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TDWI Best Practices Awards: Recognition for Innovative Data and Analytics Implementations

TDWI Best Practices Awards 2014 Winner Summaries

Category: Government and Non-Profit

  • Denver Public Schools
    • Solution Sponsor: RevGen Partners

Denver Public Schools (DPS) is committed to meeting the educational needs of every student in the city and county of Denver with great schools in every neighborhood. The district’s 185 schools include traditional, magnet, charter, and pathways schools. Current enrollment is 87,398 students, 57.5 percent of whom are Hispanic, while 21.2 percent are Caucasian and 14.1 percent are African American. Seventy-one percent qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Under the leadership of Superintendent Tom Boasberg and guided by The Denver Plan, DPS is the fastest-growing urban school district in the country in terms of enrollment, and Colorado’s fastest-growing large district in terms of academic growth. DPS is committed to establishing Denver as a national leader in achievement, high school graduation, and college and career readiness.

DPS chose RevGen Partners to develop the application portion of a customized school performance management system (SPMS) to track district, school, educator, and student achievement. DPS transitioned to a culture of data-driven decisions aimed at student success, seeking to increase graduation rates, raise student academic performance, and replicate best practices in top-performing schools.

The joint team from DPS and RevGen Partners created an enterprise-level SPMS designed to:

  • Provide a comprehensive view of school performance and success, including attendance and reading proficiency.
  • Inform the teacher evaluation and development. Student performance is a key part of evaluating teacher and principal effectiveness.
  • Create tools to support continuous improvement, addressing long-term and immediate goals for eight operational departments.
  • Develop school and individual performance plans. The system shows individual and group progress toward meeting stated goals.
  • Identify top-performing schools and replicate best practices. Robust data on each school allows district administrators and principals to review specifics of each rating, ranging from attendance rates to individual subject proficiency gains.

Category: Enterprise Data Management Strategies

  • Teachers Insurance Annuities Association—College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF)

Founded in 1918, TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields.

TIAA-CREF’s technology strategy and architecture team created advanced data quality and data management capabilities used by business initiatives and project teams to identify and improve the quality of critical data. These enterprise data services are delivered in an innovative way called data quality as a service (DQaaS). Using concepts from cloud computing, business technology solutions leverage these enterprise data services to improve data quality. Users need not build their own, redundant solutions.

The team created key framework components ranging from data quality and profiling services to data steward playbook methodology to deliver the data quality services in an agile way. The organization’s data transformation program offered DQaaS to lower operational risk and cost, enable strategic business initiatives, and mature the data management practices of the enterprise.

Business initiatives have used the data quality services to quickly pinpoint and correct root causes of data quality gaps in business processes, causing inefficiency issues. Business data owners and stewards leverage the enterprise data quality dashboard to systemically improve the quality of critical data, giving visibility to data quality levels, showing trends, and identifying defective records. Project teams have performed data analysis faster using these data services.

Category: Enterprise Data Warehousing

  • Caissede dépôt et placement du Québec

La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a financial institution that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As of December 31, 2013, it held $200.1 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, La Caisse invests in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, and real estate, globally.

An enterprise data warehouse for financial data is used by all lines of business for analytical and downstream systems alike. Enterprise context and SOA allow for simple and effective design.

With a combination of winning enterprise conditions and a will to design a data warehouse capable of standing the test of time, La Caisse’s team of experienced BI/DW architects and developers has created what they believe to be a very simple and effective data warehouse to satisfy business needs, including the capacity to evolve in response to demands of constantly changing business conditions.

Category: Perfomance Management

  • Dell

For more than 28 years, Dell has empowered countries, communities, customers, and individuals to use technology to realize their dreams. They trust Dell to deliver technology solutions to do and achieve more, whether at home, work, school, or anywhere in their world.

Dell built a global BI performance management solution for all supply chain and financial executive leadership and extended operational teams that would measure and assist Dell’s strategic initiatives. It also measures and monitors the current state of operations in the company on a daily basis. The project likewise provides robust data analytics–based decision making capability for executives to chart new strategies.

The company’s CSR performance management BI solution has become the most reliable system to measure the implementation effectiveness of Dell’s strategic initiatives around supply chain and operations. The product has evolved consistently, keeping pace with the changes in the strategy. CSR has also evolved into a supply chain newspaper highlighting Dell supply chain operations KPIs and has become a trusted BI framework for executives making data-driven decisions for company supply chain operations.

