The XING story: Effortless growth process with automated data warehouse management

Since it was founded in 2003, Xing has enjoyed steady and rapid growth, and today has more than 11 million members. According to its 2016 annual report, XING is the largest and, with 60 million visits per month, the most frequently used social network for professional contacts in the German-speaking area. And no matter which growth figures one looks at – revenue, user numbers or employees – the development curve is always an upward one. At a social network company such as XING, which deals exclusively with data and its reliable interlinking, the data warehouse has a special significance.

Torsten Jaeger, head of XING’s Business Intelligence Competence Center

“At XING, the data warehouse is the ‘heart’ of the provision of information for reporting and analysis purposes in support of decision-making processes,” explains Torsten Jaeger, head of the Business Intelligence Competence Center. All relevant data from the various business areas is collated here, interlinked and archived, and prepared for use by other departments. At the same time, XING’s dynamic growth processes require the data warehouse to be extremely adaptable and flexible, so that every aspect of the exponentially increasing volume of data can be kept at the ready with the likewise ever greater depth of information.

Here are some current figures to give an idea of the data volumes that accrue every day: XING has branch offices in Hamburg, Munich, Barcelona, Vienna and Zurich. Almost 1,000 employees are occupied with providing XING’s 12 million-plus members in the German-speaking countries with a platform for professional, career-driven interaction. They can exchange information in around 80,000 groups, or network on a personal level at one of the over 150,000 professionally relevant events that take place every year. According to IVW, in September 2017 almost 120 million page impressions were generated by 22.8 million visits in a constantly dynamically changing system.

We utilise BICsuite as a flexible tool for automated data integration. BICsuite serves as a powerful link for orchestrating complex data processing workflows.

Particularly in the highly dynamic environment in which XING is active, it is absolutely essential that automation of the data warehouse combines stability, elasticity and versatility, as Torsten Jaeger explains: “We utilise BICsuite as a flexible tool for automated data integration. BICsuite serves as a powerful link for orchestrating complex data processing workflows.”

Mustafa Engin Sözer, Data Warehouse Manager at XING

At XING, too, the switch to BICsuite took place at a time before the company’s large-scale transformation into a group structure actually began. There was enough time between the flotation in 2006 and the first major expansion in 2010 to reorganise the system to cope with the challenges of the future. In concrete terms, this means that BICsuite was integrated into the data warehouse within a short period of time, and has been actively involved in every growth process ever since. At XING, data from all modules and business processes is collated in the data warehouse and processed. Always kept-up-to-date, the data is made available for the various modules and for business areas such as management and statistics.

“We use BICsuite at XING to automate and orchestrate our data processing and ETL workloads, which are aimed at gathering and processing incoming data from different sources in a centralised data model,” is how Data Warehouse Manager Mustafa Engin Sözer describes this highly complex task. “BICsuite enables us to plan processes and create interdependencies between different workflows within the complex and fast-paced landscape of the XING environment. The capability for defining and controlling resources in BICsuite helps us to plan the orchestration of workflows with greater precision. And what’s more, BICsuite is very easy to set up and maintain, which simplifies the system administration.”

Matija Milković, Data Warehouse Manager at XING

Matija Milković, Data Warehouse Manager at the main office in Hamburg, likewise benefits daily from the advantages of the automated system environment with BICsuite: “The BICsuite system is an extremely convenient, easy-to-understand job scheduler that allows you to work with complex dependencies. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a tool that is simple to use and configure. We can rapidly integrate processes and dependencies so that new processes can be set up very easily and quickly.”

The usability of BICsuite was also taken into consideration at the development phase to accommodate the different habits and needs of users, as well as the differing requirements of the IT environment. “I consider the BICsuite system to be a very advanced job scheduler,” says Matija Milković. Mustafa Engin Sözer wouldn’t like to work without BICsuite any more either: “I recommend BICsuite to all IT colleagues looking for granular and in-depth control over their work schedules and their orchestration.” Matija Milković regards reliability as being especially crucial for a smooth-running system: “Both the BICsuite server and the agents are absolutely stable.”

“From our point of view, BICsuite is perfect above all for environments with heterogeneous or flexibly growing system landscapes,” says Torsten Jaeger, summarising the special characteristics of the automation tool that has been making sure that XING’s data warehouse runs like clockwork for nearly 10 years now. Business intelligence for intelligent businesses.