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How Simply Wall Street uses feature flags to deliver sleek 
and accessible analytics

Simply Wall Street

By shifting to a more streamlined solution, Simply Wall St. can now run more experiments in faster loops, simplify the codebase, and enable the team to spend time on the right things.

  • Accelerate experimentation

    Run more experiments in faster loops

  • Streamline the Codebase for Improved Productivity

    Simplify your codebase and enable your team to spend more time on the things that matter

  • Better support of all teams

    Feel secure in self-sufficient, better equipped teams

Case Study

Simply Wall Steet is a stock data visualization platform that is accessible to any level of investor. Its product has a stunning UX performance, with a mission to empower every individual investor to build a successful portfolio.

The company currently services over 5 million registered users in 170 countries and offers unique in-depth visual reports for 150k stocks across 95 global markets.

Challenge

Simply Wall St. is a growing company. With growth comes change and the company recognized that they needed something new. 

“We were outgrowing our previous solution. We were looking for something that would provide good performance and scalability for both backend and frontend scenarios, and we needed something more advanced than the one we were using before,” says Dan Tan, Platform Engineering Manager. 

The company found that only their most technologically savvy team members were able to utilize the tool they were using. 

“It was not very intuitive to use and hard to run onboarding experiments. Only a handful of developers used our previous flagging tool,”  shares Xavi Ferro, Head of Engineering. 

Xavi also noted that there were gaps in the platform’s capabilities.

“It was important to us to be able to track anonymous users well and control experiments at scale. We needed a tool that could evaluate flags targeting anonymous users,” says Xavi.

This was creating unnecessary barriers to the company’s performance and scalability potential.

“Because our previous tool was limited, we found ourselves building around these limitations instead of focusing on solving the user’s problem,” says Xavi.

Simply Wall Street was spending a lot of time and energy finding ways to work around the limitations of their previous tool. The company decided that they needed a more user friendly and multifaceted solution. 

Solution

After searching for a solution that could deliver in ways their previous solution couldn’t, Simply Wall Street tested out Unleash’s offering. 

“We heavily use feature flags both for experimentation and risk mitigation. Unleash allows us to have multiple teams working in parallel, mitigating impact in case things go wrong. More teams are comfortable, confident, and happy to interact with Unleash as compared to our old solution,” Xavi shares.

The company has noticed more robust conversations since transitioning to Unleash.

“The UI is way better with Unleash. This has enabled our product managers to access the tool and is creating valuable discussions.”

For Xavi, part of the initial appeal was that Unleash’s pricing plans felt accessible.

“I think current pricing makes it very valuable for small startup companies like ours that have a freemium model. Other offerings out there wouldn’t fit our specific business requirements,” says Xavi.

The ability to track all cohorts, including anonymous users, was also important for the company. 

“We want to closely monitor any new experience, comparing one cohort to many, and Unleash allows us to do that.”

Results

After starting to use Unleash, it wasn’t long until Dan noticed teams developing a better understanding of feature flags. 

“Unleash has allowed teams to become more self-sufficient. They are able to read the documentation available without having to bug the centralized platform team,” Dan shares.

Xavi found that introducing a solution with better UX and UI enticed more teams to join in on the conversations.

“Another big improvement has been that product managers are keen to access the tool and discuss strategies with the team, whereas the previous solution wasn’t suitable for users with more limited tech skills,” says Xavi.

This has been a huge time-saver for Xavi.

“In our case, it has increased our ability to run more experiments in faster loops, which is the right mindset for a scale up company,” Xavi shares.

Unleash’s intuitive nature has created space for developers to make better use of their skills and time. 

“We don’t have to build around technical limitations anymore. Flags can be evaluated every time with minor performance impact. This simplifies the codebase and enables the team to spend the time on the right things,” says Xavi.

Simply Wall Street now uses Unleash to better support all of its teams. 

“We now have developers who are able to focus on the right things, product managers who are excited to interact with our solution, and teams that are better equipped to be self-sufficient.” 

Xavi’s advice for companies new to feature flags

  • Making use of feature flags is a multiplier for any technology company. You want to give feature teams the ability to work in parallel minimizing the disruption between them.
  • Don’t be afraid of feature flags! Your team can both experiment faster and minimize risk. It really is possible.
  • Mindset matters. Any start-up/scale-up company needs to be in a mindset of trying more experiments in faster loops while controlling the risks. 

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