Behind the screen: the Bench Platform

Behind the screen: the Bench Platform

In this series, we go behind-the-screens and share how data flows into the Bench platform seamlessly from a range of different sources. We’ll describe the process of data monitoring and how validation tools can help marketers gather actionable insights from their campaigns.

Our development team is at the helm of the platform, continuously finding innovative solutions for our clients and team through the platform, and they work everyday to ensure it is a well-oiled machine.

How do they do this? In part 1, we hear from our Director of Technology, David Cameron, about the systems the team has put in place to make sure data is imported smoothly. Essentially, we get a glimpse into a day in the life of the development team.

At Bench, we import data from over 20 different sources to report on all of our campaigns for our customers. This is updated daily so our customers can make strategic decisions. What goes on behind the scenes to make sure this all works?

The short answer: we monitor everything at each stage and get notifications when anything breaks.

We’re always watching everything to make sure nothing goes wrong.

How it all works

First, a quick introduction to how we import all the different data sources into the platform. It’s a complex system, and involves us pulling data from multiple sources into one centralised space. This allows for our customers to view all the relevant data and to make strategic decisions in an instant:


The ‘grabbers’: pulling data from Facebook, DV360 and The Trade Desk

We have some services we call grabbers, which connect to the APIs. At the first stage, we have alerts if the grabbers fail for any reason. Sometimes these trigger because of an issue on the DSP side, but often this is just a short-term issue that goes away, and the next import works fine. We get notified each time this fails and investigate in case.

Datamatic: preparing data from other platforms to be processed

We have an internal tool called Datamatic, which we use to transform data from many of the platforms into one common format. If Datamatic fails for any reason, this will generate notifications. We monitor this in a couple of different ways, just to make sure we get told when something has broken.

Recently, we had a problem with the process of deploying Datamatic. The monitoring we have in place meant that we were notified about the problem as soon as it happened. We had time to investigate and fix the issue, without any of our users noticing the minor blip.

ETL: processing the data

Things can also fail as we process the data in our Extract Transform Load (ETL) process. To provide another example here, we’ve had an intermittent issue where DV360 doesn’t provide us with the latest version of a report. It’s a problem on Google’s side and it has corrected itself, but it’s another way we’ve been notified of a problem which we’ve investigated.

End-to-end checks

Lastly, what we really care about is that everything works end-to-end. It’s not much help if the individual steps all worked, but all the pieces didn’t work together. Or if one of the pieces failed without sending a notification, such as a grabber failing silently. So we also run checks every day to make sure we have the latest data from each platform.

These are customised for each platform, so that we know as soon as possible if we’re missing data from any of the platforms.

Putting it all together

With all of this in place, we know when each process of the individual parts of the data import happen. We also know when we don’t have data for any one of the platforms we support.

To give you an idea of some of the notifications we’ve had in the past few weeks:

  • Notification of errors in Datamatic, related to a deployment. Fixed and deployed later that day.
  • Notification from Facebook, The Trade Desk and DV360 ETL. This turned out to be a network connectivity issue for Amazon Web Services (AWS), which resolved itself.

And that’s how we keep the machine running smoothly.

Want to know more? We’d love to answer all your questions about the Bench Platform and how it works and to power marketing teams.

Contact us

2560 1657 Bench Media
Shai Luft - Bench Media

Chief Operating Officer

Shai Luft

Meet Shai Luft, a senior marketing executive with a proven track record of delivering results for Australia’s largest ASX200-listed companies. Despite his success, Shai was frustrated by the amount of red tape and bureaucracy that held back marketing innovation. That’s why he co-founded Bench in 2012. As the driving force behind Bench’s operations, Shai is committed to empower marketers with the agility and control they need to achieve their best results.

Ori Gold - Bench Media

Chief Executive Officer

Ori Gold

Meet Ori Gold, an ad tech and martech expert. Driven by the frustration of everyday marketers facing a lack of control and accessibility, Ori co-founded Bench in 2012 to revolutionise the digital advertising landscape. Heading the talented and forward-thinking team at Bench, Ori is the driving force behind the company’s strategic and product vision. Thanks to Ori’s leadership, Bench has become one of the most respected and successful digital agencies in Australia.

General Manager

Liam Garratt

Meet Liam Garratt, the creative mind behind Bench’s top-notch products and services. With a career in digital media spanning over a decade, Liam has made a name for himself as a leader in the industry. He got his start in 2011 working for UK-based programmatic platform Crimtan, where he played a key role in launching the company’s Australian office. In 2017, Liam brought his expertise to Bench, where he now leads the Product & Services functions. Liam is passionate about delivering only the highest quality products and services to Bench’s clients. His commitment to excellence is the foundation of Bench’s stellar reputation.

VP of Growth

Anthony Fargeot

Meet Anthony Fargeot, the pioneer behind Bench’s growth and success. Joining Bench in its infancy in 2013, Anthony’s experience with high-growth start-ups gave him the skills to help Bench become one of the most successful digital agencies in Australia. As Head of Client Services and then Director of Operations, Anthony led Bench through its highest growth period. Today, as VP of Growth, Anthony uses his creative thinking and strategic insights to always look for new and innovative ways to help Bench stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing digital landscape.