Nonprofit Success Story

By Kristen Roy posted 10-06-2020 14:19

  
Nonprofit Organization Modernizes and Automates Report Handling With Cloud-Native Solution 

Customer Snapshot
  • Industry : Nonprofit
  • Hitachi Vantara Solutions: Cloud Services
  • Services: Cloud Application Modernization Services from Hitachi Vantara
  • Challenge:
    • Build a cloud-based report-handling solution in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud that offers metric extraction and data visualization.
  • Solution:
    • Expertise provided in Cloud Application Modernization Services from Hitachi Vantara ensured the successful build of a new provider analytics and reporting (PAR) solution using cloud-native and serverless technologies.
  • Outcomes:
    • Improves productivity while increasing quality and consistency.
    • Provides near-real-time visualization to inform decision-making.
    • Breaks down silos for a more agile workforce.
    • Enables continuous integration and delivery.

Challenge: Extract Valuable Metrics From Diverse Report Formats 

The nonprofit organization needed to produce reports on a regular basis in a wide variety of formats to be used for human consumption. Each month Operations Managers (OMs) manually extracted more than 400 individual performance metrics from at least 30 provider reports. They then manually entered the metrics into an externally hosted web app that had only rudimentary capabilities for data entry and visualizations. The whole process not only consumed a lot of time, but was also prone to errors.

The organization’s OMs spent around six man-months each year simply reading reports and entering numbers. Additionally, the isolated system prevented OMs from collaborating and sharing data. With each OM assigned to specific partner reports, no one was able to provide cover if a specific OM was off work.

To improve operational efficiency and eliminate manual touch points and knowledge silos, the organization decided to modernize the platform and automate data analytics.


Solution: Modernize and Automate in the Cloud

The customer had already started the journey to adopt public cloud and in this project decided to automate mundane tasks to improve operational efficiency. Report handling provided an ideal, small but essential process to demonstrate the value of moving to the cloud. As this was the nonprofit’s first significant cloud application modernization project, it began searching for a reliable and experienced partner.

Hitachi Vantara’s Cloud Application Modernization Services team had an earlier successful track record of working with this customer, where it had created a blueprint for an agile analytics platform. Success of that prior solution helped to make Hitachi the leading contender for this new opportunity. The organization invited Hitachi Vantara to propose a solution for the problem while keeping the gate open for other vendors as well. After several rounds of deep client engagement, Hitachi Vantara was selected as the vendor to build out the customer organization’s PAR solution.

In 2017, the Cloud Application Modernization Services team worked with customer’s enterprise architecture team to create a custom conceptual architecture blueprint for building enterprise data platforms in the public cloud. Using this conceptual architecture as the foundation, the team developed a new data analytics platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS) using cloud-native and (primarily) serverless technologies.


Completed in less than four months, the PAR solution provides an intelligent data pipeline that automatically accepts and extracts performance metrics from provider reports in several formats. The accompanying next-generation web app includes role-based access controls to enable OMs to validate or update the derived metrics and add comments. Near-real-time data analytics and visualization provide insights on provider metrics across devices and platforms. Easy integration with other organization systems increased data velocity and the solution eliminates knowledge and data silos

The architecture also supports continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) for both the application and supporting infrastructure. The team leveraged DevOps and DataOps principles to define and manage infrastructure as code.

Outcome: Deliver Richer Insights and Better Visibility With Significantly Less Effort

Partnering with Hitachi Vantara has helped the nonprofit to increase productivity, saving hundreds of person-hours each year. Modernizing the handling of reports has reduced the time spent each month on this activity from hours to minutes.

Eliminating manual touchpoints for data extraction and computation has increased the velocity and quality of metrics extracted and analyzed. In addition, eliminating silos has improved consistency and enabled a more agile workforce. OMs can now support multiple providers. Meanwhile, near-real-time visualization for business insights via dashboards has improved business decision-making, and automated monitoring has freed up operational resources. The customer believes this increased productivity will enable its agile workforce to extract more metrics, when required.

By taking a “think big, start small and move fast” approach using agile methodologies, the Cloud Application Modernization Services team ensured that the platform was delivered successfully, within a short time frame. The team also built partnerships with the business from Day 1 to achieve success based on joint accountability and decision-making.

The move into the cloud has been a great success for the nonprofit organization. The organization can derive business insights faster and at consistently higher quality from reports with less effort from the operations managers, which helps the management make quicker decisions and ultimately deliver a better service for customers.

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05-04-2022 11:21

Great

05-02-2022 14:13

Nice

05-02-2022 14:13

Nice

11-19-2020 05:26

This works really well for us, thank you! alaskasworld