Guest Post: How MongoHQ is Discovering Data Using MongoDB & Chartio


About the interview

Melissa Smolensky from Chartio conducted this interview with Chris Winslett, Sales and Revenue Engineer at MongoHQ.

Tell us a little about MongoHQ and your role there.

MongoHQ is a cloud-based database platform used by startups, enterprises, and developers. Customers use our MongoDB platform for varieties of projects and products, ranging from consulting projects to core SaaS products. Our customers chose to run on MongoHQ to save time with our immediately available production MongoDB instances. We run MongoDB on AWS, SoftLayer, and Azure.
I've got many roles at our organization -- the one that drove me to find Chartio was working with our internal reporting team.

Why did you decide to use Chartio?

Like any company, we have many different data stores. We use a combination of SQL, NoSQL, and other services - MongoDB, Postgres, Redis, Reimann, Google Analytics, etc. We needed a platform that would allow us to visualize, experiment, and collaborate with our data. We didn't want to learn new ETL processes, we just wanted a service. Every other service required us to engage with their data store - we had our data stores, we just wanted a front end.

We don't natively support MongoDB, so how do you connect with Chartio?

Since Chartio doesn't support MongoDB (yet), we use MoSQL for our ETL process. Using Heroku's Postgres service and a Heroku runner, MoSQL took less than a day to configure. Now, we have realtime data flowing from our MongoDBs to a Postgres data-warehouse. Chartio was that final piece that we needed on Postgres to enable our data collaboration.

What are your favorite Chartio features?

Since I am an old-school SQL guy, my favorite is the ability to write custom SQL, and it displays on a nice chart. Our financial guys' favorite is the automated real-time data availability - anytime.

How do you use Chartio?

We use Chartio for our "data discovery" process. When a team member has an idea about a valuable metric, we will throw up a quick and dirty dashboard. We can use Chartio to pass the dashboard to the rest of the team for feedback. After feedback, we take the recommendations and improve the presentation or gathering of data.
After the initial creation, the dashboard becomes part of our routine metrics monitoring process. We use both Chartio's dashboard and emailed report scheduler. The email report feature is nice because we can go about developing, but still have timely reports built into our routine.
Also, we've integrated Chartio into our monthly reporting processes. For some complex reports, a developer can build a report with custom sources and custom SQL. That report can be called later with custom filters by a non-developer. With Chartio, we can collaborate on complex, disparate data, and easily add it to our monthly reporting process.

Can you talk through a specific use case where Chartio helped solve a business problem? We started using Chartio in Fall 2013 after we hired a financial guy. He needed access to data that was once only available to developers writing queries. Chartio gave us the ability to process-itize data gathering and reporting.

How often do you check Chartio?

Multiple times / day.

You can find out more about using Chartio with MongoDB on the Chartio Blog.

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