CSR data and metric platforms have contributed to predictive initiatives in the supply chain and have provided an analytics-based framework for driving the strategy behind future initiatives in supply chain performance management. Significant cost savings have also been achieved by establishing the single information source in CSR, enabling different IT and business stakeholders to communicate using the same data and metrics. Overall, Dell’s performance management solution has created a well-adopted and one-stop environment for BI and analytics-based supply chain performance management for executives and business analysts in the company.

Category: Emerging Technologies and Methods

  • Aircel Limited, India

Aircel is one of India’s leading innovative mobile services provider, serving more than 68 million subscribers. The company has 3G spectrum in 13 circles and BWA spectrum in 8 circles, and is credited with the fastest 3G rollout ever in the Indian telecom space. In 2006, Aircel was acquired by Malaysia’s biggest integrated communications service provider, Maxis (Maxis Communication Berhard) in a joint venture with Sindya Securities & Investments Pvt. Ltd. Through its innovative and affordable offerings, strategic partnerships, and best-in-class solutions, Aircel caters to the growing mobile telephony demands of customers and enterprises alike.

The telecom sector in India continues to be predominantly prepaid and therefore the ability to understand a subscriber’s interests, needs, preferences, and consumption patterns in real time, and to use these insights to provide customized products and services across all customer touchpoints, offers a unique strategic advantage. Aircel initiated its “Unified Marketing Platform” project to provide its marketing and sales teams a 360-degree customer view for designing and providing relevant offerings across all touchpoints.

Earlier, Aircel had heterogeneous systems capturing day-to-day customer interactions and transactions, which hampered the generation of an integrated view for business users to analyze customer demographics, usage patterns, social behavior, and so on. Keeping market demands, future growth, and telecom dynamics in perspective, Aircel implemented an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) solution using Teradata 2x/5x/6x series to bring together multiple lines of business and more than 21 disparate data streams under one umbrella.

Aircel’s objective was to provide a platform to enable personalized promotions across touchpoints and a seamless customer experience—customers should feel they are well understood by Aircel and that services offered to them are tailor made. The implementation of EDW has indeed provided Aircel a competitive edge in the Indian telecom industry.

Category: Right-Time BI and Analytics

  • Comdata
    • Solution Sponsor: Credera

Comdata is a business-to-business provider of innovative electronic payment solutions. As an issuer and processor, Comdata provides fleet, corporate payment, healthcare, virtual card, and prepaid solutions to more than 30,000 customers. The company’s solutions include financial transactions of all kinds and are changing the way companies manage data, pay employees, process transactions, and control spending on key business purchases. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, with more than 1,200 employees globally, Comdata enables over $54 billion in payment volume annually.

FleetAdvance is an analytics solution that drives smarter fueling decisions by commercial transportation fleets, analyzing the quality of a fueling transaction against other alternatives. FleetAdvance presents real-time dashboards and metrics, instant notifications, analytical views of performance, and route-planning tools.

In the recession-wary world, FleetAdvance fills a void for value-savvy fleet customers. FleetAdvance is a strategic component of Comdata’s comprehensive fleet solutions, which provide an opportunity for customers to greatly improve their fuel purchasing efficiency. FleetAdvance includes features that allow customers to plan routes, analyze fuel spending, and realize actual savings on fuel purchases.

FleetAdvance differentiates Comdata in the marketplace. The methodology and technologies enable Comdata to react to market conditions quickly and continue to provide additional value to customers.

Overall, the FleetAdvance product showcases the innovative culture at Comdata both from a client-service perspective and by its ability to use technology as a differentiator. FleetAdvance serves as a real-world example of turning data into information and, in turn, driving real-time and predictive analytics based on this information.

Category: Enterprise BI

  • USAA

USAA provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products, and advice to 10.1 million members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being, and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military—and their eligible family members.

To enable a better understanding of call data from a member-centric perspective, including why members call and what occurs during the call, this project consolidated multiple disparate data sources into a single data mart. This data mart and the automated reports built upon it enabled capabilities for enhanced analytics about member call experience, call transfers, and optimization of sales and servicing.

