ongoing process, they have done a fair bit of cleanup and transformation on the data in their data warehouses.

Having monitored close to 13B print jobs across a large number of customers, they have a fair bit of data to play with.

The questions

Prior to using Metabase, there was a shared folder full of common analytical SQL queries. This jumpstarted the ability for others in the company to use Metabase productively as these queries could be copied and pasted into Metabase and used immediately.

One of the ways that PaperCut is using Metabase that we found very compelling was to provide custom sales collateral for specific large target accounts. This allows nuggets like “did you know that over in the US, we’re installed in X% of all printers?” to be inserted into specific pitch decks.

Other common questions include how many devices were sold into various regions, which were their top resellers by region, and breaking out reseller revenue by renewal vs. new revenue. Opening up access to these kinds of questions has allowed PaperCut to notice trends that would have gone unnoticed in the past.

Going forward, Matt and the rest of the team at PaperCut are looking forward to doing increasingly sophisticated price restructuring, and creating an increasingly nimble data driven business.