The organisation had previously and unsuccessfully attempted to implement a CRM solution to gain a single view of customer data. It had launched a mobile app to gather some customer information, but without a CRM or integrations with other core business systems, the data collected from the app lacked meaning.
Our client needed a way to realise value from its mobile app data, better understand its customer base, manage multiple data sources and business systems, and deliver personalised content to its customers to encourage repeat visits.
The solution needed to provide the following capabilities:
- Enable integration between the CRM system and the mobile app
- Use Bluetooth beacons to identify when app users are within range
- Deliver mobile push notifications based on user location
- Enable consumer segmentation through near real-time insights to gain a better understanding of the end customer
- Support real-time data flow and interaction between the CRM, the mobile app and core business systems along the customer journey (e.g. from downloading the app to placing an order, entering a store and purchasing a meal – potentially with a personalised discount voucher).
Analytics8 involvement focused on two areas:
- Integrating new datasets from mostly cloud-based systems into the enterprise data warehouse
- Advising the organisation in terms of better use of cloud-based services for the management of its data platform
With deep expertise in business intelligence, data warehousing and integration and cloud-based solutions, our team was well placed to navigate the organisation’s technology architecture. Their AppBoy cloud marketing platform, for example, required a non-standard integration with both the classic Microsoft stack data warehouses and Microsoft reporting solutions.
While some datasets already existed in the enterprise data warehouse, the use of AppBoy’s data would allow for further enrichment of customer datasets, leading to improved customer understanding. The main technical challenge was building the data integration processes between two disparate systems. With this in mind, our scope for data enrichment was soon expanded to include near-real-time integration between AppBoy (the marketing platform), the data warehouse, and Bluetooth beacons.
AppBoy was supported by the classic Microsoft stack for the data warehouse (with SQL Server 2014 for the database), SQL Server Integration Services for data integration and delivery, MicroStrategy for reporting and Amazon RDS to store sales data at the lowest level of granularity (i.e. sales docket items).
We took a structured and strategy-led approach to the data integration effort. Working alongside multiple service providers and adhering to best practice, our Microsoft and Data Integration teams worked collaboratively to gain a holistic understanding of the current state of data, as well as a coherent view of changes that would be needed to support new technology implementation.
The team was able to define – and answer – key strategic questions relating to data management. For example, how would the CRM change our client’s understanding of its customer data? Would existing data need to be remodeled to account for new information in a CRM world? And, what would be the best approach to integrating data across business systems?
Next, our team defined detailed scenarios modelling information flow through the business. In parallel, we developed custom SSIS solutions to enable functionality of new technologies, including communication with the Bluetooth beacon and the mobile app.
We are experts in iterative yet rapid delivery of tailored solutions. On this engagement, our team’s deep familiarity and expertise with Agile and Scrum delivery methods enabled us to succeed in quickly delivering several working prototypes and functional productionised systems.
- We have pushed half a million prospects to our client’s CRM platform.
- The CRM has successfully captured information that was previously challenging to collect or analyse, including ad hoc data requests.
- Accurate and reliable data cleansing can now be completed (e.g. first purchase, most recent purchase) to improve information quality in relation to customers’ activities.
Microsoft Azure has been identified as a key component of the final solution, given the need to ensure all data systems are reliable and scalable. It is currently being used as a data repository, with plans to build on it in the future.
Our focus now is on developing improvements to the organisation’s online ordering system, guest experience surveys and wi-fi interactions, and using those data points to create a central database of customer information.
Future plans will also focus on improving integration across core business systems and enabling real-time interaction, as well as moving code data processing workloads into Microsoft Azure.
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