The development of Member-Centric Call Data (MCCD) was an evolving, multi-year journey that enabled USAA to approach new frontiers of conceptual and strategic design of its contact centers. The team was able to experiment with new development methodologies, technical approaches, training, and change management practices to set the example for more BI development across the organization.

The co-location and collaboration of business and technical resources resulted in a high-functioning team able to quickly deliver quality results. The extended project team delivered varying levels of data, tools, and analysis to different organizations across the company, resulting in new insights that were either unavailable or difficult to achieve in the past. In so doing, the MCCD solution has directly supported USAA’s corporate mission.

Category: BI on a Limited Budget

  • HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited

HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance companies, offers a range of individual and group insurance solutions. It is a joint venture between Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC), India’s leading housing finance institution, and Standard Life plc, the leading provider of financial services in the United Kingdom. The company’s goals are to enable a strong performance management platform (including action-based dashboards), improve operational efficiency to enhance the customer experience, and provide an intuitive interface, enabling users to explore data with little training.

HDFC Life’s unique methodology of implementation and innovation in the way its BI tool was leveraged helped develop industry-leading modules and reap business benefits, including:

  • Over $600,000 in cost optimization on human resources and development costs
  • Customer retention increased by 18 percent
  • Customer satisfaction score leapt 7 basis points
  • Repeat purchases were up by 27 percent
  • Enhanced channel partner/distributor service levels with best-in-class service on data/information management and support

HDFC Life has a listening team that keeps updating and releasing new versions of its modules on Qlik Insights almost every week. The company monitors usage of authenticated entry and modules views (such as the number of clicks in a module and which are the lesser visited/used modules).

In a competitive environment, it is vital that HDFC Life is nimble footed to the information needs of its distribution and channel partners and enhances their ability to service customers sourced by them. Qlik Insights was extended to them, with customized views, dashboards, and analytic models hosted on the system, or necessary information was pushed for action with a centralized publisher. HDFC Life benefited by using the tool QlikView for more than just reporting.

Category: Analytics

  • Scotiabank

Scotiabank is a leading financial services provider in over 55 countries and Canada’s most international bank. Through its team of more than 86,000 employees, Scotiabank and its affiliates offer a broad range of products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and corporate and investment banking to more than 21 million customers.

The project was the development of a new method to price customers applying for unsecured lines of credit. It required the development of multiple predictive models, a new data mart, and significant integration between the enterprise data warehouse (EDW) and operational systems to deliver pricing recommendations.

The new approach to selling lines of credit to retail customers, launched in 2011, leveraged analytics and modeling to create more precise pricing recommendations and an optimization solution to align prices to business results. All modeling and analytical work was conducted within the EDW environment, which expanded the customer information captured to include application and lost quote details. The project improved average prices on new lines of credit by 35 basis points over a control group using the former pricing approach. Its success has encouraged the bank to launch similar pricing initiatives for mortgages and GICs.

The project showcases how analytics solutions deployed within an EDW environment can be integrated into operational systems, and the value that can be generated by consolidating customer, account, application, and sales interaction data into a single environment.

Category: Big Data Technologies

  • adMarketplace
    • Solution Sponsor: HP Vertica

adMarketplace is the first and only programmatic marketplace for search and the largest search advertising solution of its kind outside of Google and Yahoo!/Bing.

Originally designed as the search advertising engine for eBay, adMarketpace became available to all advertisers in 2007. Now, the adMarketplace Advertiser 3D platform contributes to the more than 50 percent of search advertising activity that occurs outside of major search engines. adMarketplace’s proprietary search solution utilizes keywords and user demographic information—traffic source, device type, location, and more—to match consumers with relevant ads in real time.

Fortune 500 brands and ad agencies count on Advertiser 3D, the analytics platform, and BidSmart, the algorithmic bidding system, to provide data transparency, granular control, and algorithmic real-time account optimization. Both Advertiser 3D and Bidsmart use HP Vertica for data storage and processing.

Flexibility is the core of adMarketplace’s big data model. Every minute, data enters a clustered, columnar data warehouse and then runs through a series of BidSmart’s predictive algorithms. This system processes terabytes of data to make predictions about relevancy and competitive bid landscape to determine click value for advertisers. adMarketplace’s ability to process and display large amounts of data quickly has made Advertiser 3D the most flexible and transparent search advertising platform of its kind.

Award winners were chosen by a panel of independent judges who have expertise in BI and DW.