Chapter 10. Uber: Driven to Democratize Data

As a company, Uber’s mission is to make transportation as reliable as running water. To achieve this, we need to provide a seamless user experience for both riders and drivers as well as be operationally efficient. Both of these goals require the highly proficient and effective use of data.

Data is key to managing supply and demand on our platform. For instance, data enables us to connect drivers with nearby riders to optimize routes for distance and time, maximizing the amount of money made by drivers and reducing the amount of time waited by riders after requesting a trip. Improving the performance of our driver/rider network also means more efficient carpooling with uberPOOL, allowing riders to share rides and save money. Because many factors affect the efficiency of carpooling, data helps us identify the best rider-driver route combinations. For both drivers and riders, data-based optimization is critical for a seamless Uber experience.

Fueled by our data-driven decisions, Uber is a technology company focused on creating new innovations that help improve transportation. It’s crucially important to democratize data so that teams at Uber can utilize it well, regardless of their level of technical skills.

Uber’s First Data Challenge: Too Popular

One of the first challenges Uber had was that it was growing so fast, and teams were scrambling to keep up with this growth. Every team tried to do ...

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