Case Studies
June 18, 2024

Content Overload: How to Halve Your Unused Content Using Spectacles

Headshot of Spectacles co-founder Dylan Atlas-Baker
Dylan Atlas-Baker
Co-Founder, Spectacles
Pet Circle case study, minimalist graphic.

Pet Circle is a leading online pet product retailer in Australia. They have been using Looker for a couple of years, and started using Spectacles a year ago. We spoke to Hamish Gray, Tech Lead within the Data Team at Pet Circle, to see what results he has seen since he began working with us. Hamish and his team run a GCP-based data platform that is used across the business.

 ⛰️ The Challenge

After using Looker for a year, Pet Circle had a real glut of unused content. Duplicated and legacy content made searching difficult and frustrating in the UI. Managing this "by hand" (through the standard Looker interface) was more or less impossible.

Looker doesn’t tell you who is using the content in your instance, or how often, meaning data teams are often fearful of deleting content. What if it turns out to be of vital importance to an executive in another team?

✅ The Solution

Using the Spectacles content management tool, Pet Circle developed a weekly process to clean out old content. Spectacles notifies Pet Circle content owners and viewers of scheduled deletions and gives them a chance to opt out. This process has more than halved their content bloat, taking the rate of unused content from 80% to 30-40%.

In their significantly decluttered instance, search results are more efficient and relevant. Pet Circle developers encounter fewer content validation errors in Spectacles CI checks during development because the surface area for testing is reduced. Win, win.

🚀 The Upshot

Hamish reflects:

We have got such value from Spectacles it's crazy—we have halved our team size and doubled our output! Spectacles has changed how we use Looker completely. It's now a critical part of our deployment process. We are using the Style checks to make sure everything is as we want. We have also taken a strong lead from a number of Spectacles webinars about how to use Looker both for LookML and for content management”.

Pet Circle continues to optimize their instance, with the Spectacles team supporting them every step of the way.

“It has been really easy to integrate Spectacles - support has been great and we could not do without it now”.

How can Spectacles help you with your content management?

Spectacles helps data-driven organizations reduce development costs, improve velocity, and increase stakeholder trust by testing Looker instances and LookML code throughout the development cycle. Our proprietary content management tool allows you to either delete content immediately, or queue content for deletion in a number of days, notifying content owners and relevant users and giving them the chance to opt out. 

There are a number of benefits to cleaning up your Looker instance:

  1. It is easier for users to find the content they are actually looking for in Looker. This massively improves the Looker UX and increases confidence in Looker from business users.
  2. When developing in LookML, you no longer have to maintain dashboards that aren't being used, meaning fewer content validation errors in Looker and less time maintaining unused legacy code.
  3. Deleting content speeds up Looker, because there is less content to sift through in the Looker database.
  4. It future-proofs your instance to enable you to use the external tools that work with Looker, as you have a clean set of data that enables users to find the most relevant content more easily.

Spectacles makes it easy to spring clean your instance, Marie Kondo-style, without the manual legwork. Book in a 15 minute call with our co-founder, Dylan, to see how we can support you.

Stop stressing about Looker today

Spectacles saves you hours of bug-fixing and boosts confidence in your Looker dashboards. Book a call with our Looker experts to find out how!