MercadoLibre grows governed, self-service analytics with Alation and Tableau

Powering self-service analytics at MercadoLibre

MercadoLibre hosts the largest online commerce platform in Latin America with 3.3 million sellers and 267 million users. The e-commerce giant leverages Tableau and Alation to create a seamless process of data discovery and analysis with the goal of enabling all of its 7,500+ employees with self-service analytics

MercadoLibre’s journey to democratizing data began five years ago. At the time, MercadoLibre had a traditional BI model where users would make a request of the BI team and then wait to get an answer—whether hours, days, or even weeks. This model simply couldn’t scale. Business users needed greater agility to drive the business

By leveraging Tableau and Alation together, business analysts at MercadoLibre can start an analysis with a query in Alation and seamlessly continue the analysis in Tableau. All of MercadoLibre’s data is connected through Alation—including Teradata, Hive, and Presto—giving business users a great deal of freedom. This allows business analysts to find insights without being tied to the BI team for every request. The integrated solution gives MercadoLibre users the confidence to find data they need for analysis—even if it lives outside Tableau Server—and understand how to best apply it to their analysis
MercadoLibre attributes the growth of its self-service success to a few key pillars of its approach. First, they formulated training programs to properly educate users on the company’s resources and processes, which have been critical for the sustainability of the analytics practice. Secondly, a key users program brought folks from outside of the BI division to work alongside analysts as consultants. Finally, a decentralized model placed BI cells throughout the organization to help departments with their analytics, including hiring the right people for the job. And the thread running through all of this is the company’s strategic approach to governance

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