European sports betting leader company slashes API delivery time with Hasura

From rising startups to Fortune 10 technology leaders, businesses of all sizes and industries have adopted Hasura as their API platform, for use cases ranging from federated data access to monolith decomposition.

In the Hasura Chronicles blog series, we share anonymized narratives of these use cases – highlighting their challenges and goals, and how Hasura fits their use case.

In the fast-paced world of sports betting and gambling, data isn't just a resource – it's the industry’s lifeblood.

A leading company in the sports betting and entertainment sector knows this well and has invested in building a robust data platform that enables them to deliver richer customer experiences through data.

“Our mission is to provide quality, trusted, customer-oriented data to the rest of the technology teams,” said the Head of Data Architecture. Their team is responsible for driving the data strategy, roadmap, and technology for one of their European markets.

Deploying Hasura: A bet that paid off

The data team collects, transforms, and aggregates customer-oriented data from all company operational systems into a centralized PostgreSQL data warehouse, and makes it available to the broader technology group via APIs. These APIs feed a variety of metrics into a range of customer-facing applications, from customer recommendations to safety tools, such as a user knowing how much they’ve spent.

Hasura is a cornerstone of this mission-critical infrastructure. The data in Hasura is extremely customer-oriented: The company keeps key stats about every customer such as favorite sport, time of last bet, winnings, and segmentations. Hasura serves around 10 apps and provides data directly to customer-facing websites, translating to millions of requests.

"With Hasura, we're not just keeping pace; we're setting the pace, offering new features and experiences faster than ever before," said the Head of Data Architecture, capturing the transformative effect of Hasura on the company’s data operations.

"With Hasura, we're not just keeping pace; we're setting the pace, offering new features and experiences faster than ever before." – Head of Data Architecture

Expedited time to API – from months to days

Since all customer-oriented data is centrally managed and served by the data team, they were tediously building bespoke APIs for each use case requiring access to this data. Every team demanded APIs tailored to their precise specifications, which took longer, was a boring job, and delayed other work.

Well aware of the downstream impact of their backlog, the Head of Data Architecture said, "The opportunity cost is that our stakeholders don't have the data they need. So, they just don't even build the feature.” They knew the path forward required a new approach to APIs. The team needed a solution that sped up time to API, while also meeting their strict performance and security requirements. One of their team members discovered Hasura.

The data architects think of Hasura as an API maker in a box. “Getting new features that required custom APIs could take a month or two when we were coding in Python,” they said. “Now, it’s less than a week.”

“Getting new features that require custom APIs could take a month or two. Now, it’s less than a week.”

This dramatically accelerated the pace at which new features could be launched, which also freed the data team to focus on more impactful work.

From data modeling to APIs: Overcoming coding challenges

Like most data platform teams, the company’s data team is skilled in SQL and data modeling. Coding APIs is not a primary skill set of the team, explained the Head of Data Architecture, who said, “Although we're a big data team with about 150 people, only a subset have the skills to build Python APIs. So that meant sometimes when other teams asked for these APIs, they would have had to wait. Now [with Hasura], they don't.”

To make an API with Hasura, they only need to model the data and use SQL (their bread and butter) to get data into that database. Hasura enables the data team to leverage its core strengths. Now anyone can make their data available via an API.

Low latency, even at peak loads

Since these APIs served data to core websites, the data team had demanding latency requirements. The company requires an internal threshold of 50 ms response time and a 99.99% uptime.

Since going into production almost a year ago, Hasura has handled some of its heaviest loads without a hitch. The head of data architecture continues, “We have just been through our spring racing period, which includes big horse racing festivals like the Grand National and Cheltenham Festival. And we didn't even think about performance. Hasura just handled it.”

Hasura has eliminated most of the time and effort the team spends tuning and debugging performance issues. “Before Hasura, we probably spent months fine-tuning performance,” they said. Plus, fixing bugs in their Python code or packages, managing upgrades, etc. added to the maintenance load. Hasura removes all of those pains.

Precise access control for a heavily regulated sector

When asked about his favorite Hasura feature, the team lead replied, without a pause, “Hasura’s permission system.” The company operates in a heavily regulated gambling industry, and he explains that in many ways they are regulated in the same way as banks.

Hasura lets them easily set up fine-grained permissions on who can access what data, down to the row and column. It also enables the company to meet detailed audit requirements to demonstrate who accessed which data, and when.

Enabling self-serve data with composable APIs

Composability delivered by Hasura and GraphQL has freed up time on the data team and enabled self-serve data access.

“We recognized early with Hasura that having that kind of GraphQL interface enabled the tech teams to ask for the data they wanted, without involving us every time,” they said.

Every game and betting opportunity is part of a different system in the company, meaning the data team ingests data from many different internal sources. They didn’t want to have to do engineering work every time a new online game was added for customers. Hasura allows the data to get into the APIs without the extra effort.

“Hasura has enabled us to deliver data to our stakeholders faster and easier than ever before. We don’t create custom endpoints anymore,” they said, describing how composability benefits the team.

“Hasura has enabled us to deliver data to our stakeholders faster and easier than ever before. We don’t create custom endpoints anymore.”

Have a similar use case? Talk to us about how Hasura can help.

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11 Jul, 2024
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