The Path to Trusted Business Intelligence
Inspired Villages is an award-winning operator and developer of retirement villages across the UK. Founded in 2017, the company aims to promote a rethinking of contemporary retirement living, offering stylish residential spaces that promote wellbeing, activity, and health. Recognising the power of Business Intelligence, a director from Inspired Villages approached DataShapa, asking for advice and consultancy on the implementation of a range of BI solutions.
Business Intelligence is becoming increasingly necessary in a world where data is more available, cost-effective, and informative than ever before. As organisations continue to become acquainted with the term ‘Business Intelligence,’ and realise the potential of BI applications – from Predictive Modelling to Data Visualisations – strategies are becoming more readily accessible for all industries and sectors.
Having previously experienced the benefits that BI may bring to businesses, this initial outreach has become a long-standing partnership between DataShapa and Inspired Villages, implementing a retained engagement process to continually find areas of improvement, optimisation, and maximised efficiency.
“We appointed DataShapa purely on the basis of a recommendation from a colleague who has worked with them for many years. Over the last 12 months DataShapa have helped us create an industry-leading, scalable BI solution from scratch which has transformed how we collect, analyse and report critical data and help us make much more informed decisions. Our planned future BI roadmap will provide us with new levels of insights, and DataShapa’s role will continue to evolve as we start building our own in-house expertise. I am very pleased with their focus on delivery and knowledge transfer.”
Tim Wilson, Strategic Projects Director, Inspired Villages
Inspired Villages and DataShapa – the initial assessment
With six operational retirement villages, Inspired Villages wished to implement a stable Business Intelligence system that could scale as more sites were added. With this original goal, DataShapa and Inspired Villages worked together to consider what such a system may look like, what data was needed, as well as what the results may be.
When beginning work with a new client, DataShapa always starts by examining the current infrastructures, processes, and architecture present. In doing so, the team aims to gain an overarching view of the complete framework, enabling them to understand how best to optimise and integrate new Business Intelligence tools.
When this stage began with Inspired Villages, the team understood that many processes were being completed manually, such as the processing of spreadsheets. This was a key factor that led Inspired Villages to reach out to DataShapa for consultancy.
Through our investigation, six key areas were identified to be the initial focus for the BI project:
- Integration of data from 3 core systems
- Weekly sales
- Village management KPIs
- People & Culture statistics
- Construction project costs
- Sales velocity trends
Understanding the need for Business Intelligence processes within these core areas, DataShapa moved forward to implement overarching BI strategies that sought to aid and inform key decision making with seamless automation.
Installing a data-driven culture
As Business Intelligence incorporates the integration of data throughout the entire business, all team members must be aware of, and understand, the importance of a data-driven culture.
DataShapa worked within Inspired Villages to showcase the possibilities of Business Intelligence. This was particularly critical due to two main factors:
Initial resistance to the creation of new systems
Implementing new frameworks within Inspired Villages was initially met with some resistance since some internal teams believed it might threaten to disrupt contemporary processes and workflows.
To manage this issue, we communicated the many benefits that Business Intelligence would bring to these teams – such as ease-of-use and automation of manual processes, while encouraging exploration and familiarisation of the advantages. Once familiar with these benefits, these teams realised the potential positive impact of BI within Inspired Villages.
Pre-existing low-quality data
Poor-quality data can disrupt many operations within an organisation, from misinforming sales figures to causing the creation of harmful data silos. Due to the extent of manual processes and separate, datasheets, some data collated was low-quality – causing breaches in trust and reliability. Through building an all-encompassing Data Warehouse, DataShapa was able to eliminate low-quality data by incorporating one overarching process, from data collation to storage.
This time spent showcasing the advantages of Business Intelligence strategies, and the potential use cases that it can bring, eventually led to an internal team member being permanently transferred into a new BI Analyst role – moving the client one step closer to becoming truly data-driven.
Our delivery of innovative projects
Through our ongoing involvement with Inspired Villages, the team collaborated with stakeholders to build multiple successful BI projects that supported various sectors, with a focus on scalability and flexibility.
Integration of data from three core systems
This was the main building block for the MVP project and required technical collaboration by DataShapa with Inspired Villages’ core system partners. Many barriers had to be addressed before the integration was complete, especially with partners who wanted to develop, manage and host BI solutions of their own. Inspired Villages’ strategy was to be completely self-sufficient in BI and maintain 100% ownership of their data: a core principle that we have fully supported.
Automated weekly sales reporting capabilities
Working closely with sales teams, we integrated multiple data sources to allow for rapid, automated reporting on a variety of sales topics such as visitor frequency, number of enquiries, and conversion rates.
This enabled us to eliminate the need for the vast majority of manual processes while empowering teams to gain an overall understanding of current sales figures using high-quality data. The new weekly BI dashboards and reports are heavily relied upon by the Inspired Villages Board and other key stakeholders.
Village management KPIs
Through our consultation efforts, the team were able to build and integrate intuitive dashboards that provided managers with a customisable overview of village-specific data, from resident spend to food and beverage profits. This integrated solution now provides a holistic view for management of the performance of each village, allowing focused attention and action.
Sales velocity projects
By improving client insights on key selling trends across sites, Inspired Villages were able to develop new insights and start to build a deeper understanding of customer philosophy and preferences for specific property types. This data is now a key enabler in the design of future villages.
People and Culture statistics
As well as automating seamless reporting for Sales teams, DataShapa supported Inspired Villages in developing a new integrated dashboard that enabled rapid and intuitive reporting capabilities for the People and Culture team. Tailored data here gave real-time feedback on issues such as gender splits and total cost of vacancy to inform employment decisions and optimise future choices.
Within each of these projects, the combined DataShapa and Inspired Villages team sought to reinvent and redefine how internal teams, as well as the entire business, utilised and interacted with their data sources. By moving to a scalable solution that incorporated many datasets to optimise insights, the team enabled Inspired Villages to take full control over all their data sources – eliminating unnecessary manual processes and increasing productivity in the process.
“A key benefit arising from these projects has been a significant increase in the quality and reliability of our data and a realisation by our business of the value of a single source of the truth”
Tim Wilson, Strategic Projects Director, Inspired Villages
Creating long-term partnerships
At DataShapa, we encourage a long-term, retained engagement approach with all our partners. This allows us to continue finding benefits and paths to optimisation, while also being available to respond to any queries or concerns with a pre-possessed understanding of the complete infrastructure.
To learn more about how we’ve enabled our clients to realise their data’s full potential, read more of our case studies here. Alternatively, for any questions you have, contact us here and one of our experts will respond as soon as possible.
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