After the success of a previous project with one of Australia’s largest energy companies, Optivia were re-engaged to collaborate on further enhancing their data capability. With the sheer magnitude of customer data that they deal with on a daily basis, the company wanted to commence the journey to move from legacy data analytics systems and processes to a fully centralised and automated self-service model. They decided to start with their churn and sales data which was particularly complex, albeit, a critical data product set that needed to be reimagined.
Operating in a manual, time-intensive, and error-prone environment, they lacked a single source of truth that could provide them with a complete picture of their customers’ movements, making it challenging to improve customer experience and retention. To improve visibility of their churn and sales performance, they needed to validate their data, automate their processes from end-to-end and refine and improve the way they currently manage data and the insights it generates.
One of the major challenges was that the churn and sales data was scattered across disparate databases and source systems without a single source of truth. This resulted in different reports and data for the same business metric, causing much debate over which was the correct number. Additionally, it took their data analysts hours to manually update reports which meant that key stakeholders were not receiving timely information. This was impacting their decision-making which could skew the accuracy and timeliness of business outcomes.
“We wanted to optimise our reporting so that it would be fit for the future. The more we can optimise our reports, the better we can understand our customers and the reasons for churn,” said the Senior Manager of BI, Reporting & Analytics.
While the challenges of their 10-year legacy systems were clear to some business users, other stakeholders were more hesitant to move away from the familiar. This required Optivia’s expertise in change management to enable the smooth deployment of a reimagined end-to-end reporting solution.
“It was a difficult journey to transition from a manual legacy process to a fully automated solution, and we had some stakeholders who weren’t eager to change initially,” said the Senior Manager of BI, Reporting & Analytics.
“It was essential to the project’s success that we engaged them in the process and instilled trust in the new system.”
Having worked with Optivia in the past, the client was eager to work with our data experts to help uplift their sales and churn reporting.
“Optivia had the domain knowledge for the energy industry having worked with us before. They are also very structured and organised, which is essential to projects like this,” said the client.
“Some consultants we’ve had in the past don’t give any updates and come to us two months later with a solution. Optivia takes a more interactive and collaborative approach to stakeholder management that ensures all the right people are involved and kept informed.”
This approach included regular stakeholder meetings to capture all requirements and give people a say in the new system. This ensured that stakeholders were brought along on the journey and felt comfortable with the change. Optivia also established a rigorous governance structure to ensure the success of the project which allowed us to keep all the stakeholders in the know, identify challenges early on and determine ways to clear bottlenecks.
The final solution implemented utilised the modern Azure stack to extract data from source systems. The sales and churn data was then transformed and loaded into a semantic layer for adequate visualization. This provided the client with an interface to update forecasts and manage their data in a structured way. From there, a dashboard was built using UI and UX best practices to visualise the dataset, highlighting key insights for business decision-makers.
Once the end-to-end BI framework was implemented, Optivia also partnered with Subject Matter Experts to provide training for end users across the business to help them navigate the platform and to ensure organisation-wide adoption and value realisation.
As this was the first modernisation strategy behind their dataset and dashboard development, the sales and churn data uplift project marked the start of the client’s self-service analytics journey. This provided a foundation and learnings that they can now apply to other datasets within the business.
“I wasn’t always sure we’d get there, but with the right engagement and attitude, we’ve achieved what we set out to do. The feedback has been amazing; it’s a win across the whole organisation,” said the Senior Manager of BI, Reporting & Analytics.
With a fully automated solution, the client’s data analysts can now do what they do best – analyse data and provide valuable, actionable business insights – rather than spend all their time generating reports manually. And with no more debates about which number is correct, there is more time for collaboration across different teams within the business.
The positive impact generated by self-service analytical capabilities, enhanced data maturity, enablement of business users and increased productivity has also delighted the client’s leadership team. These improvements have provided leadership with more timely results so they can answer questions straight away rather than having to manually search for the information.
The company also has a far deeper understanding of their operations with their increased visibility of contextual information. They now have the ability to self-serve and deep-dive into root causes so they can slice and dice the data in a variety of ways and drill up and down as required.
“This was a critical piece of work that sets us up for best practices in the industry. The more we understand our customers, the better we can tailor our approaches to them and ensure that we focus on customers as the heart of our business,” said the Senior Manager of BI, Reporting & Analytics.
“The reports have already started to deliver great value to our business, and they have key stakeholders asking the right questions – which is exactly what they should do.”
“And in terms of engagement with Optivia, they’ve exceeded our expectations. I’d definitely recommend them and we’ve already extended our contract with them to help us with another project,” the client added.