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Home Builder


Background

Overcoming the fall of the housing market in the late 2000s, the Home Builder industry has seen massive growth as a result of the increase of higher disposable incomes and improving economic activity. For many home building organizations, this surge in interest meant an influx of data points and need for overall governance and maintenance of the big data they control. One home builder, in particular, lacked a strategy for data control and overall reporting capabilities. Their ad-hoc reporting methods were generated from a legacy data warehouse and slow-moving analytic technologies. The stakeholders at this organization, however, knew the value of a digital transformation. In fact, they were proactive in their digital outlook and wanted to improve their overall marketing effectiveness to understand where their digital efforts were best spent. Looking to enhance their storage, analytic capabilities and overall data strategy, they looked to CCG for a Platform Modernization solution.

Challenge 

As one of the largest Home Builders in the US, completely scraping their data storage and reporting methods was not an option. The organization knew, however, that their slow and non-operationalized analytics needed an update. Their current on-premises solution was built on Informatica, and all reporting capabilities were hosted through Google Sheets. The separated source systems used forwarded cell references and coded systems which lead to be vastly ineffective.

The need for an enhanced data solution was simple, this home builder wanted to enhance their marketing effectiveness to know where and how they should spend their time, money and energy. Unfortunately, their reporting methods took one to three months to process, and their KPIs were unmet due to their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools not communicating with one another. Their current marketing source systems were built on Oracle CRM, Salesforce and S Base, with reporting from Google Analytics. Frustrated by the lack of insight into the massive amount of data they had, the SVP of Strategy and Head of Marketing looked to CCG to provide a way to store, report on and analyze the data from which they were desperately trying to get answers.

Solution

CCG worked with the company to transform their current data platform with upgraded technologies and simplified processes. First, CCG collaborated with the Executive Team to better understand their digital ambition through an Assessment, Vision, Roadmap engagement. This Home Builder sought to move their big data to the cloud and enhance their analytics through efficient technologies. The benefits they saw of cloud were:

  • Reduced Total Cost of Ownership
  • System updates in real time instead of manual upgrades
  • More control of environment for issue resolution
  • Little to no physical on-premise storage - saving space and maintenance cost 
  • Ease of systems reporting and analytics tool integration for data visualizations and self-service

CCG performed an evaluation of the total cost of ownership for storing their data and together, decided the best decision was to move their core systems to Microsoft Azure Cloud. To avoid a massive lift and shift, CCG used Informatica to redesign their on-premises databases and continue data movement. Data movement to the Azure cloud improved through Azure Data Factory and SQL Server Integration Services. CCG further pointed the Home Builder’s IBM Cognos instance to Azure and built out Power BI dashboards from that data transfer for analytics and self-service. Microsoft Power Apps was then used to replace Google Sheets and their cross-referenced and non-repeatable reporting methods.

This project, coined “Division Relief,” empowered the Marketing department to achieve greater return on investment from their CRM solutions. CCG developed an automated process to take key performance metrics from Oracle CRM and Salesforce and consolidated them into a Semantic layer with the use of Azure Analytics. This process enabled data users more control of key metrics as well as the ability to reduce the reporting process from one to three months down to one day. They further saw time to value in terms of access to data and the ability to change metrics without lengthy processes or need for siloed data manipulation.

Additionally, the client wanted enhanced cloud storage options with analytics built on for better insight into their end-to-end marketing effectiveness. With their data on a legacy on-premises data warehouse, they truly needed a short-term technical strategy that didn’t disrupt active business processes, and a long-term strategy that led to greater ROI for the entire organization. With the help of CCG, this home builder enacted a Platform Modernization strategy that would empower users with data insights, while upgrading their data platform for maintenance and scalability.

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Quick Facts

  • Industry - Home Building / Construction
  • Solution - Platform Modernization
  • Technology - Microsoft Azure
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