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Diego Ferreira

Stepathlon helps individuals reach their health goals with DataStax Enterprise

By Diego FerreiraNovember 14, 2016

This post is one in a series of quick-hit interviews with companies using DataStax Enterprise (DSE) for key parts of their business. For this interview, we talked with Advait Suhas Pandit, CTO at Stepathlon.


DataStax: Hello Advait, thanks a lot for your time today. Could you please tell us a bit about Stepathlon, what exactly you offer and your role there
Stepathlon: Referred to as the ‘Potential Facebook of Wellness’ by Business India, Stepathlon is a global pedometer based mass participation event for employees. Stepathletes’ daily step counts are converted into kilometres, as teams race around a ‘virtual world’. This corporate mass participation initiative motivates individuals towards a daily 10,000 step goal with a view to cultivate behavioral change over a 100-day period using principles of gamification and engagement.

I serve as the CTO for Stepathlon.

DataStax: What exactly makes your wellness application innovative? So far, you’ve had companies from over 50 countries participating in the races, correct?
StepathlonStepathlon is simple and easy to implement and has been designed for maximum inclusivity. We welcome everyone regardless of age, gender, location or job function. The Stepathlon 12 month program consists of 9 scientifically tailored ‘Stepping Stones’, designed to help individuals reach their health goals in a simple, fun and engaging manner. The foundation of the program is the 100 Day Race, a global, mass participation corporate initiative motivating individuals towards a daily 10,000 step goal using principles of mass participation, self-quantification, gamification and gratification.

We have now engaged with over 180,000 people from 54 countries across the world.

DataStax: Did you use a different technology before you started using DataStax Enterprise?
StepathlonBefore DataStax Enterprise, we used MySQL.

DataStax: Why did you decide to use DataStax Enterprise? What kind of data is stored there?
StepathlonWe switched to DataStax Enterprise because we wanted to be scalable with our ever growing number of users. We store all high read-write data such as activity entry (step counts, and other physical activities recorded by Stepathletes), user contributions such as blogs, and the related social actions such as likes, comments, etc.

DataStax: How would you sum up the benefits you’ve achieved with DataStax Enterprise (DSE)?
StepathlonFirst of all, infra management has becomes a breeze for my Infra Manager since everything is integrated really well. Secondly, from an app perspective it has become highly scalable and super fast.

DataStax: What caused you to use DSE over open source Apache Cassandra™?
StepathlonThe integration between Apache Cassandra™ and Apache Solr™.

DataStax: What features from the DataStax Enterprise (DSE) stack are you using at the moment?
StepathlonCurrently Apache Cassandra™, DSE OpsCenter and Apache Solr™. We write to Apache Cassandra™ and do all our reads/searches from Apache Solr™. 

DataStax: Tell us about the future of your project, do you intend to leverage other parts of DSE to make it a reality?
StepathlonWe plan on using Apache Spark™ for our advanced data needs in the near future, and also looking at using DSE Graph features for our social features on the platform.

DataStax: What advice would you give to other startups that are thinking about using DataStax Enterprise for the first time in their solutions?
StepathlonThe most important thing is to understand whether your use case actually needs Apache Cassandra™. Post that, spend the time thinking about different use cases and how you plan on using the data so that your data models are well thought through. Go through the different videos available online because a lot of real life use cases are covered in those.





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