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ynet: Deploying cutting-edge data solutions to bring more business value to its users

About ynet

ynet is Israel's largest news and content website, reaching over five million readers a month. Since its launch in 2000, ynet has brought its readers content on topics ranging from news, economics, and sports to entertainment, culture, and gossip. ynet is part of the larger Yedioth Ahronoth Media Group, which publishes newspapers, magazines, and local media.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Israel

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ynet worked with Google Cloud to perform a big leap forward in data source management by offering quick accessible solutions that help decision makers at all levels and serve business needs faster.

Google Cloud results

  • Allows ynet to focus on research, instead of building the time consuming technical elements of the platform
  • Performs extract, transform, load (ETL) processes, using BigQuery, removing the need to do them manually
  • Has improved data governance and safety through the new infrastructure and security best practices provided by Google Cloud
  • Streamlines the recruitment process, as new hires are not required to train on proprietary databases
  • Allows for greater collaboration, both internally and externally, improving creativity and continually bringing best practices to the company

Aggregates millions of metrics per second in near-real time

As Israel’s leading news website, and a key part of the Yedioth Ahronoth Media group, ynet has always been a digital-first organization that places data at the heart of everything it does. ynet decided to standardize its databases and data infrastructure, as it wanted to better use its data and share insights between internal departments, as well as with the wider Yedioth Ahronoth Group organization. But ynet realized that its existing on-premises data processing architecture wasn’t suitable for this new approach. ynet turned to Google Cloud to modernize its ways of working with data.

"ynet has the highest traffic for a news site in Israel, and one of the largest in the Middle East," says Rinat Tasker-Madmon, Head of Data Management, ynet. "Google Analytics has always been core to everything we do. We wanted to carry out even more advanced research and, after surveying multiple options, we decided to use Google Cloud. It’s proven to be a great decision."

The road to Google Cloud

ynet chose Google Cloud to help tackle several key business challenges. The most pressing one was dealing with the data that had been siloed across the business, hampering productivity, and leaving analysts and internal users in ynet and sister companies, waiting for answers to their data queries. The data management team also had to develop case-specific infrastructure for each new analytics tool which was expensive and inefficient.

Additionally, creating automatic tools, such as those aimed at optimizing user engagement, for example, was unreliable. The company also wanted to bolster its security.

"Google Analytics has always been core to everything we do. We wanted to carry out even more advanced research and, after surveying multiple options, we decided to use Google Cloud. It’s proven to be a great decision."

Rinat Tasker-Madmon, Head of Data Management, ynet

ynet wanted to find the right solutions for these challenges. The company is now using Cloud Storage and Compute Engine to store its raw data and run the virtual machines which enable its data services. BigQuery is playing a role for Tasker-Madmon and her team, who began experimenting with serverless data warehousing and, after two years of working with BigQuery and being impressed with the interface, reliability, easy file system scaling, and connectivity it offers, have adopted it on a wider scale. BigQuery’s ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools have proven ideal for connecting to both known APIs (application programming interfaces), and the company’s proprietary databases.

Tasker-Madmon believes that Google Cloud offers the best tools for organizing and structuring data, as well as accepting and managing the multiple data schemes and pipelines within the different branches of the organization. These include applications such as Google Ad Manager, as well as internal proprietary databases at ynet and the wider Yedioth Ahronoth group, some of which were created 30 years ago. "It’s not easy to build the data models, or automate work processes that have been in practice since the 1990s, but it’s an investment in our future," Tasker-Madmon adds.

Creating a single source of truth

Once ynet had deployed its Google Cloud infrastructure, the first step Tasker-Madmon and her team took was to create a single source of truth for ynet’s data that could then be used by data scientists across the wider group to reveal valuable business insights. That meant moving all of the data gathered by the different units of the Yedioth Ahronoth Group onto Google Cloud, as well as that collected by ynet, and that from Google Analytics. All of Yedioth Ahronoth Group’s 35 databases and its application analytics data, including scores of apps and websites, are to be moved into a unified BigQuery data warehouse. By creating this single data source, the data management team hopes to achieve more effective analysis and research, including the ability to integrate multiple data sources in near-real-time and create effective assimilation of multiple data points.

The data management team uses these insights to better understand the internal users of its data services, optimize news production processes, and enhance commercial processes for decision makers across the group. "We chose BigQuery because of the natural interoperability it offers with Google Analytics, as well as its integrated research tools," explains Tasker-Madmon. "Building a data warehouse on Google Cloud comes at a lower cost than our previous infrastructure and provides immediate access to cutting edge technology and processes."

"We chose BigQuery because of the natural interoperability it offers with Google Analytics, as well as its integrated research tools. Building a data warehouse on Google Cloud comes at a lower cost than our previous infrastructure and provides immediate access to cutting edge technology and processes."

Rinat Tasker-Madmon, Head of Data Management, ynet

Reaping the rewards

The project is already paying dividends for ynet’s internal user base. And these benefits are also shaping the way ynet is delivering content for its readers in Israel, the Middle East, and beyond. "This was an ambitious project and, although it’s still underway, it‘s already paying off," Tasker-Madmon adds. "We were looking for a platform that could help us grow fast, and allow us to work in an agile way. Google Cloud hit the mark and has improved the overall performance of ynet, while opening up new opportunities."

ynet now has the ability to create advanced dashboards and analysis for its teams, who are collaborating more effectively, both internally and with other departments. News editors on the editorial team now have access to insights that help them operate better internally. The team has also optimized the products and applications it uses, while creating commercial opportunities for its advertisers and partners.

"With Google Cloud, we’re able to aggregate millions of metrics per second in near-real time, stay up-to-date with cutting-edge technologies, and keep growing fast," says Tasker-Madmon.

Looking towards the future

Working with Google Cloud has transformed the way ynet uses its data, and it can now measure user engagement, user insights, and campaign efficiency far more effectively. "Our data experts are working more efficiently, can reach insights faster, and are able to scale and grow according to the changing needs of the organization," says Tasker-Madmon. "We can now create impactful analysis and recommendations, and better understand our users' needs."

But ynet doesn’t want to stop there. The company wants to explore new strategies such as a paywall and personalized content, and will continue working with Google Cloud to ensure that they remain a leading, relevant voice in the competitive news media landscape of Israel.

"With Google Cloud, we’re now able to aggregate millions of metrics per second in near-real time, stay up-to-date with cutting-edge technologies, and grow fast - and that makes all the difference."

Rinat Tasker-Madmon, Head of Data Management, ynet

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About ynet

ynet is Israel's largest news and content website, reaching over five million readers a month. Since its launch in 2000, ynet has brought its readers content on topics ranging from news, economics, and sports to entertainment, culture, and gossip. ynet is part of the larger Yedioth Ahronoth Media Group, which publishes newspapers, magazines, and local media.

Industries: Media & Entertainment
Location: Israel