Slope Software Leverages Sigma to Land its Biggest Deal and Achieve Record Revenue Growth

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About Slope Software

Founded by a seasoned actuary and an enterprise software engineer, Slope Software is the first and only cloud-native financial projection ecosystem for the actuarial community. Actuaries analyze, forecast and manage the potential impact of risk, and Slope allows them to spend more time finding key insights and less time managing software. Many leading insurance and pension companies are now relying on Slope to make better, data-driven decisions. 

The Challenge

Limited Functionality & Unnecessary Complexity with Looker

Actuaries are in the business of forecasting risk, and Slope Software simplifies the work of managing and analyzing the vast stores of data that feed into and out of their projections. Slope securely stores customer data in a Snowflake data warehouse, and needs to make it easy for their actuarial clients to use Slope’s platform to analyze data, create visualizations, generate custom reports, and more. 

Initially, Slope enlisted Looker as its embedded solution provider. Looker acts as a business logic layer in a company's analytics stack that requires all data to go through the platform's modeling layer using Looker's proprietary modeling language, LookML. This puts undue strain on resources, adds time and complexity, and slows down workflows. Whenever Slope wanted to adjust something, such as making a new field available, their own development team had to go in and do the work, then figure out how to provide the new capability to their customers in a generic way.  

Taylor and his team quickly ruled out Power BI and Sisense because they needed more capabilities, and Domo was far too expensive. Ultimately, they wanted to be able to layer a platform on top of their cloud data warehouse that would simplify analytics and make data more accessible for their end users.

The Solution

Sigma Implementation and Optimization

We’re definitely power users. We’re probably using all of the features Sigma offers on the embedding side, plus some features that are still in beta. We’re hoping that what Sigma has learned from implementing with us will help Sigma become the best embedding solution on the market. It’s an incredible product.
—Taylor Perkins, Co-founder & CTO, Slope Software

Sigma provided a simpler, more powerful platform that simultaneously reduces the workload on Slope’s internal teams and empowers the actuaries at its customers. The embedded Sigma software functions as part of a single integrated solution for Slope’s customers, enabling them to directly access live data in Snowflake—without an additional business logic layer like LookML—at the speed and scale of the cloud. These actuaries can easily analyze and filter huge datasets, uncover valuable insights, and manage and forecast risks with greater confidence. And Taylor himself is extremely pleased with the switch from Looker to Sigma.

The Results

Enhanced Functionality & Resource Savings 

Today, the company estimates that its user base is 200% larger than this time last year, and the technology is delivering far more than its predecessor.

Familiar Interface

Actuaries are very mathematical by nature. They love spreadsheets, so Taylor knew Sigma’s simple spreadsheet interface would be a huge hit with his customers. 

Our users love it because it’s just a spreadsheet sitting on top of a warehouse. That was really compelling because we knew our customers were going to be able to get up to speed on using Sigma really quickly.
—Taylor Perkins, Co-founder & CTO, Slope Software

Usage & Learning Curve

Slope’s customers have become power users of Sigma—actuaries use the software intensely and push its capabilities. Taylor has observed that people become adept at getting the most out of the platform very quickly. “People seem to be able to learn it faster,” he adds. Slope has seen its customers get up to speed in hours as opposed to months with Looker, due to its complexity. 

More Business & Revenue

The embedded Sigma platform has also emerged as a potential differentiator in Slope’s sales cycle. The company landed its biggest customer–a major consulting firm–in Q3 2022 after reviewing some of its new Sigma-powered capabilities with the prospect. The consulting firm immediately recognized that they could generate and share reports that they hadn’t been able to create with their previous solution. 

Time & Resource Savings

In the past, Slope’s customers had to approach the company when they wanted to do something novel, which turned into new work for Slope’s dev team. This often translated to a developer’s salary in the $150,000/yr range. Now end users can effectively do this work themselves through Sigma. Not only does this reduce the workload on Slope’s dev team, but it also allows the company’s customers to get things done faster.

When Slope does need to add a feature or capability, the process is accelerated with Sigma relative to Looker. Taylor and his team ran an experiment in which they compared building something in Looker themselves versus building something in Sigma with the customer. With Sigma, the customer was empowered to build the dashboard themselves in under an hour, versus needing Slope’s team to update Looker in order to add the functionality, which could take weeks of development time and must be prioritized among other features.

Functionality & Simplified Sharing

“We can now build reports that were impossible to build in Looker and enable our customers to do the same. Sigma is just better all around.” Taylor Perkins, Co-founder & CTO, Slope Software

We were able to land our biggest customer—a major consulting firm—in Q3 2022 after reviewing some of our new Sigma-powered capabilities with the prospect.
—Taylor Perkins, Co-founder & CTO, Slope Software

Slope’s customers need to be able to update or change a workbook and share that out to one of their own clients or colleagues. With Sigma embedded in their platform, actuaries can easily generate a shareable URL to any workbook.  

To conclude, the combination of time & resource savings, enhanced value to customers, a strong product roadmap, and the added bonus of assisting during the sales cycle has strengthened Taylor’s conviction that Slope Software made the right choice switching from Looker to Sigma. 

By the numbers
99% reduction in time spent building custom dashboards
80% faster embedded analytics implementation with Sigma compared to Looker
150% YoY revenue growth in FY 23 due in part to enhanced Sigma capabilities
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