How Amplitude Helps Canva Scale Through Data Democratization and Quick Testing
Amplitude isn’t just for data scientists—users across teams use the platform to make strategic decisions
faster funnel creation than with Python
Canva is an online design and publishing platform that provides user-friendly design tools for non-designers. Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, the platform boasts more than 60 million monthly users in 190 countries.
Since 2013, Canva has empowered the world to design. Canva is an online design and publishing platform headquartered in Sydney, Australia, that provides user-friendly design tools for non-designers. Canva has more than 60 million monthly users in 190 countries creating more than seven billion total designs. To further develop this tool for non-designers, Canva needs to continuously learn more about their customers. For that, they use Amplitude.
Too much data, no easy way to explore it
Canva wanted to empower non-technical stakeholders with self-serve data to drill down into different areas as needed. They had a data warehouse, but the barriers to entry were a little too high for the average user.
To grow Canva at scale, non-technical people need to segment audiences and create funnels. It was hard for product managers to dive into new releases and see how new features performed or get a breakdown of a funnel. Quickly after launch, the team saw the need for a more detailed product analytics solution.
Empowering everyone with self-service analytics
It’s tempting for data professionals to look for a silver bullet in an ecosystem of tools. Canva adopted Amplitude as a digital product analytics and growth tool early on in their data journey because it’s the best platform available for funnel analysis and segmentation. With an intuitive user interface and flexible event schemas that make it easy to “slice and dice” different properties, users can change dashboards on the fly and quickly see results.
I haven’t seen anything on the market that hits the sweet spot like Amplitude without having to learn SQL
Similar to how Canva provides non-designers with the tools they need to create professional-quality designs, Amplitude empowers non-technical team members to use data to make decisions. While product managers are Amplitude’s primary users at Canva, it’s use has expanded to other teams, such as engineering, design, data science, product, and growth.
It’s been helpful to select a field and quickly pivot without utilizing a data specialist on the team.
In addition to democratizing data, Amplitude also makes finding and solving problems easy. Amplitude is Canva’s primary real-time user behavior monitoring tool. As experiments roll out, the first place data is available is Amplitude—often within five minutes. This real-time monitoring and insight capability is a huge asset when monitoring critical experiments that positively affect core business metrics. In one instance, a problem was spotted within one hour of an experiment rollout. Finding the root cause of the problem can be a big ordeal, but Amplitude’s funnel and pathways tools help quickly identify issues.
In a product as rich as Canva, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what pages and features are live. Now, teams use Amplitude to track all traffic and changes, and answer ad hoc questions as they arise.
Making strategic decisions based in data
There are 1,340 total Amplitude users at Canva, and nearly 350 active monthly users. As more people have gained access to data, Canva’s technical and non-technical teams can test and make strategic decisions faster.
It’s quick and easy to create a multi-step funnel of a user journey, which helps me quickly identify what’s going on and share it with our team members. I can put together a funnel in 10 minutes, in Python it could take an hour or two.
In one example, Amplitude informed a team to make a strategic decision to reuse as much of their web technology as possible on mobile apps. While this strategy has many advantages, an obvious concern is whether it impacts conversion rates or the code is slower on certain devices, impacting the overall user experience. As they were waiting on parity on signups and upgrades on iOS and Android, they watched Amplitude dashboards in real time.
These days, most people are intuitively able to get what they need in Amplitude without having to talk to a data analyst or deciphering a more complicated BI tool. The self-serve nature of Amplitude combined with a near real-time data flow means it’s easy to use data for strategic planning—and to quickly change course if required. Canva is becoming more data driven as they go, and the insights from Amplitude guide them toward the right direction for their product and customers.
It was helpful to see which devices weren’t working so we could dive in, and which were performing well. It’s quite impressive what we can see given the amount of data we’re pushing into Amplitude.
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