Pythian helps Skillz level up their gaming system with Google BigQuery

1 min read
Sep 5, 2023


Global Engineering Company


Construction, Engineering, Government


Boston, Massachusetts

Skillz is a leading mobile eSports platform that connects 2.6 billion mobile gamers through competition. With their growing user community, Skillz was experiencing rising storage costs and needed to find a cost-effective data warehouse solution. Google Cloud was identified as a possible solution because of its pricing structure. However, since their transactional data was coming into a MySQL server, they needed to ingest data into the data warehouse in near real-time to get a true and timely idea of user activity and performance. The Skillz environment had many layers and included very complex code, along with geographical data that required customization and optimization. 

Their current Amazon RedShift instance had latency issues and did not provide the performance they needed. In the long term, Skillz wanted to move to an ‘event-driven’ analytics structure. However, they could not do this with the high cost and low performance of their current solution. Skillz was looking to demonstrate the benefits of migrating analytics workloads from AWS RedShift to Google BigQuery by implementing a critical workload on BigQuery. The project required batch synchronization from MySQL to BigQuery, as well as migrating RedShift-based ETLs to BigQuery/Dataflow.  

The Skillz teams were too busy to perform the complex data integration needed to test a new data warehouse platform. On Google’s recommendation, Skillz engaged Pythian to modernize their data warehouse on Google BigQuery. 


What we did

  • Became an extension of the Skillz engineering team; joined in on team conversations on Slack and Google Hangouts 
  • Converted and validated existing ETLs and analytical queries 
  • Provided required optimizations for BigQuery 

Technologies used

  • Google BigQuery
  • Google DataFlow
  • MySQL

Key Outcomes

 Working with Pythian was a smooth, seamless experience. They came in and hit the ground running, working like an extension of our engineering team, and joining in on our communications platforms, including the Slack team channel and Google Hangouts. They were very accommodating.

– Miriam Aguirre, VP Engineering, Skillz 

Minutes instead of hours

to generate queries based on player events and interactions

Improved user experience

by making it more personalized as users played on the Skillz system

Reduced costs

for data storage

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