Case Study | Cloud first Modern Data Platform | Power BI, Data Lake, Azure SQL
CLOUD-FIRST DATA PLATFORM
for Largest Utility Management Enterprise
Optimizing Billing Management with Modern Data Intelligence
With nearly 1 billion monthly property billing records generated across its multiple data sources, Conservice is the largest billing and utility management company in the United States – delivering unmatched data quality and guaranteed on-time bill payments.
Conservice was looking to scale its operations even further by integrating the scattered data to generate meaningful insights and enhance its solutions that can cater to its customers’ individual preferences. By developing effective and logical solutions, they were looking to transform billions of data points into insightful metrics. With Microsoft Azure, the organization is well-positioned for even more exciting and revolutionary developments in the future.
“We were looking for a way to accurately show what has been done and forecast future financial goals and realities. What we wanted was an extension to our team, and I will say Motifworks has done a great job in staying true to that promise. They really are an extension to our team and it’s a good working partnership.”
Chief Information Officer
Uniting the scattered data silos data and decentralized systems in one single source of truth
Conservice focuses on enabling superlative solutions that reduce operating costs and promote utility management programs to real estate and property management companies like multi-family communities, commercial properties, etc.
Achieving meaningful, relevant DATA requires significant amounts of digital heft. Each property has its own pre-defined system, which is then treated into heaps of transactional records, downloaded as separate excels. Accordingly, each record consists of numerous attributes that then need to be integrated to compose a single meaningful insight.
It was therefore imperative to streamline their data assets in a standardized form and right manner which would be most convenient for their internal teams. This was clearly a daunting task, so Conservice wanted to partner with someone that could help them develop a way to consolidate the data in a centralized, user-friendly platform.
Key business challenges include
Scattered data structure with little to no standardized system of recording the data points
Absence of full records for older properties or vendors operating on legacy systems
Difficulty in gaining complete visibility due to decentralized data sources.
Lack of automation imposing unnecessary manual intervention for redundant tasks which further affected the reliability of the datasets
available for data products
Lack of relevant attributes and datapoints for generating meaningful insights and developing focused reporting capabilities
Engaging their teams with unnecessary transactional workflows that stood in the way of operational excellence
Curating a next level billing data management
Conservice was majorly working on multiple disparate data sources to gather their entire data. At this point, their data was more like information not understanding the significance and its use. Their entire data ecosystem was divided into three different datasets — Core Property Management System, internal system and Data coming from other platforms being used (Microsoft Dynamic CRM, Salesforce, Oracle NetSuite and eWork Ticketing System).
The Conservice team collaborated closely with Motifworks to build and deploy a data driven environment designed for accelerated decision making and extract timely insights.
“Understanding the surface level problem is one thing and understanding the problem with a bird’s eye view is another. We immediately understood Motifworks was able to foresee potential problems that could arise, and they had our best interest at hand. I would say Motifworks has proved to become a significant asset for us.”
Kyle Ozmun, Data Warehouse Administrator
By identifying different data quality challenges, we could leverage Azure Data Services, and implement Azure Data Factory pipelines. Data Lake was used to store and analyze the data, thus enabling Conservice to improve the quality of its data sources.
Conservice wanted to focus on automating reporting and analytical capabilities. So, they are now considering new ways to use data storehouses. With data warehouse, and discovery capabilities of Azure, they can generate user specific experiences that bring together business and customer data to simplify the ways in which their customers can process utility billing.
Since Conservice also wanted to forecast monthly revenues, Azure Machine Learning Service provided a way to predict numbers and values immediately. With it, they now have forecasted data for over three years.
Data Warehouse Architecture & Design
Now, Conservice can move “full speed ahead” with its data modernization goals by leveraging technologies such as Azure Data Services (ADF, ADLS, Databricks, Azure SQL, Synapse Analytics, Purview, Power BI)
Looking ahead, they wanted focus more on increasing their business avenues, and spend less time in managing their incoming data.
To elaborate it further, here’s an interesting example on how they plan to generate more business insights. By adding a self-serving reports capability through which they can select various financial or operations attributes as per their need and create a completely customized report all on their own. Thus, allowing them to centralize, add features, and increase the speed to the changing requirements quickly.
It's all about timing, optics and forecasting
An all-encompassing view and understanding of their existing data assets is crucial for automation and lesser human intervention. Failing to use data to drive understanding can leave companies unknowingly in the dark about opportunities for improving performance.
This new level of visibility has given Conservice a platform to shift toward more data-driven, strategic decision support. As a result, they are now able to achieve:
Financial Reporting cycle enabling CFO, finance department understand revenue from each line of business, profitability, margins, and opportunities to reduce cost
Improved Data Accuracy and better predictive analytics capabilities to forecast monthly revenue
Improved reliability and consistency resulting in increased efficiency associated with property management, utility management, billing, payment, help desk, and other business operations
Maximized Operational Reporting Features & Risk Mitigation
Standardized Reporting for all the operational teams with Superlative Power BI Solutions through self-service reporting platforms