In this case study we explore how we:
- Provided a cloud-based data sharing solution to balance security and ease of use
- Supported efficiency gains by streamlining downstream processes and reporting
- Offered a scalable solution that can be rolled out to multiple clients
To meet the needs of its franchisees, our client needed a robust data sharing solution that would enable franchisees to access relevant company data without:
- Compromising existing systems
- Unintentionally exposing sensitive data
- Breaching security.
The solution needed to be reliable, secure, scalable and deliver an outstanding user experience. Off the back of many successful previous engagements, the client commissioned us to design and implement an appropriate solution.
The cloud solution provided two key benefits for the client:
- Firstly, it preserved the integrity and security of the client’s data by isolating internal on-prem systems and cloud data stores. The configuration of Azure SQL ensured that, while the franchisee could access relevant data, they were not able to touch any components of the enterprise data warehouse.
- Secondly, the subscription model associated with Azure SQL enabled clear visibility of costs and simple financial management. The client could easily assign costs to a specific franchisee, giving a clear view of costs incurred each month.
We configured a data sharing process that provided built-in automation, ease of use and the ability to quickly add or remove data sources to allow for new information or remove redundant ones in the future. As part of the initial configuration, our team created a view for each data source with filters to control access by franchisees and the date range within which data could be viewed. These views were enabled by a master metadata table.
When franchisees needed to access data, the process drew on the master data table to extract relevant data from the client’s data warehouse and push a copy of the information to the Azure cloud platform. Security protocols were built into the process, such as a clean-up process to automatically remove all data files from any local and cloud directories once the process completes. Once the data became available in Azure, an automated process would load the data into AzureSQL to be made available for detailed analysis by franchisees. Simplicity, automation and security were key features of the data sharing process developed by Analytics8.
- Minimise potential impacts to existing on-premise systems
- Preserve data security through isolation of data environments.
For the first time, our client’s largest franchisee has access to a specific sub-set of raw company data. This information can be integrated with other systems or connected to business intelligence tools to identify further operational efficiencies.
With a proven successful approach and a scalable cloud-based solution, Analytics8 can now replicate data sharing arrangements across all franchisees. It can leverage the investment many times over, whilst delivering a platform for franchisees to realise significant new insights and implement business changes accordingly.
We are now working with the client to roll out its Azure solution and associated data sharing processes to other franchisees in line with their specific data needs. Simultaneously, the team is working with the client to extend the capabilities of Azure to meet broader business needs.